24 October 2005

UNICEF priority countries for girls' education

Two of the UN Millennium Development Goals address education:
  • Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
  • Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
Goal 3 states further that gender disparity in primary and secondary education was to be eliminated preferably by 2005 and at all levels of education no later than 2015. Data on school attendance in 2005 is not yet available but recent estimates make clear that a large gender gap continues to exist in many countries, especially in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

UNICEF has identified 25 priority countries to reduce the number of girls currently out of school. The 25 countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, India, Malawi, Mali, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sudan, Tanzania, Turkey, Yemen and Zambia.

UNICEF priority countries for girls' education
Map that highlights the 25 priority countries of UNICEF for progress in girls' education

The countries, highlighted in the map above, were selected if they met the following criteria:
  • female primary school net enrollment rate below 70%,
  • gender gap in primary education above 10%,
  • more than 1 million girls out of school,
  • included in the Education for All Fast Track Initiative of the World Bank,
  • affected by crises like HIV/AIDS and military conflict.
During the past weeks I presented data on primary school attendance, secondary school attendance, educational attainment and primary school completion in India, the largest of the 25 countries listed above. Over the coming weeks I will assess the progress of other countries toward the Millennium Development Goals.

Friedrich Huebler, 24 October 2005, Creative Commons License

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