Gender and education for all: the leap to equality

Publication date: 
January 2003

What is the current progress that countries have made to attain universal primary and secondary education, to improve literacy and educational quality for boys and girls? To address the status of this global commitment, this report offers a comprehensive review of gender disparities in school retention, repetition and attainment. They note that schooling costs and biases, poor security, unfair treatment and lack of opportunities are key biases to gender equitable education, and that many countries are far from achieving gender equality at primary and secondary school levels as a result.

The authors also note how the threat of and experiences of violence at school, which is often underreported and not persecuted, and affects more girls than boys, is one of the most significant challenges to gender equitable education. The authors offer legislative, policy and programmatic recommendations to address such disparities and promote gender equality including training teachers on issues of gender awareness, reducing direct costs of schooling, providing incentives for families to send children to school, tailoring measures to the most disadvantaged boys and girls, ensuring legal measures to ensure non-discrimination and protect fundamental freedoms, and providing comprehensive SRH and HIV education.

Publication place: 
UNESCO (2003/2004) Gender and education for all: the leap to equality, Paris: UNESCO