Most countries have achieved gender parity in primary education, but disparities still remain, mostly at girls’ expense

Primary education provides the foundation for a lifetime of learning. Providing universal access to, and ensuring the completion of, primary education for all girls and boys is one of the key areas of concern identified in the Beijing Platform for Action adopted in 1985. Since then, considerable progress has been made in achieving universal primary education and closing the gender gap in enrollment. Two thirds of countries have reached gender parity (defined as having a gender parity index (GPI) value between 0.97 and 1.03) in enrolment in primary education, but in countries that have not reached parity, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, girls are more likely to be disadvantaged than boys. In both Angola and Chad, for example, the GPI value is 0.77, meaning that 77 girls are enrolled in primary school for every 100 boys.