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Economic Opportunities for Women in the East Asia and Pacific Region

Female-Male Earning Gaps, Selected East Asian and Pacific Economies

1.00 0.80 0.63 0.60

0.42 0.44 0.40 0.38

0.74 0.68 0.68 0.69 0.69 0.70 0.73

0.52 0.53 0.53

0.20 0.00 M

Fi ji al ay sia In d Ko one sia re a, Re p. Si ng of ap Ti m ore or -L es t Th e ai la nd Ch Ca ina m Ne bod w i Ze a al an d Vi et na Ho Au m ng st Pa Kon ralia pu g, a N Ch ew ina Gu in ea

ratio of female-to-male estimated earnings

Figure 2.4

earnings gap, by economy Sources: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Gender and Development Index (GDI), latest available data, 1997–2007. Note: Data are calculated based on female-to-male ratios of estimated earned income for the most recent year available between 1996 and 2007. Following the methodology implemented in the calculation of the GDI, the income component has been scaled downward for economies whose income exceeds the maximum goalpost gross domestic product per capita value of 40,000 (PPP US$). For more details, see http://hdr.undp.org/en/ statistics/tn1. PPP = purchasing power parity.

100 and Convention 111) used in an EIU analysis3 and normalize to scores out of a possible 100 (where 100 indicates best possible compliance on both categories) (EIU, forthcoming). Figure 2.5 shows the composite scores, with Australia and New Zealand doing substantially better than their counterparts in the region. Significantly, the less-developed, export-oriented countries receive markedly lower scores, particularly with regard to enforcement of ILO Convention 100 on equal pay. Some have argued that, in those countries, workforce segregation—that has placed women in labor-intensive jobs in export-oriented businesses and is paying them less than men for their work—has helped Asian economies to reduce the per-unit labor costs of export goods (Seguino 2000). This view, which suggests that wage inequality has helped spur Asia’s export-driven economic growth, does not necessarily contradict the idea that gender equality in terms of greater female workforce participation has also contributed to the region’s economic growth. It does suggest, however, that women continue to encounter discrimination and that they may find that social attitudes and norms make it harder for them to reach their potential as employees or as entrepreneurs. Seguino also points out that women were singled out to bear the burden of Asia’s push for export

Economic Opportunities for Women in the East Asia and Pacific Region  
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...