State of the World’s Girls 2016-2017: Counting the Invisible

Counting the Invisible: Using data to transform the lives of girls and women by 2030
3 October 2016

Reports from Plan International reveal how improving the data we have about girls will help create a just world and equality for all.

Millions of girls are ‘invisible’ to governments and policy makers because vital data is not being recorded about their lives. Our ‘Counting the Invisible’ report reveals how improving the information we have about girls could have a massive impact on the quest for gender equality by 2030 as set by the Global Goals.

‘Counting the Invisible’ explores the state of gender data and exposed the gaps. It uncovers the fact that we don’t count how many girls leave school because of early marriage, pregnancy or violence, or exactly how many girls give birth before they turn 15, how many hours a day they spend working, what kind of work they do and whether they get paid for it.

It reveals that only by identifying girls’ needs and listening to their voices can we help make real change possible.

Download options

report (english)


2.34 mb

report (francais)


2.58 mb

report (espanol)


2.53 mb

report (portugues)


2.55 mb

2017 Update: Girls’ rights and realities

Our ambition to illuminate the reality of girls’ lives has led to the publication of three new reports showing how girls from parts of Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Nicaragua really feel about their circumstances and their lives.

We have discovered that social isolation caused by restricted freedoms, domestic duties and child marriage, is emerging as a major, unrecognised barrier to equality for adolescent girls. For example, 84% of girls interviewed in Pakistan said married girls must ask permission from their husbands or in-laws just to leave the house.

We have also discovered some uncomfortable truths about the prevalence and impact of gender-based violence in some of these communities and the worrying attitudes towards it, both from girls themselves and their male peers.

Pakistan Report


2.31 mb

Nicaragua Report


2.22 mb

Zimbabwe Report


2.14 mb

Campaigns, child marriage, Gender-based violence, Out-of-school children, Teenage pregnancy