Gender inequality in the workplace continues to hold back the human development of developing countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including Turkey, according to the United Nations Development Program's (UNDP) latest Human Development Report.
According to the report, women in the region face earning gaps that are well above the global average, earning an average of 19 percent less than men in paid work. Regionally, 30 percent of women work in vulnerable jobs, states the report, which had its regional launch in Istanbul on Dec. 15.
One of the reasons to explain the wage gap also stems from the fact that women in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region work more without being paid. They therefore suffer from a “double burden,” both participating in the labor force and doing in unpaid work, which includes work at home.
In addition to gender inequalities, challenges such as demographic changes, big migration fluxes, and environmental problems due to climate change can further disrupt the human development progress of the countries in the region, the report also states.
Turkey jumps 16 places over five years
Turkey ranked 72th out of 188 countries on the HDI with a value of 0.761, which puts it in the “high human development” category for 2015.
In last year's report, Turkey ranked 69th out of 187 countries, with a HDI value of 0.759. However, UNDP officials suggested that a yearly comparison is not healthy, saying comparisons over five-year periods give a better idea of trends in a country's human development. In that sense, Turkey has jumped 16 ranks over the past five years, making it the country registering the highest progress in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region.
Comparison with OECD and EU
However, Turkey's HDI rating of 0.761 remains below the average HDI value of both EU member states, which is 0.867, and OECD countries, which is 0.882.
Education and gender inequality are two of the key areas that keep Turkey lagging behind in the HDI.
The Gender Inequality Index (GII) reflects gender-based inequalities in three dimensions – reproductive health, empowerment, and economic activity. Turkey has a GII value of 0.359, ranking it 71st out of 155 countries in the 2015 index.
In education, Turkey ranks 110th among 188 countries in terms of current schooling, with an average education duration of 7.6 years. However, it is 56th in average expected education duration, with 14.5 years for children.