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Access to Assets


Figure 2.2 Correlations of Female-to-Male Employer and Adult Literacy Ratios by Inheritance Practices

ratio of female to male employers, %

a. 0.0a

b. 0.5b

100 Vietnam Mongolia Singapore Thailand Philippines


Lao PDR Indonisia


0 c. 1.0c

d. Totald

100 Mongolia Vietnam Thailand Lao PDR Singapore Philippines Indonesia Malaysia

50 0 0



1.5 0




literacy ratio, female-to-male age 15+ East Asian and Pacific countries

other regions

Sources: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Inheritance Practices Indicator, Gender and Institution Database; International Labour Organization Key Indicators of the Labour market database, latest available data, 1981–2008. Note: Graphs by inheritance practices in favor of male heirs (level between 0 = no and 1 = yes).

When analyzing female entrepreneurs’ access to land, three kinds of rights are relevant: the right to own land, the right to control land, and the right to transfer or trade land. On all three dimensions, case-study and cross-country evidence (echoing findings in many other developing regions; see, for example, Agarwal 1994 on South Asia and Wanyeki 2003 on Africa) for East Asia and the Pacific suggests that two kinds of inequality constrain land rights: • De jure inequality affects women where statutory and customary laws are inherently discriminatory against women. Relevant laws and regulations include those governing matrimonial assets, inheritance (including intestacy), and joint titling. • De facto inequality occurs where discriminatory customs and norms override laws that are formally equal or where inadequate implementation constrains women’s theoretically equal rights. In some countries, the legal framework of property rights explicitly favors men. In others, the law is silent on gender, and so formal equality is implicit. Finally, and encouragingly, several East Asian and Pacific countries

Economic Opportunities for Women in the East Asia and Pacific Region  

The East Asia and Pacific region has made great progress, relative to other regions, with regard to both economic development and, specifica...