The Millennium Development Goals and the gender gap

Jonathan Glennie discusses the millennium development goals’ promise to narrow the gender gap.

‘A common criticism of the Millennium Development Goals is that they are not political enough. Actually, there are good reasons for that, such as the need to get buy-in from a very diverse set of countries and politicians. But one area of the MDGs is highly political: gender equality. Perhaps that is why, as a new UNIFEM report published this week insists, progress on the gender equality dimensions of the MDGs is slower than on other aspects.

Importantly, there are some areas where we need to look behind the statistics to see what is really happening. Take education. MDG3 calls, among other things, for gender parity in education (primary, secondary and tertiary). Well the data in a recent UNICEF report appears to be very promising. It shows that while girls are still disadvantaged in primary school enrolment in developing countries (although they are catching up), boys tend to be the ones going less to secondary school in most regions, and particularly in Latin America. It appears to be the case in a number of southern African countries as well. And in Mongolia…’

For more see Jonathan’s blog entry here

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