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MDG 3 Achieving equal rights and opportunities for women and girls




The Millennium Development Goal (MDG 3) of gender equality and empowerment of women will determine India’s long-term sustainable development. It is also the right thing to do. India’s progress on MDG 3 is mixed. India will achieve targets in girl’s education and literacy, but lags behind on improvements to women’s economic empowerment and equal representation for women in Parliament. Progress has been satisfactory at the primary level, but barriers are still being faced in secondary and tertiary education. Women’s participation in the labour market is extremely low and stagnant. Most women work in informal jobs with little protection or job security. Some estimates suggest India could increase GDP by 25% if women’s employment share matched men’s. India should increase equitable representation of women in politics and all other areas of decision-making especially the civil service and the private sector. Post-2015, targets and monitoring for gender equality and women’s empowerment must improve to include all aspects of women’s participation in society and address violence against women and discriminatory attitudes and social norms.

Suggested Citation

  • Unescap-Sswa, 2015. "MDG 3 Achieving equal rights and opportunities for women and girls," SSWA Policy Briefs 0003, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) South and South-West Asia Office.
  • Handle: RePEc:eap:pbsswa:pb0003

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