April 19, 2013
Women in South Asia Highly Represented in Education; Poor Access to Employment, Business and Leadership Opportunities Preventing Advancement
TWEET: #Women in #SouthAsia are still struggling to attain socioeconomic equality with men - #MasterCard Index http://bit.ly/XSUOA5
Singapore, 19 April 2013: Women are struggling to attain socioeconomic equality with men in South Asia with some of the poorest scoring nations coming from the Indian subcontinent, according to the latest MasterCard Index of Women’s Advancement.
What is the MasterCard Index of Women’s Advancement?
The MasterCard Index of Women’s Advancement measures the socioeconomic standing of women across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. The Index is comprised of three main indicators which are derived from additional sub-indicators:
How to read the scores
Scores are indexed to 100 to indicate how close or how far women in each market are to achieving socio-economic parity with men. A score under 100 indicates gender inequality in favor of males while a score above 100 indicates inequality in favor of females. A score of 100 indicates equality between the sexes. The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.
This is the first year that Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan have been included in the Index. To view results for other Asia/Pacific markets, you can click here.
Overall, Nepal leads the South Asian markets with an overall score of 55.0 and a high proportion of women in the workforce (92.0). Bangladesh and Sri Lanka follow with overall scores of 45.5 and 43.8 respectively, while India (38.0) and Pakistan (23.0) round off the lower end of the spectrum.
Sri Lanka, famous for having the world’s first female head of state elected democratically ranked low in terms of the Leadership component (12.6) and specifically the Political Leaders sub-indicator (6.1). On the other hand, women in Nepal came out tops in terms of the Political Leaders sub-indicator (49.6), not only in South Asia but across Asia/Pacific, for their strong representation in parliament.
The Employment component of this year’s Index had Bangladesh (75.5) topping the list with over 75 women for every 100 men in the workforce. Sri Lanka (66.7), Nepal (59.2), India (43.6) and Pakistan (39.7) followed behind. Pakistan had the lowest scores across the Asia/Pacific region in terms of Leadership (3.5) with just over 3 women as business owners for every 100 men.
All five markets ranked well in the third component – Education – with a strong showing of scores across both Secondary and Tertiary sub-indicators. While progress is seen in the field of education, MasterCard’s research stresses the importance of ensuring women receive more access to job opportunities and leadership positions in business and government once they graduate.
Ari Sarker, Division President South Asia said, “It is well established that a country’s social and economic development is closely tied to factors including access to education, employment and political leadership opportunities. While South Asia has recently witnessed an increase in the attention and focus by both public and private sectors towards affirmative action for women, much remains to be done in the march towards gender equality.”
“As emerging economies in the region step up to establish their presence in the global economy, it is important that the barriers preventing women in these markets from seizing economic opportunities be eliminated,” he concluded.
|MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement|
The MasterCard Worldwide Index suite in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa includes the long-running MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence, as well as the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping, Index of Financial Literacy, and the Index of Global Destination Cities. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering Travel, Dining & Entertainment, Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping).
MasterCard also regularly releases Insights reports providing analysis of business dynamics, financial policies and regulatory activities in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. Over 80 Insights reports have been produced since 2004.
MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley & Sons.
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.