Gender and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

MDG 3: to promote gender equality and empower women

The Millennium Declaration explicitly recognizes that the equal rights and opportunities of women and men must be assured. The MDGs acknowledge that gender can have a major impact on development, helping to promote it in some cases while seriously retarding it in others.

MDG 3 calls for an end to disparities between boys and girls at all levels of education. Nevertheless, the relevance of gender equality to development cannot be confined to education. Thus, while only one of the MDGs is specifically about gender, addressing gender is of critical importance to every MDG.

WHO/Europe's work on gender is closely aligned with that on the MDGs addressing child mortality (MDG 4) and maternal health (MDG 5) to ensure that gender is taken into consideration in programmes and policies to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health, where empowering women and involving fathers have proved to be effective interventions.