- ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’
In 2008, there were 96 girls to every 100 boys enrolled in primary school, and 95 girls for every 100 boys in secondary school in developing regions.
Target 1: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2005, and in all levels of education by 2015.
We are active in Argentina and Nicaragua and are currently focusing on this MDG.
Girls Beat Boys in Bangladesh
Incredibly, Bangladesh has been so successful in achieving MDG3 that it now has more girls than boys enrolled in primary education. The ratio in 2011 was 52:48, constituting a huge change from the situation 10 years ago. Furthermore, 90% of primary school teachers are now female, indicating the government's success in increasing female participation in the social service sector. To read more about Bangladesh's triumph, including testimonies from girls themselves, click here.
International Women’s Day
March 8th was the 101st celebration of International Women’s Day. The anniversary aims to connect women across the world and inspire them to work together to promote gender equality and women’s liberation, in a world where many are still downtrodden or oppressed. Read Joel Edward’s thoughts on the day here.
The crisis in maternal health
Dirk Jena, who works for the UN Population Fund, comments on the state of maternal health in developing countries, why it is important and what needs to be done to achieve MDG3. Click here to read her views.
Angola’s battle for better education
Angola is making a concerted effort to improve primary education within its borders. In order to achieve this, the government is focusing on teacher training, so as to be able to provide a good level of education. Watch this video from Unicef to see how the situation is developing.
Mauritius Introduces Quota for Female Election Candidates
Thanks to a new law in Mauritius, at least one third of local election candidates must now legally be women. Although not yet true for the national level, women remain hopeful as Mauritius continues to reform its electoral process. Read this article from the Guardian to hear the optimistic reactions of several women candidates.
Widow Uses Pepper To Wipe Her Tears
This story from Malawi shows the transformation that women’s empowerment can bring. Egifa Nambazo didn’t know how to feed her family after her husband’s death, unti she joined the National Association of Smallholder Farmers of Malawi (NASFAM) and became a chilli grower. Since starting her own business, she not only feeds her own family, but now also supports some of her nieces and nephews as well. NASFAM prioritise the empowerment of women, understanding that they have a vital role to play in development if only they are given the correct opportunities.
To read more about Egifa’s story and female empowerment in Malawi, click here.
Visibility and Self-Esteem For Girls
The Guatemalan project Creating Opportunities is recognising the importance that changed and informed attitudes can have in increasing women’s involvement in society, as well as empowering them to decide their own futures. The program aims to “break the poverty cycle and enable Guatemalan girls to reach their full potential”. Read more about women’s conditions in Guatemala, the scheme and the difference it is having here.
Inspiring role model
The lives of women such as Malawi’s Vice-President Joyce Hilda Banda demonstrate that females can make a different in the fight against poverty. To read more about this leader’s exceptional life, click here.
A Gendered World
The gap in boys’ and girls’ education remains a substantial challenge to the fulfilment of the MDGs, although significant progress has been made. Take a look at The Guardian’s new interactive tool, based on data from the Global Education Digest 2011, to see how the situation has changed over the years. Let’s pray that the next 5 years include significant upward trends…
The World We Want
GCAP have launched their annual report, entitled ‘The World We Want’. The report summarises the progress made on the MDGs as well as information about GCAP’s projects and campaign goals. This year’s report includes a special feature on Gender Justice, highlighting the importance of MDG3.
Because I am a girl: so, what about boys?
Plan International has just published its fifth ‘Because I am a girl’ report, which highlights the need for gender equality, and emphasises in particular the benefits this would have for boys as well as girls. Click here to read a full report.
Watch A study by the Economist on various aspects of economic opportunity for women eg education, maternity leave, equal pay, violence against women.
New Report on Gender Equality
The World Bank have issued a new report which highlights the continued need for improved gender equality, whilst recognising that progress has been made. It comments that gender equality is nothing less than ‘smart economics’. Read the full text here