Say Yes, Summer 2003: In This Issue

Three schoolmates having fun after lessons have finished for the day.

Playing with gender -- could they expect better future opportunities if they were boys? Photograph by Rana Mullan © UNICEF Turkey 2003


The gender gap in girls’ education in Turkey is a very big issue for all concerned -- the Government, UNICEF, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the school system itself and of course for Turkish girls themselves. So this bigger issue of Say Yes is almost exclusively devoted to the complex of traditional values, economic deprivation and sheer discrimination which keeps girls from rural districts and the poorer urban areas out of school in Turkey.

The Government and UNICEF’s Haydi Kızlar Okula! campaign for Girls’ Education is an important initiative in this respect. A carefully structured plan has been worked out to ensure that girls who have never attended or who have dropped out of school will in fact complete their schooling. The campaign will be launched on the 17th of June in ten provinces with the lowest rates of enrolment and will be expanded to forty other provinces by 2005.

Read Go Girls!


Prior to the launch of the Haydi Kızlar Okula! campaign, a Gender Review in Education analysing the range of factors contributing to low enrolment rates of girls in primary education here in Turkey was produced by UNICEF and our partners.

The report shows that the issue of gender discrimination in education here in Turkey is a difficult issue bound by a spectrum of cultural, traditional, economic and social attitudes which must be addressed if the gender gap in enrolment rates is to be closed.

Read A Gender Review in Education in this issue.

Read Claiming The Future -- our interview with Dr Otaran, the coordinator of the report in this issue.

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


Relatives wait for news of survivors in front of the wrecked school. Photograph by Sema Hosta © UNICEF Turkey 2003

Following the earthquake in Bingöl, eastern Turkey, which killed 177 and injured more than 520 people on the 1st of May, UNICEF has launched an appeal for funds to facilitate the resumption of school activities.

Eighty-five children and one teacher lost their lives when Çeltiksuyu Boarding School, fifteen kilometres outside the city of Bingöl, caved in upon them. Generally, the worst hit buildings in the area have been schools, a disturbing fact which is echoed in the figure of 131 schools which collapsed following the Marmara earthquakes of 1999.

Rescue teams work on the pancaked rubble of the collapsed school. Photograph by Sema Hosta © UNICEF Turkey 2003

UNICEF has already supplied 100 tents and equipment to set up temporary schools in the area but an initial amount of US$450,000 is required for a comprehensive response. The requirement is urgent in the extreme since most pupils in these schools are from poor rural families and the disaster may seriously affect UNICEF Turkey’s drive to improve enrolment rates for girls.

Many thanks to the UNICEF Italian National Committee who have already contributed the sum of €100,000.

Read Çeltiksuyu School: Waiting for Word.

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