All nations are committed, via their espousal of the Millennium Development Goals, to eliminate gender disparities in education over the next few years. This policy brief examines the major causes of existing inequalities in education, based upon an assessment of recent research results, and sets out lessons for policy change. Although the causes of inequality are complex, policy reforms to improve women's rights in the household and the market place, to reduce the direct costs of schooling to households, and to improve school quality in gender-aware ways can do much to encourage and sustain increased enrolments amongst both girls and boys. Although the 2005 target of achieving gender parity at primary and secondary levels has been missed, that for 2015 can be reached if carefully focussed reforms are employed.
Centre for Commonwealth Education, University of Cambridge, UK, 4 pp.