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Millennium Development Goals

Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

Women and girls are worst affected by poverty. Only 18 of 113 countries are on target to have all girls in school by 2020.

The MDG on gender aims to make sure women and men are treated equally. This starts with getting as many girls into school as boys. Cultural values often mean boys get priority when it comes to going to school. This MDG also calls for increased protection and promotion of women’s rights and for women to be less burdened with domestic responsibilities. It encourages countries to promote women’s choices on fertility, sexuality and marriage. Specific recommendations include adoption of laws to protect women from violence and discrimination in society and in the workplace, and make it possible for them to become leaders.

The educational opportunities for girls, though still unequal, are improving. There have also been modest improvements in women’s political representation worldwide, and in their access to the labor market, though women are typically paid less and have less secure employment than men.

Target 1
Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2020

  • For girls in some regions, education remains elusive
  • Poverty is a major barrier to education, especially among older girls
  • In every developing region except the CIS, men outnumber women in paid employment
  • Women are largely relegated to more vulnerable forms of employment
  • Women are over-represented in informal employment, with its lack of benefits and security
  • Top-level jobs still go to men — to an overwhelming degree
  • Women are slowly rising to political power, but mainly when boosted by quotas and other special measures

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Quick Facts

  • In 2008, there were 96 girls for every 100 boys enrolled in primary school, and 95 girls for every 100 boys in secondary school in developing regions.

  • The share of women employed outside of agriculture remains as low as 20 per cent in Southern Asia, Western Asia and Northern Africa.

  • The global share of women in parliament continues to rise slowly and reached 19 per cent in 2010 — far short of gender parity.

  • 96 Gender parity in primary education is improving, with the gender parity index at 96 percent or higher in most developing regions.

  • 44 Globally, the female net secondary school attendance rate is 44 per cent.

  • 52 In developing countries, 52 million girls were out of primary school in 2006 as compared to 47 million boys.

  • 1 in 3 About 1 in 3 of countries achieved gender parity in secondary education by 2005.

  • 1 of 3 About one of three countries achieved gender parity in secondary education by 2005.
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Uganda


Philippines


Philippines


Nepal

MDGs and MV

Help secure the Millennium Development Goals with Meaningful Volunteer.

Quick MDG Fact

500,000 More than 500,000 women die each year from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
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