Universal Primary Education by 2015?
Across the world’s poorest countries, desperately poor parents are struggling to get their kids an education that will help them escape poverty. As part of the millennium development goals, the international community responded to this need and pledged to achieve universal primary education by 2015. Despite their intention, government efforts in some poverty stricken nations have done little to reach this goal. Many are now calling for a global children’s fund for education, which would bring together governments, donors, nonprofit organizations and the private sector. Although supporters insist this may be the solution to the global education crisis, critics claim an effort of this scale would require innovative and unprecedented financing solutions. Read it here.
Microcredit Empowers Female Entrepreneurs in Central African Republic
In Central African Republic, one of Africa’s least developed nations, more than half of the country’s population lives below the income poverty line and more than 50 percent is unable to meet basic food needs. However, since 2008 thousands of women in CAR are starting their own business thanks to a microcredit project implemented by UNDP, the UN Capital Development Fund, and local nonprofit organizations in the area. The small loans are intended to help people, especially women, rebuild after years of conflict. Today there are nearly 50,000 people receiving loans and financial services through the program. Read more here.
Instead of Work, More Young Women Head Back to School
Economists say large numbers of workers are dropping out the labor force and most of them are women. For the first time in three decades, there are more women in school than the work force. Many are choosing to pursue graduate degrees in hopes of increasing their job opportunities and growth enrollment for women is significantly higher than men. Read the article here.
Girls and Women Expected to See Progress in 2012
The past quarter century has been full of both challenges and success for girls and women across the world. While the pace of change has been astonishing in some areas, progress toward gender equality has been limited—even in developed countries. The World Bank’s 2012 World Development Report: Gender Equality and Development was recently released and says that progress for the next generation of girls is expected to be seen greatly in the areas of education and healthcare. Download the full report here.
Mexico to Focus on Education in 2012
A recent UNICEF press release shows that Mexico’s 2012 federal budget will focus heavily on providing quality education to children and adolescents, particularly those living in indigenous communities who are often the most marginalized. While Mexico is home to several developed and prosperous regions, there are still those that closely resemble areas in sub-Saharan Africa. The plan proves to be a critical step in improving equity for children in these areas. Read more here.
UNDP Chief Says Social Services Must Reach Girls & Women in South Sudan
While the world’s newest nation has made progress since declaring their independence earlier this year, South Sudan has a tough road ahead. In a recent report, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark says that, “South Sudan has some of the lowest levels of human development in the world.” She went on to say that in order for South Sudan to become a vibrant economy with healthy and educated people, social services must do all they can to reach girls and women. “Only 13 percent of the population has access to basic healthcare, and the ratio of primary school pupils to qualified teachers is a staggering 111 to 1. The maternal mortality rate is three times higher than the average for Sub-Saharan Africa,” she said. “It is imperative that South Sudan is supported now.” Read it here.
Seventy Percent of Yemeni Women are Illiterate
Yemen is the Arab world’s poorest country, with rates of malnutrition at the third highest in the world, higher than anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa. Many are surviving without basic needs such as food, clean water, and clothing. Amongst this imminent humanitarian crisis, girls and women seem to be enduring the greatest hardship as 70 percent of Yemeni women are illiterate. In a country that has consistently ranked lowest in the Global Gender Gap, young girls are desperate for an education. Read it for yourself here.