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Georgia progresses on Human Development Index

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Georgia is improving in terms of quality-of-life though still lagging in gender equality, according to a report from the United Nations Development Program. The country’s Human Development Index (HDI), a summary that examines longevity, personal health and standards of living is a metric used to compare nations.

Georgia’s HDI improved by 4 percent from 2005 to 2011. That’s compared to an average annual growth of 0.6 percent, according to a UNDP report.

Georgia now ranks 75 out of 187, showing marked progress in many dimensions of human development, UN officials say.

“We have very high index in life expectancy and access to knowledge in the region,” said Natia Natsvlishvili, head of the Democratic Governance Department of UNDP. “Georgia’s human development index increases every year, the only exception was 2008.”

UNDP statistics show that since 2005 life expectancy has increased by 0.9 years (about 1.2 percentimprovement) and expected years of schooling increased by 0.5 years (3.9 percent). In addition, Georgia’s GNI per capita increased by about 31percent.

“We see in Georgia there is significant progress since last year, however there are some areas where progress is not yet been felt,” said Jamie McGoldrick, UNDP’sresident representative in Georgia. “This include equality, poverty and gender equality and we have to work hard to improve that.”

Georgia showed the lowest index in gender inequality in the Caucasus.

Even though women they make up 59 percent of the electorate in Georgia they are vastly underrepresented in political life. While 19.2 percent of parliamentarians are women globally, the number of female MPs never reached higher than 17 percent in the last four parliamentary elections in Georgia. At present the situation is even worse.

“In Georgia, only 6.5 percent of parliamentary seats are held by women, while this figure in Azerbaijan is 16 percent, in Armenia 9.2 percent and in Russia 11.5 percent,”noted Natsvlishvili.

The UNDP is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. Georgia became the member of the United Nations in July 1992, thereby subscribing to its values and principles.

To ensure a much cross-country comparability as possible, the HDI is based primarily on international data from the UN Population Division, the UNESCO Institute for Statistic (UIS) and the World Bank.

By Lika Moshiashvili

10.11.2011

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