News

FEATURE STORY

Toward Gender Equality in East Asia and the Pacific

June 18, 2012

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Promoting gender equality in access to productive resources and economic opportunity can contribute to higher economic productivity benefitting women and men alike.
  • Promoting gender equality in access to resources, economic opportunity and voice is also an investment in the next generation.
  • Promoting gender equality voice and influence in society contributes not only to more representative but higher quality development decision making.

    
    
KEY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Recent progress in East Asia and Pacific:

  • Gender gaps in access to education have closed dramatically – including at the secondary and tertiary levels.  
  • The region has made significant advances in a number of health outcomes. 
  • Female labor force participation is relatively high in the region; roughly 70 percent of women in East Asia and the Pacific participate in economic activities, higher than any other region.  
  • Women in East Asia also have higher participation in the management and ownership of firms than in other developing regions.

Remaining challenges:

  • Gender gaps in access to basic education remain in a few countries 
  • Maternal mortality remains high in lower-income and several Pacific countries. 
  • Women still earn less than men for similar work – around 70 to 80 percent, on average.
  • Women continue to have weaker voice and influence than men in the home, in politics, and in civil society.  

Role for public action:

  • Promoting gender equality in endowments and human development.  
  • Taking measures to close gender gaps in economic opportunity.  
  • Taking initiatives to strengthen women’s voice and influence – and to protect them from violence.
  • Fostering opportunities and managing risks associated with emerging regional trends.