SINGAPORE – Japan has one of the lowest scores in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of socioeconomic opportunities for women, according to MasterCard’s latest Index of Women’s Advancement released Wednesday.
Japan was second-lowest on the index, which measures the socioeconomic standing of women in 14 Asia-Pacific economies. New Zealand topped the index with an overall score of 77.8, followed by Australia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, South Korea, Japan and India.
Japan scored 48.1 and China 61.5.
Japan had relatively high scores of 83.1 in terms of employment and 94.5 in terms of education for women, but had the worst score in terms of leadership positions for women in the public and private sectors, at just 14.2.
The scores show the ratio of women to every 100 men. A score under 100 indicates gender inequality in favor of men.
In contrast, China scored 83.8 for employment, 100 for education and 27.8 for leadership positions.
Overall, the annual survey launched in 2005 showed women still face barriers to leadership positions in the government and private sector across the Asia-Pacific.
While more women have access to job opportunities and tertiary education in the region, there are still barriers preventing them from taking top government and private-sector positions.