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This report distills vast data and hundreds of studies to shed new light on constraints facing women and girls worldwide, from epidemic levels of gender-based violence to biased laws and norms that prevent them from owning property, working, and making decisions about their own lives. It highlights promising reforms and interventions from around the world and charts an urgent agenda for governments, civil society, development agencies and other stakeholders.
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In this study on gender equality, researchers asked 4,000 people in 20 countries to describe the gender norms in their communities and the influence those norms have on their lives and their every-day decisions. The researchers spoke with men and women, youth and adults, living in villages and cities in developing countries, as well as higher income countries.
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Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5, Target 5A calls for the reduction of maternal mortality ratio by three-quarters between 1990 and 2015. As part of on-going efforts,  World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the World Bank revised and improved earlier methods to estimate maternal mortality in 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, and 2008; and developed methodology to present trends in maternal mortality from 1990 to 2008 at country, regional, and levels.
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This landmark World Health Organizatin (WHO) study analyses data from interviews with over 24,000 women in countries representing diverse cultural, geographical and urban/rural settings. The study uncovers the forms and patterns of violence against women across these locations and finds that violence from intimate male partners is a major contributor to women's ill-health.