Differences in Capability Sets Between Genders and Low Rate Levels of Education in Rural Areas of Turkey

Ugur, Tugce; Ugur, Mehmet Sedat (2014). 'Differences in Capability Sets Between Genders and Low Rate Levels of Education in Rural Areas of Turkey' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, 2-5 September 2014, Athens, Greece.

Globally, women tend to be poorer than men; and they are more deprived in health and education and in freedoms in all its forms. As women make up a substantial majority of the world's poor, women's unequal failure of capability needs to be seen as a problem of justice. In principle, it should be understood that nobody should be disadvantaged because of their gender. A basic foundation for a theory of gender justice emerged in the form of the capabilities approach. In his influential work, Development as Freedom, Sen (1999) argues that the goal of governments should be the expand the real freedom to choose the kind of life one has reason to value. Here, the main quality of Sen's capability approach is to focus what individuals are able to do or to be. It proposes that 'social arrangements should be primarily evaluated according to the extent of freedom people have to promote or achieve functionings they value'. This view makes a substantial difference in our understanding that what we need now is an approach of equality of opportunity. Because, gender justice requires that adequate economic resources flow to both genders in such measure as to ensure that each has the means to acquire the necessary capabilities. Although Sen has offered some basic capabilities, we couldn't find any gendered list of capabilities in his works. But Robeyns (2003) has offered some guidance on a specific set of capabilities. The list includes crucial capabilities such as education, bodily integration, political empowerment, mobility and respect. Also, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has published, a new index called Gender Inequality Index (GII) for measuring gender inequality in its Human Development Report (HDR) 2010. It measures three dimensions -empowerment, economic activity and reproductive health- of gender inequality in a society which includes maternal mortality rate, adolescent fertility rate, seats in parliament, education, labor force participation and seemed a combination of previous gender indices. In HDR 2011, the index shows poor results for Turkey where the results have ranked Turkey 77th out of 145 countries.

                  Thus, the study initially will examine whether capability sets of male and female populations are equal in selected rural areas of Turkey and if there's distinct differences, then, the study will try to understand the main reasons of these differences. The study covers UNDP datas, in principle. Human Development Reports include considerable datas about gender inequality dimensions for more than 100 countries, also for Turkey. The datas will be examined for selected rural areas of Turkey and policy suggestions will be evaluated. Here, the study also will offer some policy suggestions to improve the existing dimensions of gender inequality. Common statistical methods will be used to verify the results.

                  In initial analyses, the study finds distinct differences in capability sets of genders and in general, underscores the low levels of education in rural areas of Turkey. Because, despite education is compulsory in all level, in education practice, families tend to favor boys at all stages of education. Traditional reluctance to school the girls still persists in the lower income groups and rural areas. As analyses illustrated, government implement some aid policies for those families to school their girls, but the general trend still depicts a poor scenery.

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