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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the No Ceilings initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation joined forces to assess the evidence on the gains and gaps in progress for women and girls over the past 20 years. We asked: What do women’s and girls’ lives look like around the world 20 years after the Beijing conference? What barriers remain? What do the numbers tell us? How have laws and policies progressed over the same period? What information do we still need in order to assess the status of women and girls? The foundations worked with The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and the WORLD Policy Analysis Center at UCLA (WORLD) to examine the performance of 197 countries and Beijing Platform signatories and develop a picture of how the lives of women and girls have changed since the Beijing conference. The EIU conducted a thorough review of data series from trusted international sources, multilateral institutions, and major survey organizations. WORLD systematically analyzed national constitutions, laws, and policies to develop comparable measures of legal and policy progress in all nations. Wherever possible, data for this report were collected over a complete 20-year time frame, and include regional or country snapshots in some areas.