PETALING JAYA: The country’s Gender Gap Index has improved, with increased women empowerment in politics being the greatest contributor to the better score.
The index score for 2018 is recorded at 71.1%, a boost from 69.7% the year before, Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) showed in its Statistics on Women Empowerment in Selected Domains.
The Gender Gap Index was first introduced by the World Economic Forum to measure gender inequality in terms of economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.
Scores of 100% are defined as total equality between men and women.
For 2018, DOSM noted that increased participation of women in politics has led to a better index score, with the score for that domain increasing from 6% in 2017 to 10.6% in 2018.
“The political empowerment sub-index contributed to the highest increment when compared to 2017,” DOSM said in its statistics alert on Monday (Nov 25).
Women in ministerial positions had increased from 8.6% in 2017 to 17.9% in 2018, while the proportion of women in elected parliamentary seats has also increased to 14.4% in 2018 from 11% the preceding year.
However, DOSM noted that there has been a slight decline in the health and survival score from 96% to 95%.
In 2018 there were 934 baby girls to every 1,000 baby boys, while in 2017 there were 937 baby girls for every 1,000 baby boys.
Malaysia has a marginally improved score of 72.7% in economic participation and opportunity, with women participation as legislators, senior officials and managers increasing from 22% in 2017 to 24.7% in 2018.
In the area of educational attainment, Malaysia scored 105.4% as the enrollment rates for women in all levels of education were higher than men.