Over the past 50 years women and girls in developing countries have made enormous progress. Plenty of data illuminates this trend. Take life expectancy at birth: it went from 54 years in 1960 to 72 years in 2008. During the same period, we experienced the world’s fastest ever decline in fertility. These changes reflect gains for women on many fronts, including education, employment, access to reproductive health and decision-making power, and it all happened much faster than it did in today’s rich countries. It took India 44 years and Iran just 10 to reduce the number of children born to a woman from six to three; in the U.S., it took 123 years. Two thirds of all countries have reached gender parity in primary education enrollment, and in more than a third, more girls than boys are in school. In a striking reversal of historical patterns, women now represent the majority of university graduates. And more than half a billion women joined the labor market in the past three decades, which means that today four in 10 workers globally are women.