Just over 25 years ago in 1995, 189 governments adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – a visionary agenda for women’s empowerment and the most comprehensive global policy framework to advance gender equality to date. Girls’ and women’s education and training featured in the document as one of 12 key areas where urgent action was needed to ensure greater equality.
Since Beijing, the international community has emphasized the transformative power of girls’ and women’s education and its benefits – not only for girls and women, but for entire societies and even future generations. Under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on inclusive, equitable quality education and lifelong learning sets ambitious targets to ensure equality of opportunity – including a target aiming to ensure that all girls and boys complete 12 years of education by 2030.
This short paper explores the evolution of girls’ and boys’ completion rates in primary and secondary education since 1995 – and calls for action to deliver on our commitments to leaving no one behind.