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RIGHTS > Report highlights problems in Turkey

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News

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Turkey is performing poorly in terms of education quality and the rate of women’s employment, according to the United Nations’ annual Human Development Report, which was released yesterday.

Turkey, ultimately, finished 97 out of 187 countries listed on the human development index, which also addressed urgent global challenges such as sustainability and equity.

The report includes the scores for the human development index, which measures long-term progress in three categories – life expectancy, access to knowledge and standard of living.

Turkey increased its education rate by 4.9 percent between 1998 and 2011, yet the country is still below the average of countries in Europe and Central Asia.

“In 1980, the policies were not regulated by considering the future generations,” prominent economist Asaf Savaş Akat said yesterday at Istanbul Bilgi University during a news conference to reveal the report.

It is important to try and keep students in school until they are at least 16, Akat said, but added that the policies of education officials ignored the importance of preschool and kindergarten.

Asked by the Hürriyet Daily News whether a growing population would pose a problem for education officials, Shahid Najam, the U.N. resident coordinator and UNDP resident representative in Turkey, said the concerns were not a big deal but added that it was important to educate the population and use the power of one’s human capital.

Gender inequality remains problem in Turkey

The human development index also highlighted Turkey’s low level of female employment and comparatively poor maternal mortality rate, which is higher than European countries and neighbors like Azerbaijan.

Some 27 per cent of adult women have a secondary or higher level of education compared to 46.7 per cent of their male counterparts, the report said. Some 24 percent of Turkish women work, the report said, noting that this figure was 59.5 percent in Azerbaijan. Emphasizing that the female labor rate was very low in Turkey, Akat said that even when women receive an education, they are prevented from participating in the labor force.

According to the report, 23 of 100,000 women die from pregnancy-related causes.

“The ratio shows that many women still have to deliver their child in undesirable conditions, such as in rural places that lack hospitals or doctor’s offices,” said journalist Mehmet Altan.

November/03/2011

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