Sat, Mar 09, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Equality for women on the rise: report

Staff writer, with CNA

Members of the Wutai Township Women’s Organization pose for a picture during an event they held to coincide with International Women’s Day in Pingtung County yesterday.

Photo: Chiu Chih-jou, Taipei Times

Taiwanese women’s socioeconomic standing is ranked fifth in the Asia-Pacific region and first in the Greater China area, according to this year’s MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, which was published on Thursday.

The report, published on the eve of International Women’s Day, ranked Taiwanese women the fifth- most empowered women among 14 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, trailing behind Singapore (which scored 67.5), the Philippines (70.5), Australia (76) and New Zealand (77.8).

Taiwan’s score of 64.7 also marked the nation’s fifth consecutive annual increase, up from 58.8 in 2008. Meanwhile, Hong Kong, with 63.3, and China, with 61.3, were in seventh and eighth places among the 14 countries.

Scores are out of 100, and indicate how close women in each country are to achieving socioeconomic parity with men, the report said.

A score under 100 indicates a country’s men are more empowered than its women, while a score above 100 indicates inequality in favor of females, the survey said.

The research noted that overall women still face barriers to leadership positions in the government and private sector in the Asia-Pacific region, despite having good access to jobs and higher education.

The index is composed of three indicators: employment, education and leadership.

Taiwan scored third-highest in the employment indicator (89.3), trailing only behind Australia (90.5) and New Zealand (91.2), the report said.

Notably, participation by the nation’s women in the government sector is ranked second (43.4) in the region, trailing only behind New Zealand (47.6).

Taiwanese women also scored above 100 on regular employment and higher education indicators, meaning that in general, they can secure employment and pursue higher education more easily than men.

At the bottom of the index were South Korea (49.7), Japan (48.1) and India (38), the report said.

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