Stats

Girl Stats provides sex-disaggregated indicators that measure the most important gender issues including levels of empowerment, parity in education, labour market participation and health outcomes for girls and young women. The indicators shown here are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goal targets to help companies determine where they can contribute to the SDGs. By understanding the issues that girls face, as well as the factors that drive these issues, companies can make informed decisions that promote better outcomes girls and young women.

The Stats page allows users to compare indicators across countries and themes, as well as explore issues in greater depth through the stories within each theme. 'No data' highlights where data gaps exist. The lack of sex-disaggregated data demonstrates the need for greater research on the situation of adolescent girls and young women around the world.  


Studies have found positive returns that go beyond regular health and safety compliance for businesses that invest in the specific health needs of their female employees. Health indicators can provide businesses with insights into the wellbeing of girls and young women in the countries in which they operate, providing information on where investment needs to be made. Businesses that provide female workers with information on and access to contraception, abortions, safe births, pre- and post-natal care will see positive returns on investment in terms of recruitment, productivity and retention.  

Investing in future generations to ensure economic benefits

The stats

The 20 countries with the highest birth rate among adolescent girls are all found in Sub Saharan Africa, with Niger, Mali, Angola, Guinea and Mozambique topping the list. This means that more children are born to girls and young women aged between 15 to 19 in this part of the world than anywhere else.

High adolescent fertility rates are driven by several factors including lack of access to sexual and reproductive healthcare and education, high rates of early marriage and low levels of contraceptive use. In Niger, for example, only 13.9% of women aged between 15 and 49 use contraception, while this figure drops to 5.6% for women of the same age in Guinea

High adolescent fertility is strongly correlated with high levels of maternity mortality. In Niger, the country with the highest adolescent birth rate globally, 553 of out every 100,000 women die of pregnancy-related causes. In Guinea, the country with the fourth highest adolescent birth rate, this figure stands at 679 out of 100,000. In Sierra Leone, which has the eleventh highest adolescent fertility rate, maternal mortality stands at 1,360 out of every 100,000 women; the highest level in the world. This means that Sierra Leone is the most dangerous country in the world for a woman to be pregnant.

Adolescent fertilityContraceptive use

Impact on business

Having children early in life has a significant impact on adolescent girls and young women. Not only are they twice as likely to die during childbirth than women in their 20s or older, there are a variety of long-lasting social and economic costs that have implications for communities, governments and businesses.

Overall, countries with high levels of adolescent birth rates struggle to educate their youth. However, high birth rates disproportionately disadvantage young girls by contributing to skills gaps between males and females. When girls have children young, their education is interrupted. In many cases, girls drop out of school completely once they have given birth, without having achieved any formal qualifications. This results in limited economic opportunities later in life, reducing the amount of money a woman can make for her household. In the case of Sub Saharan Africa, most women end up working in low-paid jobs in the informal sector, where they are unprotected by labour laws and vulnerable to exploitation.

For businesses operating in Sub Saharan Africa, recruiting and retaining an educated and skilled workforce remains a challenge, particularly as many resource-rich countries in the region seek opportunities to diversify their economies and reduce overdependence on highly skilled international workers. This challenge is increased for businesses with strong commitments to gender equality. These companies will be unable to strike a balance between male and female workers given the negative impact of high fertility rates on educational and economic outcomes for women. 

Business solutions

Africa is estimated to have the world’s largest labour force by 2040. However, delaying childbearing and keeping girls in school will be critical to ensuring that this is a labour force that has the necessary skills to contribute to economic development. Businesses operating in countries with high adolescent fertility rates can improve outcomes by investing in programmes that change attitudes towards early marriage, and empower adolescent girls to make their own decisions regarding sexual health and reproduction.

For example, by supporting the work of organisations such as Pathfinder International, companies can help to expand sexual health and reproductive services in countries such as Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique and Tanzania. Similarly, by donating to initiatives such as the outreach programmes run by Marie Stopes International, businesses can help millions of women and girls in remote and isolated areas gain access to a variety of modern contraceptive methods.  

 

Education is a key driver of economic and social development. Despite the narrowing gender gap in education in recent years, girls and young women continue to face disadvantages in access to education, especially at secondary and tertiary level. Reasons for this vary but include restricting cultural norms, poverty, conflict, pregnancy and child marriage. Understanding the education indicators of a country helps businesses to make meaningful decisions regarding labour force investment and the promotion of female employment.  

The burden of unpaid work on tertiary educated women in Australia

The stats

Traditionally, women have tended to stay at home and take responsibility for unpaid work, including looking after children and parents, cooking and cleaning. But even today, when many women are highly educated and working outside the home, they still carry out a disproportionate amount of unpaid work. In some cases, this burden can lead to many choosing to work part-time or leave employment altogether, thereby reducing the available labour pool of highly educated women.

The amount of unpaid work that women do on a daily basis has remained largely the same over the last 20 years, despite an increase in the number of women in the workplace and advances in technology aimed at reducing the chore burden. According to the World’s Women Report, women in developing regions spend an average of 4.30 hours a day on unpaid work. This is similar to women in developed regions who spend an average of 4.20 hours a day. By contrast, men in the developing world spend 1.20 hours a day on unpaid work, while those in developed regions spend 2.20 hours.

Data suggests that high educational achievement does not always translate into better labour market outcomes for women, nor a reduction in the chore burden. In Australia, only 79% of women with third level qualifications are in employment, compared with 89% of tertiary educated men. This is despite more women than men holding third level qualifications. Women in the country also carry out double the amount of unpaid work when compared with men, which suggests that the burden of housework and caring responsibilities may impact women’s labour market outcomes. For example, when the total workforce is considered, women make up two thirds of part time workers; a trend which has remained largely the same over the past decade. 

Tertiary education AustraliaUnpaid work Australia

Impact on business

Given that, in Australia, more women are tertiary educated than men, companies are unable to realise the full potential of the workforce where women are constrained by a disproportionate amount of unpaid work. A report by the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that if women’s participation in the workforce were equal to that of men, an additional USD$28 trillion could be added to annual global GDP. This would not only increase tax bases for governments, but improve consumer purchasing power which would have direct benefits for business.

The Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency has created a toolkit for companies seeking to implement robust gender equality strategies. This also includes case studies of eight companies that have put innovative strategies in place to challenge gender stereotypes, support working parents and increase the number of female leaders in their organisations. 

Business solutions

Sustainable businesses need to attract and retain a diverse, skilled and talented workforce. While women make up half the eligible labour pool, the burden of unpaid work contributes to their underrepresentation in paid employment. To encourage highly educated women into the labour force, businesses need to create flexible environments for both male and female workers with families and other commitments outside the workplace.

Companies can help redistribute the burden of unpaid work through internal policies such as paid paternity leave and flexible working hours for both men and women. This helps to offset cultural and social norms by encouraging men to spend more time helping with domestic tasks and with children. Studies suggest that businesses that introduce flexible working policies benefit from higher levels of productivity during working hours, as well as a larger pool of skilled and talented women in the workforce.

A study by EY Australia found that women with higher levels of job flexibility tend to waste less time during their working day. Similarly, BT reported an increase in productivity of 54% following the introduction of flexible working. Other benefits reported by the company include a 99% retention rate of women following maternity leave, which is over double the UK average of 47%. A recent study carried out by Vodafone also found that 61% of companies said that flexible working helped to increase company profits. 


The legal status of women directly impacts the roles they can play at home, in the workplace and in the wider society. Discrimination against women is institutionalised in many countries through laws that limit women’s rights to work, access property, divorce, travel freely or to open a bank account. Countries in which women and girls have unequal access to finance or property and other assets limit their ability to achieve full empowerment. By understanding the legal position of women in the countries in which they operate, businesses will be better placed to adopt policies that contribute to women’s empowerment at work and in society. This in turn will lead to greater returns for both businesses and the local communities.

The impact of religious law and customary practices on Muslim women in India 

The stats

In India, family matters – such as marriage, divorce and inheritance – are governed by religious practices protected in national legislation. While the majority of Indian women as Hindus have access to mutual divorce rights, the story for Muslim minority women has been and will continue to be quite different.

The ‘triple talaq’ is a Muslim practice that allows men to instantly dissolve their marriage and remove their wives from the home - usually without any financial support - by simply communicating the word ‘talaq’ three consecutive times. In August 2017, the Indian Supreme Court declared this instantaneous and unilateral method of divorce to be unconstitutional on the basis of equality and non-discrimination. However, this practice will likely continue, negatively impacting the lives of many of India’s 90 million Muslim women.

Across all religious communities in India, with the exception of Sikhs, there are more divorced women than men. However, the gender divide is the most significant among Muslims, with women making up 79% of the total Muslim divorced population. The absolute power given to men under the triple talaq is one key reason for this. Furthermore, entrenched patriarchy within the Muslim community in India means that many women lack access to formal education and quality employment opportunities. Successive governments have done little to address the socio-economic condition of Muslim women, and, as a result, they remain economically marginalised.

Socioeconomic status of Muslim womenIlliteracy rates

Impact on business

The economic impacts of unequal divorce and access to property are significant at both the individual and national level. Property is the most common loan guarantor in the world. Women’s unequal access to property post-divorce reduces their ability to access the finance necessary to invest in their education or start a business. This leaves them dependent on their families and the unlikely hope of financial support from their ex-husbands. A 2015 national survey highlights that almost 95% of divorced Muslim women do not receive maintenance from their ex-husbands and 82% do not have any property registered in their name.

Furthermore, for many rural women, getting married provides security – a home, food and financial certainty. Divorce disrupts this security leaving these women vulnerable to sexual exploitation and labour exploitation in lower paid roles in the unregulated informal sector.

Business solutions

In September 2015, Indian leaders, along with other governments, adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), one of which includes ending discrimination against women and girls in laws, policies and practices. The SDGs cannot be fully realised if some women are left behind. However, improving the prospects of minority women requires collaboration across all levels and sectors. Companies should look to invest in education programmes for rural and minority women, not only increase rights awareness but to create more productive and higher-skilled workers in the longer term.

In addition to education, access to finance is a key area where business influence can benefit women and girls, particularly in the absence of property ownership and divorce maintenance. For example, the Mann Deshi Bank, supported by a number of private and public financial institutions, provides microfinance, savings plans and insurance services to the poorest women in India. Their aim is to empower rural women through job creation, lifting their families and communities out of poverty. To date they have served over 200,000 women and have a 98% repayment rate.

Research consistently demonstrates that societies in which women and girls are economically empowered are more productive than societies where women and girls are not. Yet, across the world, women have lower labour market participation rates than men. Understanding employment indicators for girls and women helps businesses to develop policies that improve outcomes for their companies and societies as whole. Encouraging women’s participation in the labour force not only diversifies a company’s talent pool, but also increases financial performance and contributes to substantial positive multiplier effects within communities.  

Female labour force participation and the gender pay gap in Latin America

The stats

In Latin America, women earn between 44% and 77% of what men earn. This means it is more difficult for women, particularly those from marginalised groups, to overcome poverty and achieve economic independence. At the same time, large gender pay gaps also negatively impact economic development with the region. This is because women tend to be employed in lower-skilled, part-time and, often, informal work. As a result, governments lose out on opportunities to collect higher taxes from female workers, and reinvest these back into social services and infrastructure that can improve educational, health and economic outcomes as a whole.

The gender pay gap is driven by a number of factors including low female labour force participation, inherent gender discrimination and the burden of childcare and housework falling primarily on women. In Latin America, only 55% of women are active in the labour force, compared with 80% of men. This creates a labour force participation gap of 25%; the highest in the world.

Low female labour force participation is driven largely by traditional views on the position women should occupy in society. Where women are expected to take on the chore burden in the household or bear most of the responsibility for raising children, they tend to seek more low-skilled, flexible or part-time employment. In many cases, they leave the workforce altogether. In Latin America, one out of ten women works in the agricultural sector and 41% of employed women work in domestic services. The map below indicates that while approximately 24% to 38% of working women in Latin America are engaged in part-time work, only 10% to 16% of men do the same. For instance, in Argentina, 38% of women work part-time compared to 16% of men. This means that, overall, women tend to receive less pay, less training and have restricted access to promotions and decision-making roles, all of which contributes to the gender pay gap.

Although the gender pay gap in Latin America has decreased by approximately 12% between 1990 and 2014, it appears that not all women are seeing the benefits of this. Despite increased investment in education in the region, it is mainly women with less education – from 0 to 5 years – who have seen a 19.7% reduction in the gender pay gap in recent years. This is mainly due to increased governmental efforts to raise national minimum wages and to regulate and formalise paid domestic work; a sector in which those with less education tend to be employed. 

Part time work LatAmWage gap LatAm

Impact on business 

The 25% gap between male and female labour force participation in Latin America is one of the key drivers of the large gender pay gaps that persist in the region. Similarly, the disproportionate number of women in part-time work means that women, as a whole, are taking home less pay than men.

Various studies have shown that companies can reduce the gender pay gap by hiring female board members and senior female staff members. In Latin America, on average, only 8% of executive committees have female representation, as do only 5% of company boards. However, there is some regional variation in this data with 17% of board positions held by women in Peru, 11% in Colombia, and 8% in Argentina.

Companies with women in senior level positions have fewer corruption scandals, a higher economic growth rate and better organisational effectiveness; all of which has a positive impact on the GDP and economic growth within a country. However, in order to attract more women to the workforce, particularly those who have childcare responsibilities, companies need to create flexible environments.

By increasing female representation in the workplace, companies are actively contributing to UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 on Gender Equality and Goal 8 on Decent Work and Economic Growth. Both of these goals aim to create productive and decent employment opportunities for men and women by 2030. 

Business solutions

To address the gender pay gap, the first step companies should take is to conduct an internal assessment to identify how large the gap is in their own organisation. This will enable management to implement realistic and achievable initiatives to address and remediate the issue. Such efforts can include hiring more women, particularly in leadership and decision-making positions, to increase diversity and inclusion.

Companies should also provide unconscious bias training to address inherent gender discrimination, and introduce flexible and paid parental leave that enables women to go back to work while fathers share childcare duties. Finally, companies and industry associations can also create collaborative spaces for female workers to exchange experiences and best practice. This will enable cross-company learning to tackle gender inequality at a wider level.   

There are several resources available to help companies implement effective strategies to reduce the gender pay gap and improve outcomes for women in the workplace. These include toolkits and reports produced by the UN Division for Gender Affairs, which promotes regional development and gender mainstreaming in Latin America.



Data shows that levels of both voluntary and involuntary migration are increasing, with many girls and young women moving to escape hardships such as conflict, child marriage and poverty. Although migration presents many opportunities, it also brings new challenges, including vulnerability to exploitation, language barriers and lack of social support. Understanding the situation of migrant girls will help businesses to capitalise on skill sets and minimise the likelihood of association with forced labour and human trafficking. 

Investing in refugee women and girls to mitigate risks of exploitation

The stats

The number of female migrants and refugees entering Europe has been steadily decreasing over the past two years as overall numbers drop. Following a peak in 2015, with over one million people arriving by sea, approximately 362,753 people arrived in Europe in 2016.  The UNHCR estimated that two third of this figure were women and children. By contrast, so far in 2017, 158,108 people have arrived, of which women constitute 12.6%, and children 18.1%.

Women who travel alone or without male relatives are vulnerable to sexual violence, exploitation and trafficking at the hands of smugglers, the security services, and fellow male migrants and refugees. Many women and girls are also forced to engage in transactional sex to pay for their crossings and that of their families. As a result, many arrive in Europe pregnant or with small children.

Female migrants and refugees often have the additional burden of being the primary caregiver for children and the elderly during transit. This means they need additional support during migration and upon arrival at their destination. However, adequate healthcare and support services are rarely available during transit, and those in refugee camps are often overburdened and under resourced. This places additional pressure on women - particularly those alone with children or elderly relatives - to find jobs, making them vulnerable to exploitation in the informal labour market or in the sex industry.  

As of 2017, modern slavery riskshave increased in 20 EU countries, with Romania, the Czech Republic, Malta, Portugal, Italy and Hungary topping the list of the worst performing countries. This result is mainly driven by the fact that these countries are key entry points for undocumented migrants and refugees, who are extremely vulnerable to exploitation. Whether highly skilled or poorly educated, most arrive with little or no money and lack official documentation, which hinders their access to formal employment, housing, health and educational services. As such, many are forced to work in the informal economy, mainly in agricultural production, manufacturing and domestic work, where they are unprotected by the law, and vulnerable to labour exploitation and sexual abuse.  The map below represents the amount of female migrants in European countries, as a percentage of the whole population.

European migrationSyria map

Impact on business

Women and girls are disproportionately affected by sexual and labour exploitation, particularly in Turkey, which is home to the largest number of Syrian refugees and a major supplier to the European market. Women and girls account for over 55% of the Syrian refugee population in Turkey. Many of these are employed without work permits in garment factories and on commercial farms. The manufacturing industry is largely unregulated, with an estimated 47% of women working in textiles, leather and wood production employed informally. Agriculture in Turkey accounts for 20% of paid female labour, with 96% informality even before the refugee crisis began.

As well as being vulnerable to conditions of forced labour, refugee women and girls in Turkey are at high risk of sexual exploitation both in and outside the workplace. NGOs have reported Syrian women and girls being harassed and pressured into having sex by workplace supervisors.  Likewise, many adolescent Syrian girls are forced by their families and circumstances to marry older Turkish men for money. This is more common in families where there is no father or older brother to provide financial support.

Consequently, major European brands sourcing goods from these industries are therefore at risk of association with modern slavery and exploitation of women in their supply chains.

Business solutions

OECD and EU indicators reveal that labour market outcomes for female refugees lag behind other groups, particularly in the short to medium term. This is due to a variety of factors including the influence of traditional gender roles in home countries, lower levels of education and skills compared with male counterparts, and lack of family support and other resources for childcare. However, with populations ageing in Europe and the demand for low-skilled labour increasing, particularly in the caring and services sectors, female refugees represent a potential future workforce.

Forward-thinking businesses can invest in programmes to educate and train refugee women and girls in Europe to integrate them into the workforce. The Women’s Refugee Commission advocates creating mentorship programmes and internships for young girls who cannot legally work full-time to improve future labour market participation and reduce vulnerability to exploitation. Businesses can also lobby governments to provide refugee and undocumented migrant women with work permits to enable them to work in the formal sector, where they are protected by labour laws. Providing refugee women with equal chances to succeed in the workplace will also lead to less dependence on humanitarian aid, even when they return to their countries when the conflicts they have fled are over.

To date, approximately 100 companies in Germany have joined We Together, a group taking the initiative to integrate refugees into the German workforce and wider society. As of January 2017, this group has created internships and apprentices for over 2,000 refugees. Other initiatives have been undertaken by companies such as Chaigaram in London, which employs refugees to sell tea across the city’s food markets. Bread & Roses has also established a programme to help refugee women improve their English and build their skills through arranging and selling floral bouquets. The company provided training for seven refugee women in its last programme, and has since launched a new programme in October 2017. 


Conflict disproportionately affects women and young girls due to increased rates of sexual and physical violence during conflict, and the changing of social roles due to community disruption. Understanding how women and girls are negatively impacted by conflict and security arrangements is crucial to responsible business operations in emergency contexts. Businesses sourcing from or operating in countries affected by conflict may be exposed to weak or absent rule of law. Therefore, they may choose to invest in the protection of women and girls in emergency situations, while developing internal strategies to keep women and girls safe at work. 

Women, girls and sexual violence: what is the responsibility of business?

The stats

Sexual violence is often under-reported by victims, as well as by state authorities. Under-reporting is especially likely in countries where local culture leads families and communities to shun victims, or where state institutions are dysfunctional due to conflict or widespread corruption. Consequently, in some countries, low rates of reported sexual violence may simply indicate that victims are not free or encouraged to report. In contrast, a higher reported rate may reveal a functional and tolerant reporting environment.

According to UN Women, one in three women worldwide has experienced physical or sexual violence.  The majority of cases – up to 70% in some countries - are perpetrated by intimate partners such as husbands and boyfriends or ex-husbands and ex-boyfriends. Physical and sexual violence against women and girls occurs in every country around the world. For instance, in Equatorial Guinea, 31.9% of women report experiencing sexual violence at least once in their lifetime. This is also the case for 38.9% of women in Mexico, 35.6% of women in Fiji and 19.5% in South Korea. The US and Australia also record significant levels of sexual violence. In both countries, 19% of women have experienced it in their lifetime. However, given global data reflects reporting rates, the real level of violence that women and girls experience is likely to be higher.

Although reported rates of sexual violence all fall below 20% in the European Union, there is considerable variation within the region. The bigger northern economies tend to record higher rates of sexual violence. At 19%, Denmark reports the highest percentage of women who are victims of sexual violence; in the UK, the rate is 14%. Rates fall below 10% in more than half of all the EU countries listed, including Ireland, Slovenia, Spain and Greece. The lowest rates of sexual violence – those under 5% – are found in Portugal, Poland, Croatia and Cyprus.

Statistics also show a high prevalence of physical and sexual violence against women and girls in Africa. Conflict and population displacement are major drivers of such abuses. A recent study found that physical and sexual violence against women is double the global average in South Sudan, which is about to enter its fifth year of civil war. Rape and other severe physical and sexual abuses are often used as weapons of war by opposing forces, to the detriment of women and girls. The study revealed that approximately 65% of women and girls interviewed in South Sudan reported experiencing sexual or physical violence, and 50% reported having suffered domestic abuse.

Such abuses are also driven by discriminatory attitudes towards women and girls, which can result in forced and early marriages, polygamy and social acceptance of domestic abuse. In patriarchal societies, where men hold the balance of power and women are largely confined to the traditional roles of wife and mother, violence is often accepted as an inevitable fact of life. Where women perceive their status as being lower than that of men, many believe that their husbands are justified in beating them. This is particularly common in African countries, where 75.9% of women in the DR Congo, 92.1% of women in Guinea and 84.8% of women in the Central African Republic believe that their husbands are right to use physical violence against them.

Sexual violenceViolence in the US

Impact on business

High levels of physical and sexual violence in society have a direct negative impact on the workforce. Experiencing violence during adolescence may disrupt girls’ attendance at school and negatively affect their educational attainment. In the long term, this means that more girls are likely to be excluded from the pool of qualified workers available, restricting many to lower skilled and lower paid work. A 2011 study by researchers in the United States found that sexual abuse, and rape, in particular, had a negative effect on children’s education and on their future employment performance and earnings. In 2008, violence and abuse accounted for approximately 37.5% of all health costs in the US, or about USD750 billion.

Women who are subject to physical and sexual violence as adults are more likely to miss work, or to quit or lose their jobs as a result of the trauma suffered. Not only does this mean that workforce continuity or productivity will be disrupted, but in cases where women perform important roles or highly skilled tasks, the business is at risk of losing valued employees. A 2016 study by McKinsey found that violence against women could cost the United States USD500 billion annually. This includes USD4.9 billion in direct costs including medical bills, lost productivity and loss of earnings. Factors such as pain and suffering and lower quality of life contribute to the overall cost of USD500 billion.

Likewise, a 2013 study by UN Women found that, in Vietnam, out-of-pocket expenses and lost earnings related to violence against women represented nearly 1.4% of total GDP. The study also found that women experiencing violence tend to earn 35% less than those who do not, suggesting that those who are abused find it more difficult to enter higher skilled and higher paid positions. Similarly, a study by the Open University found that the cost of domestic violence in the UK is as much as 10% of GDP, a much higher estimate than previously thought. Additionally, according to the UK government, sexual violence costs the economy approximately GBP3 billion (USD4 million) every year, with half accounting for employees’ lost wages and half borne by employers for sickness absences.  

The threat of sexual violence may also have wider ripple effects on the workforce, especially where businesses are reliant on lower skilled women, but fail to provide a safe environment. For example, in many low-skilled manufacturing jobs in the developing world, women are often physically and sexually abused at the hands of male managers and supervisors. 

Business solutions

Businesses have a responsibility to provide a safe and secure environment for women in the workplace. By conducting proper due diligence of their sites to understand the types of risks that women may encounter, companies can take the necessary actions to protect their female employees. This will also enable them to meet a number of the Sustainable Development Goals, including target two of SDG 5 on the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls in the public and private sphere.

Training is a key tool by which safety can be strengthened in the workplace. For example, the HERproject led by Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) helps to reduce the risk of sexual violence by training factory workers, line supervisors, clinic nurses and human resources staff in all aspects of feminine health and wellbeing, including harassment and abuse. The HERproject derives its success from the empowerment of women by sharing knowledge and transforming them into health ambassadors.

Sexual violence in society also has a direct impact on workers, and there is a strong imperative for businesses to invest in programmes that are designed to improve the safety of women outside the workplace. Examples of societal initiatives include the programme led by LifeWater International, which provides schools with proper toilet facilities so that girls do not drop out once they begin menstruating. The organisation also provides safe water sources to rural villages in Ethiopia, Uganda and Cambodia so that women and young girls do not have to travel for miles each day, and risk being attacked, to collect water.  In larger urban areas, companies can support initiatives such as ActionAid’s Safe Cities for Women. This campaign challenges governments and businesses in 20 countries to make cities safer, better enabling women and girls to live and work without fear.