Brunei: Drop 3 places in World Economic Forum Global Gender Ranking

KOO JIN SHEN

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Saturday, November 1, 2014 - BRUNEI dropped a few ranks, placing it at 36th in the world in economic participation and opportunity for women according to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap report.

Last year, WEF placed Brunei at 33rd out of 142 countries.

Brunei’s 36th ranking is primarily due to its estimated earned income, one of the sections in the Economic Participation and Opportunity sub-index used to measure the overall gender gap index.

The WEF caps measurement of estimated annual earned income at US$40,000, putting Brunei’s rank alongside top performing countries such as Denmark and Australia.

Despite this, pay inequality still exists in the Sultanate.

Women were estimated to earn US$51,805 while men were estimated to earn nearly double that at US$92,299 annually, according to data from the WEF report.

The Economic Participation and Opportunity sub-index also includes sections on Labour Participation; Legislators, Senior Officials and Managers; and Professional and Technical Workers.

In terms of labour force participation, Brunei places 92nd with a female-to-male ratio of 0.71. This is drop from the previous year’s ranking of 83rd.

For legislators, senior officials and managers, Brunei is ranked 84th out of 142 countries, a lower rank compared to 75th last year.

When it comes to gender equality for professional and technical workers, Brunei is ranked 89th - also a drop from 84th place last year.

Overall, the Sultanate is ranked 98th in the world when it comes to gender equality.

According to the World Economic Forum analysis, the Brunei is among the top performing countries when it comes to equality in tertiary education, with 51 per cent of students enrolled

In Brunei Darussalam, 51per cent of student enrolled in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) studies are female and 49 per cent are male.

Brunei boasts one of the highest percentage of graduates in STEM studies well as PhD graduates compared to men, said the WEF.

However, Brunei Darussalam ranks 126th on the Health and Survival sub-index.

This is mostly due to a very low score on the Healthy life expectancy indicator. Finally, Brunei Darussalam is the lowest-performing country overall on the Political Empowerment sub-index.

This is due to the fact that there are no women in the parliamentary equivalent and is among four countries with no female minister, said the WEF analysis.

According to the WEF, In Asia and the Pacific, the Philippines remains the region’s highest-ranked country, followed by New Zealand (ranked 13) and Australia (24). These nations are regional outliers, however, as only one other nation, Mongolia (42), places in the top 50.

In the report, WEF said: Singapore, the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos and Thailand come next in 59th, 60th and 61st place, respectively. Japan climbs one place to 104th; China falls 18 places to 87th, largely due to its very low sex ratio at birth; and India slumps to 114th, making it the lowest-ranked BRICS nation and one of the few countries where female labour force participation is shrinking.

The 2014 Global Gender Gap Index assesses 142 countries on the gap between women and men on health, education, economic and political indicators.

The Brunei Times

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