Part I. Taking stock of gender equality -- 1. A wave of progress -- 2. The persistence of gender inequality -- Part II. What has driven progress? What impedes it? -- 3. Education and health: where do gender differences really matter? -- 4. Promoting women's agency -- 5. Gender differences in employment and why they matter -- 6. Globalization's impact on gender equality: what's happened and what's needed -- Part III. The role of and potential for public action -- 7. Public action for gender equality -- 8. The political economy of gender reform -- 9. A global agenda for greater gender equality.; The 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development finds that women's lives around the world have improved dramatically, but gaps remain in many areas. The authors use a conceptual framework to examine progress to date, and then recommend policy actions.