Half of the Globe’s Countries Get a Failing Grade

Photo Credit: www2.unescobkk.org


The United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO) gives failing grades to more than 50% of the globe’s countries in ensuring gender parity in education in both primary and secondary schooling.  (See more: “Gender Parity in Education Achieved in Less than Half World’s Countries.”)   Says Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General, “Educating a girl educates a nation. It unleashes a ripple effect that changes the world unmistakably for the better.”


According to the report, at the primary school level, 15 million girls have never entered a classroom. The greatest disparity at the secondary school level was highest in the Arab States and sub-Saharan Africa, with less than seven out of ten sub-Saharan African women literate.  This trend continues into adulthood in sub-Saharan Africa where two-thirds of the adults lacking basic literacy skills are women. Contributing factors in the denominator include child marriage, gender-based violence in the classroom, social barriers, and entrenched discriminatory norms.  However, the report gives a gold star to progress since 2000 in total number of countries achieving gender parity in both primary and secondary education rising from 36 to 62, and the decline of out of school girls by 52 million.


The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, H.R.H.  Prince Zeid  has made the case:

“Access to education is the key that unlocks many kinds of achievements and choices. It is a right in itself, but also a multiplier right. Empowered by education – an education of quality, which stimulates curiosity, sharpens critical skills, and builds competence – girls can grow up to deploy their skills. They can make choices about their health, work and personal life. And they will be more able to fight successfully for the full range of their human rights, including the right to fully participate in the decisions that shape society.”  (See  Diplomat Artist Global Citizen: “Why Girl’s Education Matters.)”


For a “really free” gender parity education, there must be unimpeded access to education and the tools to complete education. (Also see Diplomat Artist Student Diplomats “Universal Global Education.”)  “Education is a Human Right” must be the mindset of family, governments, educators, and society at large.   (See Video Blog  produced by Montclair State University Students – “Is Education a Human Right?“)


By, Susan Sacirbey




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