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MDG 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

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African Views

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This week’s topic: Education and Its role in Promoting Gender Equity

Gender parity index for gross enrolment ratio in primary, secondary and tertiary education (Girls’ school enrolment ratio in relation to boys’ enrolment ratio), 1998/1999 and 2008/2009 (Girls per 100 boys).

At the level of secondary education, the Caucasus and Central Asia, Northern Africa and South-Eastern Asia have achieved gender parity. However, girls remain at a distinct disadvantage in Oceania, Southern Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Western Asia. In contrast, girls have surpassed boys in Eastern Asia and in Latin America and the Caribbean when it comes to participation in secondary school.

The picture is quite different at the tertiary level of education. It is at this level that the gender parity index for the whole of the developing world is highest, at 97 girls for every 100 boys. But it is also where the greatest gender disparity is observed. Among the developing regions, only Eastern Asia and Northern Africa have achieved gender parity in tertiary education. Participation rates are either skewed heavily in favour of boys, as in Oceania, Southern Asia, sub- Saharan Africa and Western Asia, or in favour of girls, as in the Caucasus and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and South-Eastern Asia.

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