MORE girls than boys now complete their secondary education in 32 of the 34 countries that are members of the OECD, a think-tank, according to a new report published today.
Only in Germany and Switzerland do girls lag behind. Moreover, female graduates greatly outnumber male graduates. Overall they account for 58% of graduates within OECD member states in 2009, the most recent year for which data are available, up from 54% in 2000.
Men, however, continue to dominate the sciences: some 60% of science graduates are male. Women make up almost three-quarters of the graduate body in health and welfare, and almost two-thirds in humanities and the arts.
Some of the differences in graduation rates between countries are striking. In Estonia, which has the highest proportion of female graduates, more than two-thirds are women.
Many are bound for classroom careers: an astonishing 92% of those studying education are female. By contrast, in Japan, just over two-fifths of graduates belong to the fairer sex, and teaching remains relatively male by rich-world standards.