`Indian women see decline on advancement index`

Last Updated: Sunday, March 4, 2012 - 18:19

New Delhi: Indian women have witnessed a
decline in their socio-economic standing against their male
counterparts, according to the annual MasterCard Worldwide
Index of Women`s Advancement.

The survey noted that India`s score in the index dropped
from 59.6 points in 2011, to 48.4 points this year.

In its annual survey, MasterCard Worldwide measured
socio-economic level of women in relation to men using five
parameters: participation in the workforce, tertiary
education, business ownership, business and Government
leadership and regular employment opportunities in Asia
Pacific countries.

The final index score reflects how close or how far women
are in achieving 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.

Among the 14 countries that participated in the survey,
Australia topped the list with overall score of 83.3 followed
by New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.

At the sixth place was Thailand, followed by China, Hong
Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea and India.

In India, women participation in business and government
leadership has improved compared to last year. The scores for
the other four indicators saw declines from last year.

India ranked poorly in workforce participation category
with only 35 women in the workforce for every 100 men.

However, workforce participation rates for women were
healthy across most markets, with eight markets averaging over
70 women for every 100 men in the workforce.

The report said that enrolment rates for women fall
below those of men in India, while in other Asia Pacfic
countries women are on par or better represented in tertiary
institutions than men.

"The results of this latest index show that across the
key indicators in most markets women are progressing; big
steps are being taken in terms of workforce participation and
regular employment opportunities and this is encouraging news.

"This is especially inspiring for the people who champion
women’s entrepreneurship and empowerment as it shows that even
in challenging times societies are taking these issues
seriously," Georgette Tan, Group head, Communications,
Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, said.

Female business owners in Asia/Pacific still require
greater economic and social empowerment as on an average the
region had fewer than 50 female business owners for every 100
male business owners, while in case of India the number is as
low as 32.5.

When it comes to taking up positions as business and
government leaders, there is much room for growth in
encouraging women to take up these positions as Philippines
(192.3) is the only market that achieved gender parity in
business or government leadership.

Besides, India (65.8) and Singapore (65.5) also had a
reasonably high proportion of women to men in business and
government leadership positions.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, March 4, 2012 - 18:19

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