New Delhi, March 7:
At a time when the United Nations has called for gender equality ahead of International Women’s Day (March 8), an index on Saturday showed Indian women lag behind even Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in socio-economic parity in Asia Pacific (APAC) markets.
Out of the 16 APAC markets surveyed, India (44.2) ranks last, behind Bangladesh (44.6) and Sri Lanka (46.2), MasterCard’s latest Index of Women’s Advancement (2014 second half) showed here.
The index measures the socioeconomic standing of women across the Asia Pacific.
New Zealand had the highest overall score of 77 across the region, followed by Australia (76), the Philippines (72.6) and Singapore (70.5).
Scores are indexed to 100 males to indicate how close or how far women are in each of the 16 APAC markets to achieve socio-economic parity with men.
A score under 100 indicates gender inequality in favour of males while a score above 100 indicates inequality in favour of females. A score of 100 indicates equality between the sexes.
“Study after study shows how public and private sector companies – and their bottom lines – benefit from having more women in leadership. In fact, companies with more women in leadership outperform those who do not, so the male dominance of leadership roles should be concerning,” Georgette Tan, group head, Communications, Asia Pacific, MasterCard said.
“Although women in Asia Pacific are increasingly more educated than their male counterparts, progress towards gender parity is still sluggish – especially in the areas of business leadership, business ownership and political participation,” the statement said.
The index is comprised of three main indicators which are derived from additional sub-indicators – employment (workforce participation, regular employment), capability (secondary education, tertiary education) and leadership (business owners, business leaders, political leaders).
“In a highly competitive global market, companies are beginning to understand why integrating talented women into leadership structures is imperative for sustainable economic growth and innovation in both developed and developing markets,” Tan added.
The index revealed that out of the 16 APAC markets surveyed, women in 10 markets outnumber men in tertiary education gross enrolment rate.
The Philippines continued to have the highest ratio of female-to-male business leaders for the ninth consecutive year. IANS