6 Promote gender equality and empower women

Where do we stand?

Women are assuming more power in the world’s parliaments, boosted by quota systems.

Legislated or voluntary quotas were used in 39 chambers holding elections. Such measures impact positively on women’s access to parliament. However, quotas alone are not enough: political parties need to field more women candidates.

Proportion of seats held by women in single or lower houses of national parliament, 2000 and 2014 (Percentage). Source: The Millennium Development Goals Report 2014.

Bar Chart
  • In Southern Asia, only 74 girls were enrolled in primary school for every 100 boys in 1990. By
    2012, the enrolment ratios were the same for girls as for boys.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania and Western Asia, girls still face barriers to entering both primary
    and secondary school.
  • Women in Northern Africa hold less than one in five paid jobs in the non-agricultural sector.
  • In 46 countries, women now hold more than 30 per cent of seats in national parliament in at least one chamber.

Read more in The Millennium Development Goals Report 2014

UNDP’s work around the globe

2015: Time for Global Action
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Ensuring that leaders take ambitious decisions to reduce poverty and inequality and protect our planet this year is everyone’s responsibility.

Here’s how you can do your part...
Targets for MDG3
  1. Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015
    • Ratios of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education
    • Share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector
    • Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament