Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Meeting Millennium Development Goals Relies on Gender Equality

ADB News Release

A report issued by the ADB, the UN Development Program, and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific states that gender equality is necessary if the MDGs are to be met.

The report, titled “Pursuing Gender Equality Through the [MDGs] in Asia and the Pacific,” states that gender discrimination in the region is still widespread, even though social and economic benefits of equality have been shown.

ADB Vice-President Geert van der Linden said, “For Asia and the Pacific to achieve the MDGs, women's full participation, involvement in and contribution to the development process is needed.”

Equality in education is the one target of the MDGs that is faring the best. Unfortunately, this has not led to equality in other facets of society, such as employment, economic participation, access to healthcare, or political participation.

There are two gender specific MDGs—maternal health and women’s empowerment.

The paper offers some courses of action directed at meeting the equality goals. It does this while acknowledging that “strong political commitment” is necessary in addition to a change in “prevailing social norms and attitudes.”

For a related article on Cambodia’s novel approach to increasing female enrollment in secondary education, see this news release.

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