Saturday, April 18, 2015

Women overtaking men in education

In most regions, women are surpassing men with degrees at Bachelors’ and Masters’ levels. In many countries, this is not a recent phenomenon and already two decades ago, women had reached parity in obtaining degrees. They are now fast catching up with men in gaining doctoral degrees. UNESCO reports that globally, women outnumber men in Bachelor’s degrees and that women are more likely to pursue Master’s degrees, representing 57 per cent of graduates. Women, however, face considerable barriers as they move up the education ladder to research careers, according to UNESCO. 
Men surpass women in virtually all countries at the highest levels of education, accounting for almost 55 per cent of all PhD graduates and 71 per cent of researchers.24 The highest proportion of women researchers are found in the Latin American and Caribbean region with 45.2 per cent, followed by Europe with 34 per cent average.25 Differences in the choice of study focus between men and women are declining in many areas. While engineering for example is still dominated by men, more women are taking up this area in an increasing number of countries, as shown in Figure 5 above. Nevertheless, there are countries where the number of women qualifying as engineers is declining.

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