Women around the world have achieved extraordinary things during the past century. But despite major steps forward in securing political, cultural and social rights, women everywhere face steep challenges compared to their male counterparts.
Some women struggle to access education or healthcare, while others are battling for better wages.
There are also genuine dangers, including the threat of female genital mutilation, domestic violence or sexual abuse.
Despite this, many feel there has never been a better time to be a woman and new opportunities are opening up all the time.
All around the world, more women are entering higher education, gaining legal rights and protections, and offering their daughters the chance of a brighter future.
So how can we tell this complex, nuanced story - the story of 3.5bn people in more than 200 countries?
One month, many questions
During October 2013 the BBC's 100 Women season will seek to shine a light on life for women in the 21st Century - the risks, challenges and opportunities they face every day, in every country.
And we want our global audiences to tell us what they think:
- How are women faring in the 21st Century economy where you live?
- Will women take on a bigger role in politics and business? Or is there a "global glass ceiling"?
- Are the demands of motherhood and family life destined to hold back the tide of progress?
- Speaking of progress, what about feminism? Does it still have a role?
- Does religion empower women, or keep their rights in check?
- What do you see as the biggest risks women face? What about the biggest opportunities?
- And - of course - what about the media? How are we doing? Do we misrepresent women? Do we tell their stories properly?
Throughout October our global network of correspondents will try to answer some of the questions above. But we want to hear your stories as we go along.
Our season will close with a conference on Friday 25 October when 100 women from around the world - some high-profile, many less well-known - will join us at our London HQ for a day of debate and interaction.
The conference will be streamed online and broadcast live in English on BBC World News TV and World Service radio, as well as by many of our 27 global languages services.
The 100 Women season is a chance for women to be represented, involved and inspired - and we want you to have your say.
You can get in touch via email, text message and social media - including on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #100Women.
- Thank you to everyone who contacted the BBC about the 100 Women series. Here is how we have used some of your comments and responses: Your views on 21st Century life for women