6 Promote gender equality and empower women

Where we are?

The progress of Ethiopia’s performance on this goal has been significant given its low baseline. The gender disparity (ratio of girls to boys) in primary education has improved from 0.85 in 2006/07 to 0.93 in 2011/12 and from 0.59 in 2006/07 to 0.83 in 2011/12 in secondary education. Gender disparity gets broadened as it goes to the higher education level. Gender disparities stand at 0.88 and 0.76 in secondary education first cycle (grade 9 – 10) and second cycle (grade 11 – 12), respectively in 2011/12.

The country is on course to eliminate gender disparities in primary education but more effort is required to raise progression from primary to secondary schools among girls in order to eliminate gender disparities at secondary and tertiary levels by 2015. Early marriages, especially among children from rural and poor households, tend to inhibit educational progression among girls from primary to secondary level. The median age at first marriage increased marginally from 16.1 years in 2005 to 16.5 years in 2010/11 (EDHS, 2011). The number of girls being married by the age of 18 varies across regions, ranging from 12% in Addis Ababa to 58% in Beninshangul-Gumuz. Similarly, the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) has declined from 5.9 in 2000 to 4.8 in 2011, but this too varies significantly across regions. For example, fertility rates are lowest at 1.5 in Addis Ababa and highest at 7.1 in the Somali Region.

Fertility rates are highly correlated with educational attainment by women, where women without formal education have higher TFR of about 5.8 compared to 1.9 and 1.3 among women with secondary
education and post-secondary education, respectively.

UNDP's work in Ethiopia

  • Mulu Birhanu in front of her office

    Accessing Free Legal Aid in Ethiopia

    Mulu Birhanu is disabled 24 year young woman with a BA degree in Marketing Management and a job in the Ethiopian Capital Addis Ababa. Mulu perseveredmore

Targets for MDG3
  1. Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015
    • Ratios of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education
    • Share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector
    • Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament