Say Yes, Summer 2003: A Gender Review in Education (1)

Mothers gather on the steps of Çerme Primary School in Eastern Turkey, Spring 2003

Parents were invited to a meeting at Çerme Village Primary School, Kars in Spring, 2003 in order to discuss girls’ attendance.
Photograph by Nur Otaran
© UNICEF Turkey 2003


Together with our partners in the Ministry of National Education (MONE), UNICEF has been taking stock of the situation regarding the education of girls in this country and the result is a A Gender Review in Education, Turkey 2003 coordinated by Dr Nur Otaran. On the following pages we offer a brief overview of the document which highlights the multi-dimensional nature of the learning environment and investigate how families, communities and institutions can approach the problem and effect a change for the better.

According to the State Institute of Statistics (SIS), Turkey’s population was just under sixty-eight million in 2000 with almost 60% living in urban areas. The average per capita income is equivalent to US$2,584. The average life expectancy is 66 years for men and 71 years for women. The latest census shows that twenty-four million people are under eighteen years of age and six and a half million of those are under five. Out of 193 countries, Turkey ranks 79th for U5MR and 85th out of 174 countries in the UNDP Human Development Report (HDR), 2002.

In recent years, Turkey has seen much in the way of achievement and innovation in education. However, in many parts of the country education remains an issue of exclusion where it should be exclusively an issue of quality. This is so because even though the population is divided equally between the sexes there is, by tradition, a divide of gender inequality.

Girls in rural areas and the poorer gecekondular of urban centres may consider themselves fortunate to have finished primary level education because many of their peers have not. For their sake and the sake of Turkey’s future development goals, this needs to be remedied.

Together with MONE, UNICEF Turkey is committed to changing this: the foremost goal for 2005 is to ensure that rates of enrolment for girls and boys in primary education are on a par -- the driving principle of the campaign for girls’ education.

Continue to part 2, Families.

Read the full version of A Gender Review in Education, Turkey 2003 online or download the document in pdf format [PDF 632KB].

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