Despite recent awareness of the need to ‘mainstream’ gender perspectives into public policy, and in responses to economic inequity and growing poverty, practice often seems to continue to place gender equity as a secondary goal. Are the Millennium Development Goals any different? This article argues that – taking Belize as a case in point – the absence of gender disparities in schooling (the core of the single gender-based Millennium Development Target) has led to neither improved gender equity in the workforce, nor improved gender shares of national income. Even if the gender-relevant Target and associated Indicators are met, the accompanying Goal to ‘promote gender equality and empower women’ may therefore fall far short of achieving any real progress. Gender equality in education may be a necessary condition for improving gender equity in political and economic relations, but it is not a sufficient condition for doing so.
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