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Taiwan ranks first in Asia for gender equality

The country ranks as eighth most 'equal' in the world, according to a new report

Taiwan (deep purple) as it compares with other regional and global nations (Taiwan Executive Yuan)

Taiwan (deep purple) as it compares with other regional and global nations (Taiwan Executive Yuan)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan comes out on top in Asia for gender equality according to a visual report published recently by the Executive Yuan’s Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics.

The report ranks Taiwan eighth in the world for gender equality—making it more “equal” than many countries regarded by the United Nations Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development as “more developed,” including Finland, Iceland and Germany.

Indicators from three areas of the U.N. Development Program’s Gender Inequality Index (GII), namely reproductive health, empowerment and labor market equality, inform the statistical analysis, comparing gender equality in Taiwan to other countries around the world.

The report states the lower the GII score the better; a value of zero indicates extreme equality, whereas a value of one indicates extreme inequality. Data up to the end of the year 2017 was used to inform the visual aids produced in the 2019 report.

Taiwan’s total Gender Inequality Index score is currently 0.0056, meaning it ranks eighth in the world and first in Asia.

Switzerland came in first in the rankings with a value of 0.039, Denmark second with 0.040, and Sweden and the Netherlands tied for third place with 0.044. Taiwan still ranked higher than many other Western nations regarded as more highly-developed by the U.N.

Looking specifically into the “empowerment” statistics, the percentage of women in parliament in Taiwan increased to 38.1 in 2017—much higher than in neighboring countries Singapore, Japan and South Korea. 50.9 percent of women over the age of 15 are active in Taiwan’s labor market, which is 16.2 percentage points less than the amount of men, but still higher than equivalent statistics for the aforementioned neighboring Asian countries.

Women’s power to participate in politics is shown to have continued growing, as the ratio of women in mayoral and magisterial positions reached 37.5 percent by the end of 2017; the first time it has ever broken a third of the total number of representatives.

The report was compiled in collaboration with Taiwan’s Gender Equality Committee, an organ of the Executive Yuan dedicated to “acclimatizing the central and local governments to prevailing world trends,” with a focus on women’s rights and gender equality issues. It is available (Chinese) on the committee's website.