UN Millennium Development Library: Taking Action
Achieving Gender Equality and Empowering Women
The Millennium Development Goals, adopted at the UN Millennium Summit in 2000, are the world's targets for dramatically reducing extreme poverty in its many dimensions by 2015 income poverty, hunger, disease, exclusion, lack of infrastructure and shelter while promoting gender equality, education, health and environmental sustainability. These bold goals can be met in all parts of the world if nations follow through on their commitments to work together to meet them. Achieving the Millennium Development Goals offers the prospect of a more secure, just, and prosperous world for all. The UN Millennium Project was commissioned by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to develop a practical plan of action to meet the Millennium Development Goals. As an independent advisory body directed by Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, the UN Millennium Project submitted its recommendations to the UN Secretary General in January 2005. The core of the UN Millennium Project's work has been carried out by 10 thematic Task Forces comprising more than 250 experts from around the world, including scientists, development practitioners, parliamentarians, policymakers, and representatives from civil society, UN agencies, the World Bank, the IMF, and the private sector. This report lays out the recommendations of the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Education and Gender Equality. The Task Force recommends seven strategic priorities: strengthen postprimary education for girls while ensuring universal primary education; guarantee sexual and reproductive health and rights; reduce women's and girls' time burdens; guarantee property and inheritance rights; eliminate gender inequality in employment; increase women's participation in government; and significantly reduce violence against women. Action on these priorities will enable countries in every region of the world to achieve gender equality and women's empowerment by 2015.
Table of Contents
Foreword -- Task force members -- Preface -- Acknowledgments -- Abbreviations -- Millennium Development Goals -- Executive summary -- Chapter-1 A problem with a solution -- Chapter-2 Task force perspective on gender equality and empowerment -- Defining gender equality and empowerment -- The case for the seven strategic priorities -- Chapter-3 Strengthen opportunities for postprimary education for girls -- Why strengthening girls’ opportunities for postprimary education is a strategic priority -- Progress toward gender equality in education, 1990-2000 -- The costs of gender inequality in education to productivity and economic growth -- Interventions to increase gender parity in primary and secondary education -- Chapter-4 Guarantee sexual and reproductive health and rights -- Why guaranteeing sexual and reproductive health and rights is a strategic priority -- The costs of poor reproductive health -- Interventions for sexual and reproductive health and rights -- Chapter-5 Invest in infrastructure to reduce womens and girls* time burdens -- Why reducing women’s and girls’ time burdens is a strategic priority -- Interventions for gender-responsive infrastructure -- Conclusion -- Chapter-6 Guarantee womens property and inheritance rights -- Why guaranteeing women’s property rights is a strategic priority -- The status of women’s property rights: the gender asset gap -- Interventions for property rights -- Chapter-7 Reduce gender inequality in employment -- Why reducing gender inequality in employment is a strategic priority -- Changing patterns in women’s employment, 1990-2000 -- Gender inequalities in employment -- Interventions to decrease gender inequality in employment -- Conclusion -- Chapter-8 Increase womens representation in political bodies -- Why women’s increased political representation is a priority -- Slow progress in women’s political participation, 1990-2000 -- Interventions to increase women’s political representation -- Chapter-9 Combat violence against women -- Why combating violence against women is a strategic priority -- Prevalence of violence against women -- The costs of violence against women -- Interventions for combating violence against women -- Chapter-10 Data and indicators for monitoring progress -- Indicators for the seven strategic priorities -- Recommendations for data gathering and strengthening statistical systems -- Chapter-11 The financial costs of interventions to achieve gender equality -- Financing interventions to achieve gender equality in education and to provide reproductive health services -- The UN Millennium Project needs assessment -- Conclusion -- Chapter-12 Making it happen -- Commitment and mobilization of change agents -- Technical capacity to implement change -- Institutional structures and processes -- Adequate financial resources -- Accountability and monitoring systems -- Country case studies -- Gender mainstreaming in MDG-based country policy processes -- Conclusion -- Appendix 1 Education projections and country level education data -- Appendix 2 Reproductive health statistics -- Appendix 3 Employment statistics -- Appendix 4 Statistics on womens political participation -- Appendix 5 Employment indicators -- Appendix 6 Summary of e-discussion facilitated by ActionAidy United Kingdom -- Notes -- References.
The Millennium Project was commissioned by the UN Secretary-General and sponsored by the UN Development Group, which is chaired by the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. The report is an independent publication that reflects the views of the members of the Task Force on Education and Gender Equality, who contributed in their personal capacity.