Taiwan tops Asia in latest DGE gender equality rankings

Taiwan tops Asia in latest DGE gender equality rankings

Publication Date: January 06, 2020 | 


Taiwan ranks ninth globally and first in Asia based on data used to compile the latest U.N. Gender Inequality Index, according to the Cabinet-level Department of Gender Equality Jan. 3.

Scoring 0.053 out of 1, with a higher value indicating greater inequality, Taiwan trails Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Finland and France, in that order. Fellow Asian countries South Korea, Singapore, Japan and China stand at 11th, 12th, 24th and 40th, respectively.

The DGE found female participation in Taiwan’s public sector decision-making is up substantially over the past decade. This is evidenced by the record high 38.7 percent of seats held by women in the 2018 Legislature. By comparison, nearly half of the 194 countries and territories in the GII are under 20 percent.

Last May also saw Taiwan become the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. Through November 2019, a total of 2,623 couples have gotten married under the law, according to the DGE.

In terms of economic empowerment, the number of small and medium enterprises headed by women hit 534,000, or 36.8 percent, up more than 10 percent from 2012.

Regarding education and earnings, women account for 50.65 percent of college enrollment, while the hourly wage gap between the sexes averages 14.6 percent. This is lower than Japan, 32.3 percent; South Korea, 32.2 percent; and the U.S., 18.9 percent.

Women in Taiwan are also healthier than men. Average life expectancy at birth is 84 years vs. 77.5 years; healthy life expectancy 74 vs. 69; and unhealthy life expectancy 9.8 vs. 8.3.

The findings are contained in the DGE’s 2020 Gender at a Glance study, which adopts the same assessment methodology as the annual GII survey published by the U.N. Development Programme.