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The Clintons and the Gates are looking out for the ladies. Announcing a joint partnership between their respective family foundations, the philanthropic giants laid out a plan on Thursday to help ensure the participation of women and girls around the world.
As part of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation's No Ceilings initiative, announced by Hillary Clinton late last year
, the foundations will work with leading technology companies to collect and analyze data to measure the progress and identify gaps that remain in the 20 years since the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. At that conference in 1995, then First Lady Clinton famously declared, "If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all."
According to the Clinton Foundation
, women are the world's most underserved and undervalued resource, currently making up 70 percent of the world's poor and earning only 10 percent of its income. Thus ensuring the full participation of women and girls in social and economic life around the world is critical to global progress, development and security. "If we empower women, they're going to lift their children up, their families up. And their daughters will continue the cycle," said the Gates Foundation's Melinda Gates.
At an event Thursday morning at New York University, moderator Chelsea Clinton said, "Investing in women and girls isn't just the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do." Her mother, who participated in an on stage discussion with Melinda Gates, pointed out that the world can't work without women. "Pick any country, any continent," she said, "If women in the informal economy stopped working … the economy would collapse. We should value the work women do and start opening doors to women into the formal economy."