Gender equality level declined in 2021 — DOSM

Department of Statistics Malaysia Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin (Photo by Sam Fong/The Edge)

Department of Statistics Malaysia Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin (Photo by Sam Fong/The Edge)

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PUTRAJAYA (Nov 29): Malaysia's Gender Gap Index (MGGI) showed a score of 0.707 or 70.7% in 2021, a decline of 0.7 percentage point from 0.714 in 2020.

Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the three states or federal territories that recorded the highest scores in 2021 were Kuala Lumpur with 0.842, Putrajaya (0.762), and Melaka (0.761).

Seven states recorded scores below the national equality level, namely Sabah (0.704), Kedah (0.703), Pahang (0.702), Perlis (0.699), Pulau Pinang (0.695), Perak (0.694), and Negeri Sembilan (0.686).

"Based on the MGGI 2021 score, Malaysia ranked 80th among 146 countries in the world. Simultaneously, within East Asia and the Pacific, Malaysia was in the ninth position in 2021, ahead of Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Japan.

"However, we were still behind New Zealand, the Philippines, Australia, and Singapore," he said in a statement issued by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) on Tuesday following the release of the Statistics on Women Empowerment in Selected Domains, Malaysia, 2022.

The MGGI identifies the gap between women and men across four sub-indices encompassing economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.

A score with a value of 1.0 (100%) indicates the equality of women and men has been achieved.

Meanwhile, Mohd Uzir said the achievement of women surpassed men in the educational attainment sub-index with a score of 1.060, in the health and survival sub-index (0.960), and in economic participation and opportunity (0.709).

"Labour force participation rate for women was still low at 55.5% in 2021 compared with other Southeast Asian countries such as Laos (74.8%) and Cambodia (74%).

"Political empowerment recorded the lowest at 10% (score of 0.1), showing that women were still lagging behind men in the ministerial position and Parliament," he said.