Perhaps you noticed something a little different on R29 this morning (from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.)? Like, the fact that all of the women were not there? Don't worry. It's not a huge mistake. We're working with our partners over at the Clinton Foundation to celebrate International Women's Day in a slightly unorthodox way today. We're considering what it would look like to live in a world where women weren't present — and weren't able to participate in a full and equal way. Because we've made a lot of progress in the 20 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform For Action in 1995. But, we've also got a long way to go, when it comes to creating equal opportunities for women to participate in this world in powerful and meaningful ways — from health care to education to wage equality to political inclusion.
Ahead of her and Secretary Clinton's Monday deep dive into the data looking into the strides women have made in the past 20 years, as well as the huge opportunities and challenges ahead, Chelsea Clinton spoke to us about the power of this project. (And, be sure to check back here tomorrow, to see a slice of that data.) Here's what Clinton has has to say about the power of removing women from images across media: "With the Not There campaign, as the launch of our No Ceilings Full Participation Report, we hope to grab people’s attention and show what happens when women aren’t there, so that people who visit Refinery start thinking, ‘well why aren’t women there’? And then maybe they start to question other places in their lives where women are not as present as men. Whether that’s in their work environment or the entertainment that they consume or the news that they watch or when they think about the leaders of corporate America or political America. Just really starting to question, ‘Wait, why are there not more women...in every part of our lives?'"
So, what are we really going to get out of Monday's report? A lot, according to Clinton. She says, "We really hope that this data provides a common set of facts and understanding, for where women are around the world, and also where women are here in the United States. Because, what we have found in our qualitative research is that so many young women here in the United States just sort of take for granted that there are these ceilings and that they just can’t do anything about them, economically or socially or politically. And, sometimes there’s a shame attached to feeling that they are held back by the ceilings. So, we want to say, ‘no, there’s no shame, there are still very real ceilings, we have made progress but we still have a long way to go.’"
Important, boundary-pushing ideas, for sure, and ones that make Clinton's ultimate goal especially worth taking note of. She says, "here in the United States our view with Full Participation is that every young woman, anywhere and everywhere, will be able to fully participate in the life of her family, her community, her economy, her country, however she would want to." We're definitely on board with that. And, it merits taking a moment to consider the power of all the women in this world — both the incredible Superwomen and role models we look to for inspiration as well as the silenced voices who aren't heard as loudly and clearly as they should be...and everyone in between.