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Goal 3: Empowering Women

When a country educates its girls, its mortality rates usually fall, fertility rates decline, and the health and education prospects of the next generation improve.

Unequal treatment of women—by the state, in the market, and by their community and family—puts them at a disadvantage throughout their lives and stifles the development prospects of their societies.

Illiterate and poorly educated mothers are less able to care for their children.

Low education levels and responsibilities for household work prevent women from finding productive employment or participating in public decision making.

To improve girls’ enrollments, the social and economic obstacles that keep parents from sending their daughters to school must be overcome.

For many poor families, the economic value of girls’ work at home exceeds the perceived returns to schooling.

Improving the accessibility of schools and their quality and affordability is a first step. Globally, 55 percent of countries achieved the first target by 2005.

Latin America and Europe and Central Asia can now focus on the second target. But huge improvement is required in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where only 20 percent and 35 percent, respectively, of countries reached the 2005 target.
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  Gender Figure 1
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The differences between boys’ and girls’ schooling are greatest in regions with the lowest primary school completion rates and the lowest average incomes.

East Asia and Pacific has almost achieved the 2005 target. In some Latin American countries, girls’ enrollments exceed boys’.In Europe and Central Asia a strong tradition of
educating girls needs to be sustained. In Middle
East and North Africa more girls are overcoming
the strong bias against them.

TARGET 4: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and at all levels of education no later than 2015.

Gender Figure 2
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Gender figure 3
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Even in regions that have achieved the target on average, such as Eastern Europe and Central Asia, some countries still fall short.

And in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, where large numbers of children are out of school, girls are at a severe disadvantage.

Fragile states lag behind in achieving gender parity in enrollment, and more than 50 percent of these countries do not have sufficient data to assess their progress.



Sub-Saharan Africa countries have some of the largest and smallest gender inequality gaps.

In Kenya, Madagascar, and Tanzania, girls’ completion rates are over 5 percent higher than boys’ completion rates, while boys’ completion rates are over 10 percent higher in Chad, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Morocco.

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Although the gender gap in school enrollments has declined in most regions, the gender gap in labor force participation remains.

Age patterns of labor force participation show that compared to young men, fewer young women make the transition from school to work, and this gender gap tends to persist throughout the life cycle.

However, the size of this gap varies considerably across regions. The gender gap is the largest in South Asia and the smallest in Europe and Central Asia.



 


 

 

 

 




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