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Fact of the week



80%: Men in 7 Middle East and North Africa countries who believe that university education is more important for boys.

Millennium Development Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women 
Target: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015

Examining social attitudes on specific issues, such as access to education and income-generating opportunities for women, reveals even more clearly the extent of gender discrimination and how it compares across countries. The World Values Survey reveals that an alarmingly large number of men - who, as this report will show, often hold power in the household allocation of resources for vital services such as education and health care - believe that university education is more important for a boy than for a girl. 

Around two thirds of male respondents in Bangladesh indicate that university education for boys should be prioritized over that of girls – an opinion echoed by around one third or more of male respondents from the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mexico and Uganda, among others. In some countries, men’s opinions on this particular issue were less discriminatory, with only 1 out of every 10 male respondents in China and less than 1 out of every 13 male respondents in the United States holding the same view.

Data: Gross secondary enrolment ratio:UNESCO Institute of Statistics. Net secondary school attendance ratio:Demographic and Health Surveys and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys. The underlying data can be found in the Statistical Tables of this report, page 98.

Source: UNICEF, The State of The World’s Children 2007, New York, 2006.



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