Tue, 08 Mar 2005


Thai, Malaysian women progress in education, business: Survey

Associated Press, Singapore

Women in Malaysia and Thailand enjoy higher socio-economic levels than in other Asia-Pacific nations, according to a survey released on Monday.

The survey of 300-350 women each in a total of 13 countries rated labor force participation, level of education, managerial positions and higher incomes.

It was conducted by MasterCard International ahead of International Women's Day on Tuesday. There was no margin of error.

Thailand topped the study with the highest overall index of 92.3, partly due to the large number of educated women there.

A score above 100 shows gender inequality in favor of women and a score below 100 shows inequality in favor of men, according to the survey.

Malaysia was second with an overall index of 86.2. Malaysia had a high number of women in managerial positions, the study showed.

"Thai and Malaysian women are more confident than women in other societies," said Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, economic adviser to MasterCard International in the Asia-Pacific. "Thai society, in some interesting way, gives a lot of opportunities to women to participate in business life."

Hedrick-Wong said 66 percent of people in the Thai medical sector are women, and that he believed the high labor force participation rate in Malaysia and Thailand will make them "the high-growth income societies in years to come."

Japan, Indonesia and South Korea were last on the list. Singapore was in eighth place, with an index of 61.3.

The survey was conducted in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.