One way of conceptualizing educational quality is that it is a function of effectiveness, efficiency, responsiveness, equality, relevance and sustainability (Barrett et al. 2006). Quality education rejects gender discrimination and social injustice. Gender equality in Ethiopia, as an anchor of quality education, has long been explained numerically. The Annual Abstracts the Ministry of Education published each year do not clearly indicate the regions’ Gender Parity Index (GPI). The lack of such kind of data made it difficult to see gender parity beyond numbers. Employing concurrent mixed method design, of about 2,934 student universe, 314 populated the sample using stratified random sampling. The results showed that the gender parity index for the region for 2016 is 0.52 in favor of boys with previous indices not more than 0.6. The gender parity index set in MDGs to be eliminated for 2015 is far from achievement. Inequality to access to education is found to perpetuate further forms of inequalities like differences in the learning process, academic achievement, and post-schooling opportunities all in favor of boys and men. Boys’ advantages gained early in access and learning processes transform into disproportionately greater advantages in post-school opportunities subjecting girls and women into greater inequalities. Efforts to achieve equality in life outcomes has been challenged by several factors like lack of creation of gender sensitive schools and policies, societal attitude and awareness towards schooling, child labor, domestic works, weak school laws that did not annul gender biases, and economy of the student or parents. The creation and development of gender sensitive schools with regulations that outlaw gender biases, the development and administration of gender policies, the creation of awareness on society-wide approach are some of the recommendations made.
Key words: Gender, equality, challenges.
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