In 2007, African countries showed overall progress in gender equality and the empowerment of women. Gender parity in primary education is likely to be achieved by most countries. However, parity decreases in secondary education, and the gap is widest in tertiary education.
In primary and secondary education, the West African countries of the Gambia, Guinea, Mauritania, and Senegal made the greatest progress in achieving gender parity. In tertiary education, although data are inadequate, North Africa countries leads the continent, as Tunisia and Algeria have significantly surpassed gender parity to the extent that now have more women than men enrolled in universities and colleges.
Significant change in the proportion of women in African national parliaments was seen in 2009. Of the 37 African countries with available data 31 countries have increased the proportion of parliamentary seats held by women. Rwanda, Angola, Angola, Mozambique, and South Africa lead the continent with an attempt to meet the target. While Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Egypt, and Cameroon) show a regression between 1991 and 2009. More attention needs to be paid to female representation in national parliaments for this to translate into concrete development outcomes.
The target is to ‘Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels of education no later than 2015’ The indicators are 1. ratios of girls to boys in primary, secondary, and tertiary education; 2. share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector; 3. proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments.
Summary of the ‘Assessing Progress in Africa toward the Millennium Development Goals MDG Report 2010′ on MDG3 by Ayodele Doyinsola, edited by Biodun Awosusi.