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Gender Parity and Primary Education: Number 2, April 2005 View All Reports >
Social, economic and demographic upheaval has affected education systems.

CEE/CIS had a primary NE/AR of 88 per cent in 2001. This was exceeded only by East Asia/Pacific and Latin America/Caribbean in the developing world. It did, however, also show a lower AARI between 1980 and 2001 (0.35 per cent) than any other developing region. In part this reflects the strong base from which the region was working, as governments had long tended to make education a priority.

The relatively high starting levels of participation mean the acceleration necessary to reach the goal of universal primary education by 2015 is certainly achievable.

As always, the regional averages cloud the differences between countries. The highest NE/ARs in 2001 were in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (97.5 per cent), Albania (97.2 per cent) and Tajikistan (96.0 per cent). The lowest ratios are found in the countries most disrupted by conflict and ethnic tension, such as Serbia and Montenegro (76.2 per cent) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (86.2 per cent), as well as Azerbaijan (79.9 per cent). Serbia and Montenegro in particular suffered a catastrophic drop in primary participation during the 1990s, the period dominated by civil war and international sanctions.

In overall regional terms, gender parity has already been achieved at the primary level by 2005. Indeed all individual countries are on track to meet the 2005 target except Tajikistan (0.95), with Turkey projected to increase from 0.93 in 2001 to 0.96 in 2005.

The national averages tend to mask the disparities within countries. Discriminatory practices work against the participation of children of ethnic minorities and children with disabilities. In addition, within minority groups, such as the Roma, girls face higher risks of non-attendance and dropout than boys. In general, gender disparities are still emerging following the post-transition breakdown of the social construct.

Progress for Children
Gender Parity
Eastern/Southern Africa
West/Central Africa
South Asia
Middle East and North Africa
CEE/CIS and Baltic States (You are here)
Latin America and the Caribbean
East Asia and Pacific
Industrialized Countries