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Education For All - 'Global Monitoring Report 2015 , Gender Summary'

Education For All 'Global Monitoring Report 2015, Gender Summary'

The vision agreed upon at the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal, in 2000 was clear and transformational: long-standing gender bias and discrimination undermine the achievement of education for all (EFA). Until all girls and women exercise their right to education and literacy, progress in achieving EFA will be stymied, and a dynamic source of development and empowerment will be squandered. Fifteen years later, the road to achieving gender parity and reducing all forms of gender inequalities in education continues to be long and twisting. This report provides detailed evidence of how much has been achieved in the past 15 years but also where considerable – some quite intractable – challenges remain. It highlights notable progress in gender parity in primary and secondary education, particularly in South and West Asia, while underscoring the persistent barriers to achieving gender equality in education. The lack of progress in literacy among adult women is especially stark: in 2015 an estimated 481 million women, 15 years and over, lack basic literacy skills, 64% of the total number of those who are illiterate, a percentage virtually unchanged since 2000.

What can be done to eliminate gender-specific obstacles in education and create a more gender-just world? This report describes an array of country efforts, some quite effective, to achieve and go beyond gender parity in education. Many of these policies and programmes focus on the immediate school environment in which girls learn. Others focus on the informal and formal laws, social norms and practices that deny girls their right of access to, and completion of, a full cycle of quality basic education. The analyses and key messages in Gender and EFA 2000–2015 deserve careful scrutiny as the world embarks on a universal, integrated and even more ambitious sustainable development agenda in the years to come.

EFA Global Monitoring Report 2015, Key Messages:
Progress towards gender parity in primary and secondary education has been one of the biggest education success stories since 2000.
 ¦ Between 2000 and 2015, the number of girls for every 100 boys has risen from 92 to 97 in primary education and from 91 to 97 in secondary education.
 ¦ There are 84 million fewer out of school children and adolescents since 2000; 52 million of these are girls. 
 ¦ The number of countries that have achieved gender parity in both primary and secondary education from 2000 to 2015 has increased from 36 to 62.

Nevertheless, major challenges in achieving parity remain:
 ¦ Fewer than half of countries will have achieved the Education for All goal on gender parity in primary and secondary education by 2015. No country in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to achieve parity at both levels by the deadline.
 ¦ Gender disparities widen the higher up the education system you go.  In pre-primary education, 70% of countries have achieved gender parity, compared to around 66% in primary, 50% in lower secondary, 29% in upper secondary, and only 4% in tertiary.
 ¦ Girls, and particularly the poorest, continue to face the greatest challenges in accessing primary school. Nine percent of children around the world are out of school. Among these, almost half of the girls will never set foot in a classroom, equivalent to 15 million girls, compared with just over a third of the boys. However, while girls are less likely to enroll in primary school in the first place, boys are more likely to leave school early.
 ¦ Gender disparities in secondary education are closing, but still remain and are most extreme for girls.  In 2012, there were at least 19 countries with fewer than 90 girls for every 100 boys, of which the majority were in the Arab States and sub-Saharan Africa.
 ¦ Boys are more likely than girls to drop out of upper secondary education. Only 95 boys for every 100 girls complete this level, with barely any change since 2000. In OECD countries, 73% of girls compared with 63% of boys complete upper secondary education on time.
 ¦ More women than men are enrolled in tertiary education except in South and West Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, extreme disparities are increasing rather than decreasing at this level.
 ¦ Gender gaps in youth literacy are narrowing. However, fewer than seven out of every ten young women in sub-Saharan Africa are expected to have basic literacy skills by 2015.
 ¦ The lack of progress in literacy among adult women is particularly stark: two-thirds of adults lacking basic literacy skills are women, a proportion unchanged since 2000. Half of adult women in South and West Asia and sub-Saharan Africa cannot read or write.

A shift in focus is needed from parity to gender equality to enable all, and especially girls and young women, to reap the full benefits from education. 
 ¦ Structural barriers and entrenched discriminatory social norms contribute to gender inequality, including early marriage and early motherhood, gender-based violence, traditional seclusion practices, the favouring of boys in families’ education investment, and the gendered division of household labour.
 ¦ Child marriage is a persistent barrier to girls’ education. In 2012, almost one in five women married were between 15 and 19 years of age.
 ¦ Long distances to travel and the lack of good water and sanitation in schools disproportionately impact girls’ chances of staying and completing their education. A one hour reduction in the time spent walking to a water source increases girls’ enrolment by 18-19% in Pakistan and 8-9% in Yemen.
 ¦ Direct or hidden costs for education can disadvantage girls in particular where families’ resources are limited. Yet, in a review of 50 countries, one-quarter of households spent more on education than governments
 ¦ Increasing the number of female teachers and gender-sensitive teacher training help schools to effectively challenge gender stereotypes and entrenched discriminatory social norms.
 ¦ Boys can be affected by social and gender norms too, resulting in disengagement from their education and increased drop outs. This can be exacerbated by poverty and the need to pursue employment.


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