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Access to Assets

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women who are forced into entrepreneurship in this way are less likely to have the management and business skills required for success. One way to measure progress on equality in labor regulation is to examine countries’ progress in enforcing their commitments (where they exist) to International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 100 (covering equal pay) and ILO Convention 111 (covering nondiscrimination). Table 2.2 shows the ratification status of both conventions among East Asian and Pacific countries as of 2009. While ratification is one step, implementation and enforcement of convention commitments clearly matter as well. The persistence of a gender earnings gap in all economies in the region shows that implementation has lagged behind ratification (see figure 2.4). Whereas an earnings gap is only a partial proxy for wage inequality (given potentially systematic differences between the regularity and duration of employment for women versus men), any differences in hours worked are unlikely to completely explain the size of an earnings gap. Thus, it is likely that these sizeable earnings gaps are at least partially driven by wage inequality between men and women. To ascertain how well countries have progressed on implementing their convention commitments, we combine the two scores (for Convention

Table 2.2

ILO Convention Ratifications, East Asian and Pacific Countries

Country Australia Cambodia China Indonesia Laos PDR Korea, Rep. of Malaysia Mongolia New Zealand Papua New Guinea Philippines Singapore Solomon Islands Thailand Timor-Leste Vietnam

Convention 100

Convention 111

√ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ X √ X √

√ √ √ √ √ √ X √ √ √ √ X X X X √

Source: International Labour Organization National Labour Legislation Database (NATLEX). Note: √ = ratified; X = not ratified. ILO Convention 100 calls for equal pay for men and women. ILO Convention 111 calls for nondiscrimination in employment.

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...