“Data powers today’s world, informing decisions about everything from business and government to health care and education. For women and girls, however, basic information about their lives — the work they do, the challenges they face, even the very fact of their existence — is lacking.

The data gap often starts early. Barriers to birth registrations can impede mobility later, as well as access to health care and other essential services for mothers and children. The gap continues with male-biased surveys that fail to capture women’s perspectives, their needs and their economic value.

“When we don’t count women or girls, they literally become invisible,” says Sarah Hendriks, director of gender equality at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.”

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