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EFA Global Monitoring Report 2003/4 - THE LEAP TO EQUALITY
Released 6 November 2003. All countries have pledged to eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005. According to the 2003 edition of the EFA Global Monitoring Report, 54 countries are at risk of not achieving this goal on present trends.More than 56 percent of the 104 million out of school children are girls and over two-thirds of the world’s 860 million illiterates are women.But reaching equality is not just a question of numbers. It implies the same chances of learning, of benefiting from equitable treatment within the school and the same opportunities in terms of employment, wages and civic participation.This new edition of the Report highlights innovative and best practice, suggests priorities for national strategies and examines how the international community is meeting its commitments towards EFA.
"The goals of Education for All (EFA) are centrally concerned with equality. If children are excluded from access to education, they are denied their human rights and prevented from developing their talents and interests in the most basic of ways. Education is a torch which can help to guide and illuminate their lives. It is the acknowledged responsibility of all governments to ensure that everyone is given the chance to benefit from it in these ways. It is also in the fundamental interests of society to see that this happens – progress with economic and social development depends upon it."

Mr. Koïchiro Matsuura
The Director-General of UNESCO

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