Toward Gender Equality in East Asia and the Pacific

June 18, 2012

  • 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.


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.