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Millennium Development Goals: Gender Parity in Higher Education 2007 [Chart]


The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight goals related to poverty, education, gender equality, health, environmental sustainability and development set in the year 2000 at the UN Millennium Summit, and adopted by 189 nations. The eight MDGs are associated with 21 quantifiable targets, tracked by 60 statistical indicators in annual reports issued by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The goals target attainment in the year 2015. Country-by-country data is also available.

Compared with a century ago or more, when female education was rare, girls’ access to education has improved dramatically. The charts measure gender parity by the number of girls enrolled per 100 boys in tertiary education such as colleges, universities, and technical training programs. A figure of 100 represents a 1:1 ratio, or parity. The charts show a higher proportion of girls than boys taking advantage of higher education after completing secondary schooling. In four world regions—Northern Africa, Southeastern Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), significant gains for young women in higher education took place, their enrollment even overtaking that of young men. If this cohort completes higher education programs, it will have significant implications for the employment picture in these regions in the near future. Elsewhere in the world, fairly significant gains in girls’s participation in higher education took place, but fell short of achieving parity. Only in Sub-Saharan Africa was there a slight decline in gender parity during the period. Further, in developed regions, young women are enrolled in higher education at 129% of young men’s enrollment, and in developing regions they have achieved 96% of parity.


United Nations, Millennium Development Goals Report 2009, "MDG Report 2009 ENG.pdf (application/pdf Object)." <a class="external" href=""></a> (accessed July 7, 2009).

How to Cite This Source

"Millennium Development Goals: Gender Parity in Higher Education 2007 [Chart]," in Children and Youth in History, Item #287, (accessed August 10, 2021). Annotated by Susan Douglass