The 2019 UNESCO Gender Report

Content Manager • 15 August 2019

      Education is at the heart of the goals that the international community set itself to achieve by 2030. This is why UNESCO is prioritising gender equality in and through education. The reality today is that even though some may enjoy greater access to education in parts of the world, gender inequality persists in education. Girls and young women continue to be discriminated against, especially with regard to the opportunities they are offered upon leaving school.

      This is why this global Report stresses the need for broader thinking and action to achieve more than just gender parity in education, because, if access to education remains an absolutely vital issue for sustainable development, and we must continue to work to promote it especially when it is not achieved, we must also consider more than just parity in numbers.

      To fully achieve gender equality in and through education, we must ensure that girls, once they enter school, remain in school and benefit from opportunities similar to those of boys in their educational journey and at the end of school. This includes making schools a place where gender stereotypes are deconstructed and fought.

      This Report invites readers to explore all the factors that perpetuate gender inequalities in schools. It provides tools to enable governments to analyse the situation in their own countries and to develop strategies for change. For the first time, this Report also provides a study of national education plans, focusing on countries with the greatest gender disparities in education.

      The 2019 Gender Report is based on a monitoring framework first introduced in the 2016 Global Education Monitoring Report. In addition to focusing on gender parity in education participation, attainment and learning achievement, the framework examines broad social and economic contexts (gender norms and institutions) and key education system characteristics (laws and policies, teaching and learning practices, learning environments, and resources). 

      Finally, the report outlines a range of approaches that bilateral donors, multilateral donors and non-government organizations (NGOs) have taken in recent years to address selected priority areas in girls’ education. It also explores the extent to which education sector plans in 20 education systems with wide disparity at girls’ expense envisage adopting and scaling up such approaches.

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Photo credit: UNICEF/Biju Boro


The views expressed in the article and report are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the SDG Philanthropy Platform. The SDG Philanthropy Platform is a global initiative that connects philanthropy with knowledge and networks that can deepen collaboration, leverage resources and sustain impact, driving SDG delivery within national development planning. It is led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), and supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Ford Foundation, Oak Foundation, Brach Family Charitable Foundation, and many others.