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2015. The World's Women 2015: Trends and Statistics.

This sixth edition of The Worlds Women: Trends and Statistics provides the latest statistics and analysis on the status of women and men at global and regional levels and reviews the progress towards gender equality over the last 20 years. The eight chapters of the report cover several broad policy areas identified in the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action, the framework that set the international agenda for improving the status of women. These areas include population and families, health, education, work, power and decision-making, violence against women, environment and poverty. In each area, a life-cycle approach is used to reveal the experiences of women and men during different periods of lifefrom childhood and the formative years, through the working and reproductive stage, to older ages. The statistics and analysis presented in The Worlds Women 2015 are based on a comprehensive and careful assessment of a large set of available data and take into account new and emerging methodological developments in gender statistics. The report reveals that the lives of women have improved in some respects. For instance, the gender gap in education has narrowed, particularly at the primary level, and in many countries women now outnumber men in tertiary education. In other areas, however, progress has stagnated. Today, half the worlds women join the labour force compared to three quarters of men, a situation not unlike that of 20 years ago. Women are far from having an equal voice to men in public and private spheres. And, unacceptably, in every region of the world, women are still subjected to various forms of violence. Women also face new challenges, including those related to changes in living arrangements. As a result, older women today are more likely to be living alone and in poverty than men of the same age. My sincere hope is that this publication will deepen our understanding of the current status of women and men and of the advances in women's empowerment. I also trust that it will serve as a model for national and international stakeholders in identifying and addressing data gaps on gender issues. Much work remains to fill the gaps in coverage of key topics, to improve the timeliness and comparability of data over time and across countries, and to strengthen national capacity in the production and use of gender statistics.