June 2022

Most countries have achieved gender parity in primary enrolment, but in many countries, disparities disadvantaging girls persist

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 1995. Since then, considerable progress has been made in achieving universal primary education and closing the gender gap in enrollment. More than 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 Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, girls are more likely to be disadvantaged than boys. In Chad and Pakistan, for example, the GPI value is 0.78 and 0.84 respectively, meaning that 78 girls in Chad and 84 girls in Pakistan are enrolled in primary school for every 100 boys.


Gender and education data

Additional external resources

[1] UNESCO, Fixing the Broken Promise of All: Findings from the Global Initiative of Out-of-School Children, Montreal, Canada, 2015.

[2] OECD (2019), PISA 2018 Results (Volume II): Where All Students Can Succeed, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris,