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Esri’s Story Maps Capture the Impact of Empowering Girl’s and Women’s Rights

October 2016
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Micki Burton

Image: UN Sustainable Development Goal

Last year, the United Nations convened to agree on the most important global development initiative to focus on until 2030, launching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These 17 goals are accompanied by hundreds of targets and indicators; as such, with many organizations implementing the SDGs into their work, it is crucial that the data collection process be thorough and accurate, to track and measure impact, specifically around girls and women.

As a leader in geographic information and technology, Esri has committed to tracking data on the SDGs, to highlight and advance many goals. Although the data collection process will span the course of 15 years, initial information on many countries is being shared. One method Esri has deployed to share initial data are Story Maps, one of Esri’s unique tools that allow users to build and present geographic data in dynamic, captivating ways.

We are particularly inspired by their map Celebrating Women’s Rights, created as part of Global Goals Week earlier this year. Paying particular attention to four of the SDGs, this map emphasizes the importance of empowering girls and women to advance the progress of every other Sustainable Development Goal.

One of the SDGs highlighted in the map is goal 4, related to quality education. We at the IDP Foundation are aligning our work with the Goals, especially this one, in every way possible. Through our research and on-the-ground work in Ghana, we know there are more barriers to entry when it comes to schooling for girls, having to do with access, female health, and cultural stigma associated with going to school after a certain age. We know that educated individuals can be a boon to their local economies as entrepreneurs, teachers, doctors, researchers, public servants, and beyond. Empowered by education, they have seemingly unlimited potential to impact their communities, countries, and the world at large.

This Story Map clearly and concisely presents the significant role that gender parity plays in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. You can explore the map here, and learn more about what Esri is doing to capture sustainable development data here.

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