World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education

UNESCO’s “World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education“, just published this year, responds to the need for a “policy that targets specific problems and bottlenecks” on one of the most important issues — gender equality — for human rights and sustainable development today.

What’s “gender equality”? The report defines it as “more broadly… the right to gain access and participate in education, as well as to benefit from gender-sensitive and gender-responsive educational environments and to obtain meaningful education outcomes that ensure that education benefits translate into greater participation in social, economic and political development of their societies.”

The report observes: “Girls and women remain deprived of full and equal opportunities for education. There has been progress towards parity at the primary level, but this tapers off at the secondary level in developing regions. The global economic crisis is deepening inequalities, made worse by cuts in education budgets and stagnating development support.”

I believe the report could have included Jane Sunderland‘s Gender and Language research, especially in the face of emerging initiatives of governments on Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education.

Here’s the “Contents” page of “World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education“:

Increased worldwide demand for quality schooling

1. School enrolments keeping pace with population growth
2. National wealth: a factor in educational participation and persistence
3. Countries differ in levels of commitment to education
4. Compulsory education laws offer legal basis for education

Girls’ right to education

1. Female enrolment rising at greater rate than among males
2. Gender parity an issue in all countries

Enrolment and gender trends: primary education

1. Participation in pre-primary education on the rise
2. Growing number of countries achieving universal primary education
3. Significant progress in gender parity at the primary level
4. Repetition a continuing obstacle to progress in school
5. Dropout a threat to universal primary education
6. Primary level completion rates on the rise
7. Out-of-school children a continuing challenge
8. Overage children more likely to drop out of school
9. Special challenges of poor children and those in rural areas

Enrolment and gender trends: secondary education

1. Gross enrolment ratios rising at secondary level
2. Upward trends in secondary level gender parity
3. Gross enrolment ratios different at lower and higher secondary levels
4. Out-of-school adolescents a continuing problem

Enrolment and gender trends: tertiary education

1. Gross enrolment ratio soaring at the tertiary level
2. Women are the biggest beneficiaries of rising tertiary enrolments
3. National wealth a major factor in gender gaps at tertiary level
4. Women have edge in graduate degrees up until PhD level
5. Significant gender differences in various fields of study
6. Men continue to predominate in research jobs
7. Multiple reasons for over-representation of women in post-secondary education

Trends in school-life expectancy
Gender trends: adult and youth literacy

1. Significant progress made in push for universal adult literacy
2. Youth literacy on the rise
How policies affect gender equality in education
1. Female role models an important factor in girls’ academic success
2. Secondary teaching force evenly divided among males and females
3. Teachers’ pay a factor in proportion of female teachers
4. Girls more affected than boys by distance to school
5. Females have edge over males in learning achievement

For the complete report, click on World Atlas of gender equality in education.

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