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Gender Equality: Where do Indian women stand [MasterCard Report]

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TIME Magazine, Forbes Magazine, The Economist and other such prestigious publications have year after year covered lists on the lines of Top 100 Influential Persons or Top 50 Women in Business. And the results have often carried the names of Indian women. These are the crème de la crème, but what about the average woman from India or any Asia-Pacific country? On March 2, 2012, MasterCard announced the results of its latest Index of Women’s Advancement, which measures the socioeconomic level of women in relation to men for 14 Asia-Pacific countries.

How are scores calculated: A detailed description of the metrics used

Here are the details regarding the metrics used to draw results for the research:

  • The Index is measured on the basis of five indicators – Business Ownership, Business & Government Leadership, Workforce Participation, Regular Employment Opportunities and Tertiary Education.
  • Each indicator measures the ratio of women to every 100 men in each of the 14 Asia-Pacific markets that have been covered by the index.
  • Scores are indexed to 100 to indicate how close or how far women in each market are to achieving socio-economic parity with men.
  • A score under 100 indicates gender inequality in favor of males while a score above 100 indicates inequality in favor of females. A score of 100 indicates equality between the sexes.

Highlights of the results: The best and worst of each category

Top Scores:

Countries with the highest overall score were predictably Australia (83.3) and New Zealand (83.1).

Growth Trend:

As compared to the last 3 years of this index, 12 countries saw an increase in their overall Index scores. India (48.4) currently ranks the lowest amongst all the Asia-Pacific countries but has seen an upward trend since 2010. Whereas, China (73.7) has been experiencing a consistent decline in its score since 2007.

Tertiary Education:

Enrollment rates for women in tertiary institutions have surpassed men for most Asia-Pacific countries. This has been proved by the score in 11 countries, with New Zealand (137.7) being the highest and Singapore (98.1) being the lowest. The only exceptions to the case are Japan (89.6), Korea (73.1) and India (69.5), where enrollment rates for women were lower than that of men.

Workforce Participation:

India (35.9) ranked poorly in the category of workforce participation rates for women, with countries like Malaysia (57.1), Indonesia (61.0) and Philippines (62.8) following closely. Most other countries were averaging over 70.

Regular Employment:

11 countries offered equal opportunity for both men and women. Again, the exceptions being India (52.9), followed by Vietnam (71.6) and China (82.8).

Small Business Owners:

13 countries had fewer than 50 female business owners for every 100 male business owners, with Australia (56.6) faring the best and Hong Kong (29.0) faring the worst. This simply signals that this category requires greater amount of attention and empowerment.

Business/government Leadership:

This research has thrown up a startling figure of 6 out of 14 countries to have at least 50 women business/government leaders for every 100 male leaders. Philippines (192.3) took the prize here while Japan (15.0) took the beating. India (65.8) predictably fared well in this category.

Women Equality

India has seen a fairly low score in all the categories except women’s representation in business and government. Although we see more women making it to the top in Indian corporates like Chanda Kochhar of ICICI Bank, Anu Aga of Thermax, Naina Lal Kidwai of HSBC, Vinita Bali of Britannia and Anjali Bansal of Spencer Stuart India amongst many others, the key is to make sure that empowerment percolates down to the lowest rung of the socio-economic strata.

Andrew D. Mason, World Bank’s lead economist and coordinator of the gender program for East Asia and Pacific Gender mentions that gender equality encompasses a number of issues, such as having good infrastructure so that women in rural areas don’t have to spend too much time fetching water from point A to point B, having similar maternity and paternity leave structures, promoting non conventional education programs so that maximum number of women can be involved in education, having a reasonable national childcare system so that a young mother has time to invest in education and employment and so on.

Yes, easier said than done. But taking part in solutions and initiatives like these should be a part of India’s strategy moving forward. Only then perhaps may we see India faring better in these indices in the following years and more importantly, the increase in the position of the average Indian women in the workforce. Especially after nearly 7% of them having dropped off from the workforce in the 5 years leading up to 2011, according to ET.

 

MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement

Market

Overall

Score 2012

Five Indicator Scores

Tertiary Education

Business Owners

Business & Govt Leaders

Workforce Participation

Regular Employment Opportunities

Australia

83.3

134.5

56.6

73.1

81.6

105.5

New Zealand

83.1

137.7

46.8

77.1

83.2

111.1

Philippines

77.8

125.8

47.1

192.3

62.8

98.1

Singapore

77.4

98.1

46.0

65.5

74.0

113.6

Vietnam

75.0

107.2

37.5

32.7

90.1

71.6

Thailand

74.6

133.2

38.5

36.0

79.9

95.2

China

73.7

118.4

42.6

24.0

84.3

82.8

Hong Kong

73.7

104.2

29.0

48.4

75.1

110.1

Taiwan

73.5

107.0

30.4

34.3

78.8

109.0

Malaysia

68.3

135.9

32.5

58.7

57.1

111.2

Indonesia

67.9

103.3

35.9

45.9

61.0

94.4

Japan

64.8

89.6

29.4

15.0

69.0

105.3

Korea

63.5

73.1

42.2

17.3

68.9

102.8

India

48.4

69.5

32.5

65.8

35.9

52.9

The scores above show the proportion of women to every 100 men for each category. Scores of over 100 are truncated to 100 when the overall Index score is derived, so as to ensure one component does not skew the overall Index score.

For the full report go to: www.masterintelligence.com

"Gender Equality: Where do Indian women stand [MasterCard Report]", 5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings.
  1. Abul Haris says

    read this guy's :)

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