Profiles in Human Development: Arab Region & Latin America
Human development in the Arab States region and Latin America suffers from deficits in the following areas: freedom, womenÆs empowerment, and human capabilities/knowledge. The panel speakers made it clear that there are a host of challenges facing leaders in the Arab and Latin American region in order to improve human development. If human development is viewed as freedom, then with respect to womenÆs empowerment and freedoms associated with democracy (free speech, unrestricted media, right to assembly), both regions are facing ôcardinal deficitsö according to the speakers.
Arab individuals appear to respect freedoms enjoyed by those in the U.S.; however, one of the biggest obstacles to closer ties with the West is the United StatesÆ support of Israel. This remains a sore spot between the Arab region and the U.S. with respect to diplomacy. In both regions the areas of education and employment need improvements to reverse historical patterns of inequality, illiteracy and limited access or empowerment for women in both areas. Illiteracy remains high in both regions, with unemployment averaging 15% in both. Female employment is limited and there are inequalities exhibited in both regions in all sectors and occupations.
Economic crises in the Latin American region and falling oil prices in the Arab States region has undermined efforts at increasing employment and educational opportunities. Some positive advances in human development have been witnessed in both regions, such as the decline in infant mortality rates and improve healthcare services. There have also been gains in life expectancy by fifteen years on average in both regions. Nevertheless, quality healthcare and access to healthcare remains a development problem in both regions.
The Arab region appears to be resource rich and development poor in comparison to other underdeveloped regions. Human...