Women in Taiwan are well engaged in public decision-making and benefit from high levels of education and life expectancy, according to the latest report by the Executive Yuan's Department of Gender Equality. (CNA)
Taiwan moved up three spots to sixth globally and retains its position as top in Asia based on data used to compile the most recent U.N. Gender Inequality Index, according to the Executive Yuan's Department of Gender Equality Jan. 5.
Scoring 0.045 out of 1, with a higher value indicating greater inequality, Taiwan trailed only Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium, in that order. Fellow Asian countries South Korea, Singapore, Japan and China finished 12th, 13th, 25th and 40th, respectively.
The findings are contained in the DGE’s latest Gender at a Glance study. Conducted annually since 2006, the research adopts the same assessment methodology as the annual GII survey published by the U.N. Development Programme.
According to the study, female participation in Taiwan’s public sector decision-making is up substantially over the past decade, as evidenced by the record high 39.8 percent of seats held by women in the 2019 Legislature.
Social progress has also been strong, with a total of 4,087 same-sex couples—69.2 percent of whom are women—having gotten married in Taiwan as of May last year after the country became the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage in 2019.
In terms of economic empowerment, the number of small and medium enterprises headed by women hit around 540,000 in 2019, or 36.8 percent, up more than 10 percent from 2012.
Regarding education and earnings, women accounted for 52.8 percent of college graduates in 2018, while the hourly wage gap between the sexes averaged 14.2 percent. The latter is lower than Japan, 31.9 percent; South Korea, 30.6 percent; and the U.S., 18.5 percent.
Women in Taiwan are also living longer than men. Average life expectancy at birth is 84.23 years vs. 77.69 years; healthy life expectancy 74.74 vs. 69.96; and unhealthy life expectancy 9.31 vs. 7.59.