The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) call for the elimination of gender disparity at all levels of education by 2015 but according to the GED, only 85 of 157 countries with data will have reached gender parity in primary and secondary education by 2015, if current trends continue. 23 countries are unlikely to reach the goal at the primary level and 63 countries are unlikely to do so at the secondary level.
Gender disparities in access to education are greatest in sub-Saharan Africa, South and West Asia, and to a lesser extent in the Arab States. In these regions, fewer girls than boys are enrolled in primary, secondary and tertiary education. The opposite - gender disparity in favor of girls - can be observed in tertiary education in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America and Western Europe.
Other topics discussed in the Global Education Digest 2010 include: the differences between boys and girls in terms of progression through and completion of primary and secondary education; the interaction between gender, socio-economic status, geographic location, ethnicity and other factors as determinants of participation in education; differences in learning achievement of boys and girls; trends in adult literacy; women's choice of field of study at the tertiary level of education; and national education policies.
The statistical tables in the GED were updated with data up to 2008 for most indicators. All data are also available at the UIS Data Centre.
- UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). 2010. Global education digest 2010: Comparing education statistics across the world. Montreal: UIS. (Download in PDF format, 8 MB)
- Global Education Digest 2009
- UNESCO releases data from 2008 education survey
- EFA Global Monitoring Report 2010
- Official MDG targets and indicators
- Trends in adult literacy, 1990-2008
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