Women in the Workforce: An Unmet Potential in Asia and Pacific | Asian Development Bank

Women in the Workforce: An Unmet Potential in Asia and Pacific

Publication | April 2015
Women in the Workforce: An Unmet Potential in Asia and Pacific

Advances have been made in closing the education and health gap between females and males in Asia and the Pacific. However, women still face a labor market that offers them lower wages and lower quality jobs than their male counterparts.

The average labor force participation rate of women around the globe has remained stubbornly constant over the last 25 years at just over 50% of the economically active female population. These trends persist even in economies in Asia and the Pacific where the female labor force participation rate in 2014 was a high 53%—roughly the same as the developing member country average, which in itself is a rate that masks significant variations across countries.

This special report looks into the complex and varied causes behind this gap in economic empowerment between males and females across Asia and the Pacific, then analyzes the available evidence for its implications to economic growth.

Contents 

  • Foreword
  • Highlights
  • Figures, Tables, and Boxes
  • Abbreviations
  • I. Introduction and Global Overview
  • II. State of Asia’s Female Labor Force Participation and Economic Growth
  • III. The Performance of Selected Asian Countries in Women’s Economic Empowerment
  • IV. Major Policy Options and Initiatives to Increase FLFP and Promote Its Growth
  • Appendix 1. Performance by Income Group and Placement in the Gender Gap Index
  • Appendix 2. Individual Country Results by Global Ranking According to the Gender Gap Index
  • References
  • Endnotes