Achieve universal primary education & Promote gender equality and empower women

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2achieveeducationGoal Two: Achieve Universal Primary Education

Target 2.A: Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.

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  • Literacy rates among adults and youths are on the rise and gender gaps are narrowing. Globally, there were 95 literate young women for every 100 young men in 2010, compared with 90 women in 1990.
  • New national data show the number of out-of-school children dropped from 102 million to 57 million from 2000 to 2011.
  • Primary education enrolment in developing countries reached 90 per cent in 2010.


BUT across 63 developing countries, girls were more likely to be out of school than boys among both primary and lower secondary age groups. The gender gap in school attendance widens in lower secondary education, even for girls living in better-off households.

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3genderequalityGoal Three: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

Target 3.A:  Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015.

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  • Steady progress has been made towards equal access of girls and boys to education, though disparities remain between regions and education levels.
  • Globally, the share of women employed outside of agriculture rose to 40 per cent, but rose to only 20 per cent in Southern Asia, Western Asia and Northern Africa.
  • The global share of women in parliament continues to rise slowly and reached 20 per cent in 2012—far short of gender parity, though an increase of one percentage point was seen during 2012.


BUT Gender parity in schooling worldwide is closest to being achieved at the primary level; however, only 2 out of 130 countries have achieved that target at all levels of education.

 Globally, 40 out of 100 wage-earning jobs in the non-agricultural sector are held by women. But women still enter the labour market on an unequal basis to men, even after accounting for educational background and skills.

 As of 31 January 2013, the average share of women members in parliaments worldwide was just over 20 per cent. At the pace witnessed during the last 15 years, it will take nearly 40 years to reach the parity zone in parliaments.

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Next» UN MDGs 1 & 4


Education of the Girl Child

History of Girls’ Education in Kenya

Gender Issues and Education in Kenya

Female Genital Mutilation and Education in Kenya

Education and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals 2015

UN MDGs 2 & 3

UN MDGs 1 & 4

UN MDGs 5 & 6

UN MDGs 7 & 8

*Icons and Fact Sheets courtesy of the United Nations Millennium Goals



Website: J Golden

Research Asst: H Sadkowski

& P Haastrup

Site Design: W Cudlip

Photos: J Golden, Ryerson University

& N Cole 


Professor Jean Golden Ryerson University


Site Designer: Walt Cudlip



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