A report issued by UNESCO asserts that while there has been significant progress in the number of girls attending school, girls are still facing discrimination in gaining access to schooling in most developing countries. According to the report, “discrimination against girls and women remains pervasive in most societies, in education and more generally.”
Girls working in the home, early marriage, HIV/AIDS, and the costs of education are a few of the factors contributing to the lack of access of education for girls, reports UNESCO. The report states that girls in 54 countries face discrimination in receiving an education, particularly in countries in sub-Saharan African, Pakistan, India, and China. In contrast, the report notes that girls outnumber boys in school in Suriname, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines, and Malaysia.
At the World Education Forum in Senegal in April 2000, 164 countries made a commitment to eliminate gender disparities in enrolment in primary and secondary education by 2005. By 2015, the hope is to achieve gender equality.