Girls in Iran missing out
More children than ever are going to school, in part because more girls are going to school: That’s the good news from UNICEF’s latest “Progress for Children” report, focusing on gender parity in primary school attendance.
However millions of girls are still denied a basic education. While the gender gap in primary school attendance is shrinking globally, in many parts of the world it still yawns wide. The barriers keeping girls out of school in the developing world not only rob them of future opportunity, but impact their very health and survival.
“Education is about more than just learning. In many countries it’s a life-saver, especially where girls are concerned,” said UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy. “A girl out of school is more likely to fall prey to HIV/AIDS and less able to raise a healthy family.”
“Low quality schooling and inexperienced teachers means retention, completion and transition for girls in some of
Negative attitudes towards female education continue to exist in these areas too. Some families still view girls as better engaged in housekeeping and child care activities. Whilst they may allow their daughters to go to primary school nearby, they are reluctant to let them travel long distances to reach secondary school.
“Gender parity is a prerequisite if the world is to achieve universal primary education by 2015, the target date set by the UN for a key Millennium Development Goal”, added Ms Egge. “That’s why UNICEF focuses on helping Iran keep girls in the classroom, thus ensuring they have the same basic rights as boys. “
To help achieve gender parity in
UNICEF, as one of the lead agencies in the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI), is committed to narrowing the gender gap in primary and secondary education by 2005 and to ensuring that by 2015, all children complete primary schooling. UNGEI is a partnership that embraces the UN system, governments, donor countries, non-governmental organizations, civil society, the private sector, and communities and families.