PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s Gender Gap Index has improved, thanks to an increase in women’s empowerment in politics, data from Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) shows.
The Gender Gap Index in the country for 2018 was recorded at 71.1%, a boost from 69.7% the year before, DOSM showed in its Statistics on Women Empowerment in Selected Domains.
The Gender Gap Index was first introduced by the World Economic Forum to measure gender inequality in terms of (i) economic participation and opportunity, (ii) educational attainment, (iii) health and survival and (iv) political empowerment.
Scores of 100% are defined as total equality between men and women.
For last year, DOSM noted that increased participation of women in politics had led to a better index score, with the score for that domain increasing from 6% in 2017 to 10.6% in 2018.
“The political empowerment sub-index contributed to the highest increment compared to 2017, ” DOSM said in its statistics alert yesterday.
Women in ministerial positions increased from 8.6% in 2017 to 17.9% in 2018 while the proportion of women in elected parliamentary seats also increased to 14.4% in 2018 from 11% the preceding year.
However, DOSM noted that there was a slight decline in equality in the health and survival score from 96% to 95%.
In 2018, there were 934 baby girls to every 1,000 baby boys, while in 2017 there were 937 baby girls for every 1,000 baby boys.
Malaysia had a marginally improved score of 72.7% in economic participation and opportunity, with women’s participation as legislators, senior officials and managers increasing from 22% in 2017 to 24.7% in 2018.
In the area of educational attainment, Malaysia scored 105.4% as the enrolment rates for women in all levels of education were higher than men.