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.
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