UN: UNESCO says gender parity in education not achieved by all countries

New York, US (PANA) - Fewer than half the countries had achieved the goal of ensuring gender parity in both primary and secondary education before 2015, according to a new gender report compiled by UNESCO.

The 'Gender and Education for All (EFA) 2000-2015' report, released  by UNESCO’s Global Monitoring Report (GMR) and UN Girl’s Education Initiative, also revealed that no country in sub-Saharan Africa has been able to meet the gender equality goal.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, in a statement on the report, which was
released Monday to mark the International Day of the Girl Child, stated: "Educating a girl
educates a nation. It unleashes a ripple effect that changes the world unmistakably
for the better."

Noting that the international community has recently agreed a new ambitious
agenda to achieve a sustainable future, she said: "Success in this endeavour is simply
not possible without educated, empowered girls, young women and mothers."

According to the report, girls continue to face challenges in accessing primary school,
and almost 15 million girls will never set foot in a classroom compared to over a third
of boys who are out of school.

The report showed that although the divide in gender inequalities in secondary education
is reducing, the gap still remains wide.

Arab States and sub-Saharan African regions record the highest numbers in gender
disparity. In Central African Republic and Chad in 2012, half as many girls as boys
were in secondary school.

The report also indicated that boys were more likely to drop out of secondary
education than girls. Since 2000, it has been recorded that only 95 boys for every
100 girls complete upper secondary level.

Additionally, gender disparity gaps in youth literacy are gradually narrowing. However,
less than seven out of every 10 young women in sub-Saharan Africa are expected
to be literate by 2015. Two thirds of adults who lack basic literacy skills are women.

The report pointed out that gender based violence in schools was a factor in holding
back education attainment. Also, child marriage is another manifestation of gender discrimination which acts as a persistent barrier to girls’ education.

According to the report, almost one in five women, who got married in 2012, were
aged 15 to 19.

Mr. Aaron Benavot, Director of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report.
stated: "Lacking any other way of measuring gender equality, we have focused
on getting equal numbers of boys and girls in school.

"But we will never achieve this unless we tackle the roots of imbalance: social
barriers and entrenched discriminatory social norms.

"Unless we begin to understand equality as a much broader concept, girls and
young women will never be able to reap the full benefits of education."

The report produced an online interactive tool which showed that in
sub-Saharan Africa, the poorest girls were almost nine times more likely to set
foot in a classroom than the richest boys.

In Arab States, one fifth of the poorest girls have never been to school,
compared to one-tenth of the poorest boys. However, in Latin America and
the Caribbean, 55 per cent of boys as compared to 62 per cent of girls in
rural areas complete lower secondary education.

The report also noted that even though the goal of gender parity has not
been met by all, the progress achieved so far is one of the biggest education
success stories.

"Since 2000, number of countries that have achieved the goal of gender
equality in both primary and secondary education has risen from 36 to 62,"
it said.

Although 62 million girls are denied the basic right to education, the number
of out-of-school girls has declined by 52 million in the last 15 years.

The report further stressed the need to integrate gender issues into all
aspects of policy and planning in order to achieve gender equality.

"For this, a mix of legislative change, advocacy and community mobilization
must be initiated," it suggested, calling on governments, international
organizations and education providers to work together to tackle
school-related gender based violence.
-0-   PANA   AA/AR  12Oct2015

12 october 2015 19:13:45




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