Reports highlight huge gap between genders in Turkey
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
This file photo shows women carrying wood in eastern Siirt. Turkey ranks 124th out of 135 countries in terms of its success in achieving gender equality. AA photoTwo recent reports, one local and the other global, have highlighted the inequality between men and women in Turkey, especially regarding employment and education issues.
According to the World Economic Forum’s “Global Gender Gap Index 2012,” Turkey ranked 124th out of 135 countries in terms of its success to achieve sex equality. Another report prepared by TurkStat and presented to the Parliamentary Commission on Equality of Opportunity between Genders revealed similar dismal results as it points to an imbalance of female employment in the education sector.
According to a local report by TurkStat titled “Women by Statistics” – said to be the first such detailed and comprehensive study in Turkey on issues like violence against women, women’s education and employment – in the education sector the rate of women’s employment declines in higher education institutions. While the employment rate of women at preschool education facilities is almost 99 percent, the rate of female employment in elementary schools is 52.9 percent. The fraction of female teachers at intermediate schools is 42.5 percent, and the number of female academics is only 40.9 percent.
According to state-run Anatolia news agency, the report says female participation in higher education is increasing. While female employment among academics was only 36.7 percent in the 2001-2002 academic year, in 2011-2012 the figures reached 40.9 percent, according to the report. According to report data released by Anatolia, 4.9 percent of rectors at state universities in 2011 were female, while the data is slightly better in private universities with 6.8 percent.
The Global Gender Gap Index, which benchmarks national gender gaps on economic, political, education and health criteria, and provides country rankings that allow for effective comparisons across regions, income groups and over time, is designed to measure gender-based gaps in access to resources and opportunities in individual countries rather than the actual levels of the available resources and opportunities in those countries.
The index’s 2012 list was topped by Iceland, to be followed by Finland, Norway, Sweden and Ireland. Turkey maintains gender equality in terms of index criteria only better than Oman, Egypt, Iran, Mali, Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Chad, Pakistan and Yemen.
In detailed rankings based on the four subindex categories, Turkey may be seen as slightly better than its overall ranking. For example, Turkey is the 108th most successful country in maintaining gender equality in educational attainment. This category is topped by a tie between Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Brazil, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Latvia, Lesotho, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Slovakia, United Arab Emirates and United States.
In the political empowerment category Turkey ranks 98, better than most of its neighbors in the west and east. Iceland tops this list. In the economic participation and opportunity category, however, Turkey’s rank declines from its average rank by five rungs to 129. The top country in this subcategory is Mongolia.
Turkey is the least successful in maintaining gender equality within the upper-middle income group after Iran, according to the “rankings by income group” category.
In the health and survival category Turkey has a higher ranking at 62. The top countries in this category are Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, Côte d’Ivoire, El Salvador, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Guatemala, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Philippines, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Thailand, Uganda, Uruguay and Venezuela.