The Executive Yuan yesterday published this year’s Gender at a Glance report, which used indicators in the UN’s Gender Inequality Index and found that, if it were included in the index, Taiwan would be the top Asian nation in terms of gender equality and rank ninth in the world.
The results were derived after incorporating the five indicators of three areas of the index: health, empowerment and labor market, the Executive Yuan’s Gender Equality Committee said.
In 2015, Taiwan’s maternal mortality ratio was 12 deaths per 100,000 births, which was very close to that of Singapore and South Korea at 10 and 11 deaths per 100,000 births respectively, the committee said.
Japan’s ratio that year was five deaths per 100,000 births, while China’s was 27 deaths per 100,000 births, it said.
In 2018, Taiwan’s adolescent birthrate was 0.4 percent, close to Japan’s 0.38 percent and Singapore’s 0.35 percent, but notably higher than South Korea’s 0.14 percent and Switzerland’s 0.28 percent, it added.
In terms of “female and male shares of parliamentary seats,” 38.7 percent of seats in the Legislative Yuan were held by women in 2018, besting Singapore, Japan, South Korea and China, all of which had less than 25 percent, it said.
In the “female and male population with at least secondary education” indicator, 90.1 percent of Taiwanese men had completed a secondary education or higher degree in 2018, which was 8.4 percentage points more than women that year, it added.
As for “female and male labor force participation rates,” 51.1 percent of women aged 15 or older were part of the nation’s workforce in 2018, compared with 67.2 percent of men, the committee said.
The 16.1 percentage point gap was close to Singapore’s 15.8 percentage points and much smaller than Japan’s 19.3 percentage points and South Korea’s 20.5 percentage points, it said.
Overall, Taiwan would have scored 0.053 — with lower scores signaling greater equality — and ranked ninth worldwide had it been included in the index, outperforming some developed nations such as Germany (0.084) and Iceland (0.057), the committee said.
Switzerland was ranked highest in the gender equality index with a score of 0.037, followed by Denmark and Sweden sharing second at 0.040, it said.
The Netherlands was fourth at 0.041, the committee said, adding that South Korea was 11th at 0.058, Japan ranked 24th at 0.099 and China was 40th with 0.163.
[Taipei Times, 2020-01-04]