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PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN IN THE LABOR MARKETS OF THE

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					        Participation of Women in the Labor Markets of the
                    Asia-Pacific/Oceania Regions:
                 What Advances Have Been Made?
        What Obstacles Remain? How Can We Assess Them?

                                                    Pauline C. Reich
                                                      Professor
                                            Waseda University School of Law
                                                    Tokyo, Japan


“What gets counted gets done”- New Zealand Census of Women’s Participation in
Governance and Professional Life - New Zealand Human Rights Commission 2004




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Introduction

      The objective of this paper is to look at advances and obstacles to Equal Employment
Opportunity for women in the various labor markets in the Asia-Pacific/Oceania region.
Statistical sources are utilized when available, as well as narrative sources to augment
statistics or when statistics are not made available.

      In addition to employment and unemployment data, occupational data about women in
traditional and non-traditional fields of employment for women, elite and lucrative
occupations will be provided for some of the countries. Information about innovative
programs utilized by government and private sector employers, initiatives to provide
family-friendly workplaces, the existence of laws as well as enforcement of laws and
regulations, monitoring, and equal employment opportunity programs in the various
countries studied will also be presented.

     When available, case studies of women in particular occupations will be provided for
some of the countries, e.g. women in the legal profession, women in education, women in
fields recently employing women, e.g. Information Technology.

     Country data and discussion will be presented in regional order, i.e. East Asia, South
Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania, and alphabetically within the region. It must be noted that
certain countries provide extensive resources with respect to statistical data (e.g. Japan,
Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand) 1, while others (India, People’s Republic of
China, other LDC’s) do not provide current data or any data at all in some cases.

The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against
Women (CEDAW) Status of Countries in the Asia-Pacific Oceania Regions

     There are various aspects to country participation in the United Nations Convention on
the Status of Women requirements. The first is signing and ratifying the Convention; the
next is signing and ratifying the Optional Protocol,2 which enables women to move on to
the United Nations level when their country’s national machinery is ineffective in ending
discrimination against women; the third is the opportunity to adopt temporary measures,

1
  See, e.g., Pauline C. Reich, “The Utilization of Statistics to Assess Women’s Employment Opportunity in
the Asia-Pacific-Oceania Region,” delivered at the IIRA 2004 meeting, Seoul, Korea, June 2004 at
http://www.kli.re.kr/iira2004/pro/papers/PaulineC.Reich.pdf
2
  General Assembly, Resolution Adopted by the General Assembly, Optional Protocol to the Convention on
the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, A/RES/54/4, October 15, 1999. Article 1: A
State Party to the present Protocol (“State Party”) recognizes the competence of the Committee on the
Elimination of Discrimination against Women (“the Committee”) to receive and consider communications
submitted in accordance with article 2. Article 2: Communications may be submitted by or on behalf of
individuals or groups of individuals, under the jurisdiction of a State Party, claiming to be victims of a
violation of any of the rights set forth in the Convention by that State Party. Where a communication is
submitted on behalf of individuals or groups of individuals, this shall be with their consent unless the author
can justify acting on their behalf without such consent. Article 4-1 The Committee shall not consider a
communication unless it has ascertained that all available domestic remedies have been exhausted unless the
application of such remedies is unreasonably prolonged or unlikely to bring effective relief.


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including “positive action” or affirmative action, to improve equal opportunity for women
in that country.

     As of March 18, 2005, 180 countries, i.e. over 90 percent of the members of the
United Nations, had become parties to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination
against Women. Recently, there were 98 signatures, 180 ratifications, accessions and
successions to the Convention. States Parties in the Asia-Pacific/Oceania regions and their
status are listed below:

Note: a= access; b= declarations or reservations; c= reservation subsequently withdrawn;
d=succession

State                             Signature              Ratification

Australia                         x                      x – a,b
Bangladesh                                               x – a,b
Bhutan                            x                      x
Cambodia                          x                      x-a
China                             x-b                    x-b
Democratic
People’s Republic
of Korea                                                 x-a
India                             x-b                    x-b
Indonesia                         x                      x-b
Japan                             x                      x
Lao PDR                           x                      x
Malaysia                                                 x-a,b
Mongolia                          x                      x-c
Myanmar                                                  x-a,b
Nepal                             x                      x
New Zealand                       x                      x-b,c
Pakistan                                                 x-a,b
Philippines                       x                      x
Republic of Korea                 x-b                    x-b,c
Singapore                                                x-a,b
Sri Lanka                         x                      x
Thailand                                                 x-a,b,c
Vietnam                           x                      x-b3

     As of January 7, 2005, there were 76 signatories and 71 parties to the Optional
Protocol to CEDAW. Those from the Asia-Pacific/Oceania region are:




3
 United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women,
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/states.htm <visited 7/25/05>


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                                             Signature              Ratification, Accession
Bangladesh                                   x                      x
Cambodia                                     x
Indonesia                                    x
Mongolia                                     x                      x
Nepal                                        x
New Zealand                                  x                      x
Philippines                                  x                      x
Sri Lanka                                                           x
Thailand                                     x                      x4

      States parties were to submit reports approximately once every five years after
ratification. Asia-Pacific/Oceania States parties and their submissions are:

State party  Number of report                            Status of report
Australia    Combined 4 and 5                            To be examined at 34th session, 2006
Bangladesh 5th                                           Discussed at 31st session, 2004
Bhutan       Combined 1-6                                Discussed at 31st session
Cambodia     Combined 1-3                                Submitted, not yet considered
China        Combined 5-6                                “
Democratic 1                                             Examined at 33rd session, 2005
People’s Republic of Korea
Fiji         1                                           Examined at 26th session, 2002
India        1                                           Examined at 22nd session, 2000
Indonesia    5th                                         Received, not examined
Japan        5th                                         Examined at 29th session, 2003
Lao PDR      Combined 1-5                                Examined at 32nd session, 2005
Malaysia     Combined 1-2                                Received, not examined
Mongolia     Combined 3-4                                Examined at 24th session, 2001
Myanmar      1                                           Examined at 22nd session, 2000
New Zealand 5th                                          Examined at 29th session, 2003
Pakistan     Combined 1-3                                Received, not examined
Philippines Combined 5-6                                 Received, not yet considered
Republic     5th                                         Received, not yet considered
of Korea
Singapore    3rd                                         “
Sri Lanka    Combined 3-4                                Examined at 26th session, 2002
Thailand     Combined 4-5                                Received, not yet considered
Vanuatu      Combined 1-3                                “
Vietnam      5th                                         Received5


4
  United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women, Signatures to and Ratifications of the Optional
Protocol, http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/protocol/sigop.htm <visited 7/25/05>
5
  CEDAW country reports may be found at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm NGO
comments and responses to country reports may be found on the Internet for some countries, e.g. Policy Paper,
Citizens Party Response to the Initial Report by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on the


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     General Recommendation No. 25, on article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1999), describes temporary
special measures that may be taken to accelerate equality of men and women. Excerpts
follow:

           II. Background: the object and purpose of the Convention

           4. The scope and meaning of article 4, paragraph 1, must bedetermined in the
           context of the overall object and purpose of the Convention, which is to eliminate
           all forms of discriminationagainst women with a view to achieving women’s de jure
           and defacto equality with men in the enjoyment of their human rights and
           fundamental freedoms. States parties to the Convention are under a legal obligation
           to respect, protect, promote and fulfil this right
           To non-discrimination for women and to ensure the development andadvancement
           of women in order to improve their position to one ofde jure as well as de facto
           equality with men.

           5. The Convention goes beyond the concept of discrimination used
           in many national and international standards and norms….

           6. A joint reading of articles 1 to 5 and 24, which form the general Interpretative
           framework for all of the Convention’s substantive articles, indicates that three
           obligations are central to States parties’efforts to eliminate discrimination against
           women. These obligationsshould be implemented in an integrated fashion and
           extend beyond apurely formal legal obligation of equal treatment of women with
           men.

           7. Firstly, States’ parties obligation is to ensure that there is no director indirect
           discrimination against women in their laws and that women are protected against
           discrimination – committed by public authorities, the judiciary, organizations,
           enterprises or private individuals – in the public as well as the private spheres by
           competenttribunals as well as sanctions and other remedies. Secondly, States’
           parties obligation is to improve the de facto position of women through concrete and
           effective policies and programmes. Thirdly,States’ parties obligation is to address
           prevailing gender relations andthe persistence of gender-based stereotypes that
           affect women not only through individual acts by individuals but also in law, and
           legaland societal structures and institutions.

           8. In the Committee’s view, a purely formal legal or programmatic approach is not
           sufficient to achieve women’s de facto equality with men, which the Committee
           interprets as substantive equality. In addition, the Convention requires that women
           have an equal start and that they be empowered by an enabling environment to
           achieve equality of results. It is not enough to guarantee women treatment that is

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (December 7, 1998),
http://www.citizensparty.org/community/cedaw.html;


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           identical to that of men. Rather, biological as well as socially and culturally
           constructed differences between men and women must be taken into account. Under
           certain circumstances, non-identical treatment of women and men will be required
           in order to address suchdifferences. Pursuit of the goal of substantive equality also
           calls for an effective strategy aimed at overcoming underrepresentation of women
           and a redistribution of resources and power between men and women…..

           12. Certain groups of women, in addition to suffering from discrimination directed
           against them as women, may also suffer from multiple forms of discrimination
           based on additional grounds such as race, ethnic or religious identity, disability, age,
           class, caste or other factors. Such discrimination may affect these groups of women
           primarily, or to a different degree or in different ways than men. States parties may
           need to take specific temporary special measures to eliminate such multiple forms
           of discrimination against women and its compounded negative impact on them.

           III. The meaning and scope of temporary special measures in the Convention on the
           Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

                      Article 4, paragraph 1

                      Adoption by States parties of temporary special measures aimed at
                      accelerating de facto equality between men and women shall not be
                      considered discrimination as defined in the present Convention, but shall in
                      no way entail as aconsequence the maintenance of unequal or separate
                      standards; these measures shall be discontinued when the objectives of
                      equality of opportunity and treatment have been achieved.

                      Article 4, paragraph 2

                      Adoption by States parties of special measures, including those measures
                      contained in the present Convention, aimed at protecting maternity, shall not
                      be considered discriminatory.

                      C. Key elements of article 4, paragraph 1

                      18. Measures taken under article 4, paragraph 1, by States parties should aim
                      to accelerate the equal participation of women in the political, economic,
                      social, cultural, civil or any other field. The Committee views the application
                      of these measures not as an exception to the norm of non-discrimination, but
                      rather as an emphasis that temporary special measures are part of a
                      necessary strategy by States parties directed towards the achievement of de
                      factor or substantive equality of women with men in the enjoyment of their
                      human rights and fundamental freedoms. While the application of temporary
                      special measures often remedies the effects of past discrimination against
                      women, the obligation of States parties under the Convention to improve the
                      position of women to one of de facto or substantive equality with men exists
                      irrespective of any proof of past discrimination…


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                      IV. Recommendations to State Parties

                      35. The Committee draws attention to and reiterates its general
                      recommendation No. 9, on statistical data concerning the situation of women,
                      and recommends that States parties provide statistical data disaggregated by
                      sex in order to measure the achievement of progress towards women’s de
                      facto or substantive equality and the effectiveness of temporary special
                      measures.

                      36. States parties should report on the type of temporary special measures
                      taken in specific fields under the relevant article(s) of the Convention.
                      Reporting under the respective article(s) should include references to
                      concrete goals and targets, timetables, the reasons for choosing particular
                      measures, steps to enable women to access such measures, and the
                      institution accountable for monitoring implementation and progress. States
                      parties are also asked to describe how many women are affected by a
                      measure, how many would gain access and participate in a certain field
                      because of a temporary special measure, or the amount of resources and
                      power it aims to redistribute to how many women, and within what time
                      frame.6

It should be noted that the government of Nepal, in its combined second and third periodic
report of States parties to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against
Women (April 7, 2003) indicated: “With a view to accelerating the realization of gender
equality, the Government has initiated some legal measures in favour of women. This is in
line with Article 11(3) of the Constitution. The Local Self-Governance Act (1999), The
Civil Service (First Amendment) Act (1998), and the Labour Act (1991) and Labour
Regulations (1993) are examples.”7

     As will be seen in the following statistical presentations and narrative information, few
countries in the Asia-Pacific/Oceania region have proceeded to the point at which equal
employment opportunity has been achieved.8 There are many issues to be resolved, and the
lack of statistics does not permit countries to begin to assess what they need to do to come
into actual compliance with CEDAW, to engage in policy, planning and to launch programs
and remedial steps --- and not to merely engage in formalities and rhetoric.9

6
  General recommendation No. 25, on article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against Women, on temporary special measures,
7
  Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Consideration of reports submitted by
States parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against
Women, Combined second and third periodic reports of States parties, Nepal.
8
  The same is true worldwide, although some countries may have arrived at a greater degree of opportunity for
women in all sorts of occupations, ranging from the non-traditional ones for women to the professional and
management level occupations sought due to potential of earning high wages.
9
  On July 21, 2005, the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women held a panel discussion to
mark the adoption by the UNECOSOC of the Declaration adopted by the Commission on the Status of
Women at its 49th session in 2005. The panel was to discuss the implications of the Declaration of the actions


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     There are not only national sources, but international sources of gender and
employment data. The International Labor Organization provides certain types of data10,
but they fall short of giving the full picture of where women are in the economy in terms of
work in the formal and informal sectors, earnings rates, demographics of women who are
working and types of jobs/occupations in which they are working, legal protections and the
effectiveness of protections from unequal working standards and conditions, sexual
harassment at work, ages, marital status, parental status and disabled or non-disabled status
of women workers (including multiple factors, e.g. older women, disabled women, women
who are married or parents). In addition, in some countries in the region, non-national
women (refugees, expatriates, contract workers in menial jobs), etc. are not reflected in the
national data reported by the various nations. Their invisibility and powerlessness in finding
redress under national laws for employment discrimination is reported in few
publications.11

       Here is a limited statistical snapshot of some of the countries in the region:

INTERNATIONAL LABOR ORGANIZATION DATA

INDONESIA
MALE AND FEMALE LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION RATE (KILM 1)
Number of persons in the labor force as a percentage of population (15 to 64 years)

                                  1995       1996        1997       1999        2000       2001
Female                            54.8       53.1        51.5       53.2
Male                              84.2       86.6        84.9       86.3
Male & Female                     69.4       69.6        67.9       69.6        67.8       68.612

Unemployment Rate (KILM 8a)
Number of persons unemployed as a percentage of labor force (KILM 8a)
                    1996 1997 1998 1999 2000

required to ensure effective follow-up to advance full implementation of the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action
and the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly. The panel was to provide ECOSOC an
occasion “to discuss ways and means of linking the outcome of the functional commissions to the review of
the Millennium Declaration in the General Assembly in September 2005.
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/panel/implications05.htm
10
   See, e.g. Equality@work, http://www.ilo.org/public/english/employment/gems/eeo which provides
legislation and statistics from many countries worldwide, however it does not always have statistics, a wide
range of statistical resources or latest news of legislative changes or programs undertaken by the governments
or private sector organizations working with equal employment opportunity for women of all ages, older
women, women with disabilities, women with childcare responsibilities, etc.
11
   For example, women working as maids in some countries are exploited by their employers or subjected to
physical and mental abuse. Women in other countries have been trafficked. There is now more activity by
countries to look into the conditions of the latter group. The third group, expatriate women, including
professional women, are also invisible in the data breakdowns. Perhaps the latest national census (October 1,
2005) will provide data about more categories of women workers in Japan.
12
   ILO: 2003-2004 Key Indicators of the Labour Market (Geneva 2003), http://www.ilo.org/kilm


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Female                            5.1
Male                              3.3
Male & Female                     4.0        4.7         5.5        6.4         6.113

JAPAN
LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION RATE (KILM 1)
               1997 1998 1999 2000 2001                                                    2002
Female         59.7 59.8 59.5 59.6 60.1                                                    59.7
Male           85.4 85.3 85.3 85.2 85.0                                                    84.8
Male & Female  72.6 72.6 72.4 72.5 72.6                                                    72.314

EMPLOYMENT-TO-POPULATION RATIO (KILM 2)
              1997 1998 1999 2000 2001                                                     2002
Female        48.7 48.1 47.4 47.1 46.8                                                     46.1
Male          75.1 74.1 73.2 72.6 71.7                                                     70.6
Male & Female 61.5 60.7 59.9 59.5 58.9                                                     57.915

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE (KILM 8a)
              1997 1998 1999                                        2000        2001       2002
Female        3.4  4.0   4.5                                        4.5         4.8        5.1
Male          3.4  4.1   4.8                                        5.0         5.2        5.6
Male & Female 3.4  4.1   4.7                                        4.8         5.0        5.416

PART-TIME WORKERS
Part-time employment as a percent of total employment
                    1997 1998 1999 2000 2001                                               2002
Female              37.6 38.2 38.9 37.9 40.1                                               40.2
Male                12.7 12.7 13.2 11.4 13.4                                               13.7
Male & Female       22.8 23.1 23.7 22.2 24.4                                               24.617

NEW ZEALAND – LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION RATE (KILM 1)
Number of persons in the labor force as a percentage of population (15 to 64 years)

                                  1998                   1999                   2000                   2001                   2002
Female                            67.1                   67.4                   67.5                   68.5                   69.1
Male                              83.5                   83.2                   83.2                   83.4                   83.9
Male & Female                     75.2                   75.2                   75.2                   75.9                   76.418

Employment-to-Population Ratio (KILM 2)
                   1995 1996 1997 1999
Female             47.4 49.4 48.1 47.6
13
   Id.
14
   Id.
15
   Id.
16
   Id.
17
   Id.
18
   Id.


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Male                              78.9       82.9        81.4       78.5
Male & Female                     62         65.9        64.4       62.919

Percentage of working-age population employed
                            1997 1998 1999                                      2000       2001        2002
Female                      53.5 53       53.7                                  54.2       55.3        55.9
Male                        69.5 68.1 68.4                                      69.1       70          70.8
Male & Female               61.3 60.3 60.9                                      61.4       62.5        63.220

Part-time Workers (KILM 5)
Part-time employment as a percent of total employment
                            1997 1998 1999 2000                                            2001        2002
Female                      36.6 37.1 36.7 35.3                                            35.6        35.7
Male                        10.4 10.5 11.1 10.9                                            10.9        11.3
Male & Female               22.1 22.5 22.7 21.9                                            22.1        22.421

Unemployment Rate (KILM 8a)
Number of persons unemployed as a percentage of the labor force
                          1997 1998 1999 2000 2001                                                     2002
Female                    6.7     7.4    6.5     5.8     5.3                                           5.3
Male                      6.6     7.5    7.0     6.1     5.4                                           5.0
Male & Female             6.6     7.5    6.8     6.0     5.3                                           5.222

PHILIPPINES
Labor Force Participation Rate (KILM 1)
Number of persons in the labor force as a percentage of population (15 to 64 years)
                      1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
Female                50.5 50.6 51           51.8 50.1 54.9
Male                  84.4 84.1 84.7 83.8 82.1 84.5
Male & Female         67.5 67.3 67.9 67.9 66.2 69.823

Employment-to-Population Ratio (KILM 2)
Percentage of working-age population employed (KILM 2)
                     1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000                                                     2001
Female               44.4 45       44.8 44.4 43.5 43.6                                                 45.9
Male                 75.8 76.9 76.2 75           70.8 72.1                                             73.3
Male & Female        60.1 60.9 60.3 59.6 57.1 57.8                                                     59.624

Unemployment Rate (KILM 8a)
                   1995 1996                             1997       1998        1999       2000        2001

19
   Id.
20
   Id. The general age group is 15 years and over.
21
   Id. Total employment includes employees, employers, own-account workers, members of producers’
cooperatives, contributing family members and workers not classifiable by status.
22
   Id.
23
   Id..
24
   Id.


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130 Pauline C. Reich
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Female                            9.4        8.2         8.5        9.8         9.3        9.9         10.3
Male                              7.7        7.0         7.5        9.5         9.7        10.3        9.4
Male & Female                     8.4        7.4         7.9        9.6         9.6        10.1        9.825

REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Labor Force Participation Rate (KILM 1)
                      1995 1996 1997                                1998        1999       2000        2001       2002
Female                51.3 51.6 52.7                                50.2        50.7       51.8        52.6       53.4
Male                  78.7 78.4 78.0                                77.8        77.3       76.9        77.0       77.7
Male and Female       64.9 64.9 65.2                                63.9        63.9       64.2        64.7       65.426

Employment-to-Population Ratio (KILM 2)
                   1995 1996 1997                                   1998        1999       2000        2001       2002
Female             47.5 47.9 48.4                                   44.4        45.0       46.6        47.7       48.5
Male               74.8 74.3 73.5                                   69.4        69.1       70.1        71.0       72.2
Male and Female    60.7 60.7 60.6                                   56.5        56.7       58.0        59.0       60.027

Part-time Workers (KILM 5)
                     1995                    1996        1997       1998        1999       2000        2001 2002
Female               6.7                     6.9         7.8        9.2         10.5       9.7         10.3 10.5
Male                 2.9                     2.7         3.3        5.1         5.9        5.0         5.1    5.3
Male & Female        4.4                     4.4         5.1        6.8         7.8        7.0         7.3    7.528

Unemployment Rate (KILM 8a)
                   1995 1996                             1997       1998        1999       2000        2001       2002
Female             1.7   1.6                             2.3        5.6         5.1        3.3         3.1        2.5
Male               2.2   2.3                             2.8        7.6         7.1        4.7         4.3        3.5
Male & Female      2.0   2.0                             2.6        6.8         6.3        4.1         3.8        3.129

Wage Differentials between Male and Female Workers in National Currency for Selected
Occupations (KILM 16a) – Data year: 2001
Wage differential (female wage:male wage) of male and female workers:
Accountant – 81%
Computer programmer – 84%
First level education teacher – 66%
Laborer – 76%
Professional nurse (general) – 44%
Welder – 74%30

SINGAPORE
Labor Force Participation Rate (KILM 1)
25
   Id.
26
   Id.
27
   Id.
28
   Id.
29
   Id.
30
   Id.


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Number of persons in the labor force as a percentage of the population (15 to 64 years)
                     1995 1996 1997 1998                    2000
Female               54.3 56.1 55.8 56.3                    60.4
Male                 82.7 83.5 82.9 82.7                    85.5
Male & Female        68.7 69.4 69.0 69.0                    73.431

Employment-to-Population Ratio (KILM 2)
Percentage of working-age population employed
                     1995 1996 1997 1998                                                   2000
Female               48.7 49.9 49.8 49.6                                                   52.7
Male                 76.3 76.4 76.4 75.1                                                   77.8
Male & Female        62.6 62.7 62.7 61.8                                                   65.532

Unemployment Rate (KILM 8a)
                   1996 1997                             1998       1999        2000       2001
Female             3.1   2.4                             3.3        4.6         5.1        3.4
Male               2.9   2.4                             3.2        4.5         4.0        3.5
Male & Female      3.0   2.4                             3.2        4.6         4.4        3.433

Wages in National Currency for Selected Occupations (KILM 16a)
Wage differential (female:male wage) of male and female workers, data year 2000
Accountant: 104%
Computer programmer: 82%
Laborer: 102%
Professional nurse (general): 94%34

VIETNAM
Labor Force Participation Rate (KILM 1)
                      1995 only
Male                  79.4
Female                86.1
Male & Female         82.735

The World Bank is another source of statistical information about women employees in the
region.

WORLD BANK STATISTICS: WORLD DEVELOPMENT INDICATORS DATABASE

Employees, industry, female ( % change)
                             2000 2001
Australia                           -4.81

31
   Id.
32
   Id.
33
   Id.
34
   Id.
35
   Id.


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132 Pauline C. Reich
                            Participation of Women in the Labor Markets of the Asia-Pacific/Oceania Regions:
                    What Advances Have Been Made? What Obstacles Remain? How Can We Assess Them?
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Hong Kong                                                -4.81
Japan                                                    -3.72
Korea, Rep.                                              -3.13
Macao                                                    12.58
New Zealand                                              -2.48
Philippines                                              -9.0936

Employees, agriculture, female (% change)
                             2000 2001
Australia                           0.00
Hong Kong                           -50.00
Japan                               -5.45
Korea, Rep.                         -7.20
Macao                               0.00
New Zealand                         1.72
Philippines                         1.6337

EAST ASIA
Hong Kong
% change – 2000 to 2001
Employees, agriculture, female (% of female employment)                                                -50.00
Employees, agriculture, male (% of male employment)                                                       0.00
Employees, industry, female (% of female employment)                                                     -4.81
Employees, industry, male (% of male employment)                                                        -2.90
Employees, services, female (% of female employment)                                                      0.78
Employees, services, male (% of male employment)                                                          1.1138

Japan
% change                                                                                      1999-2000 2000-2001
Employees, agriculture, female (% of female employment)                                            6       5
Employees, agriculture, male (% of male employment)                                                5       5
Employees, industry, female (% of female employment)                                               22     21
Employees, industry, male (% of male employment)                                                   38     37
Employees, services, female (% of female employment)                                               72     73
Employees, services, male (% of male employment)                                                   57     57

                   % change                                                                         2000          2001        2002
Long term unemployment (% of total unemployment)                                                      25          25          30
Long-term unemployment, female (% of female
unemployment)                                                                                          17         17          22
Long-term unemployment, male (% of male

36
   World Development Indicators database, http://genderstats.worldbank.org/query/SMResult.asp <visited
7/24/05>
37
   Id.
38
   World Development Indicators database, http://genderstats.worldbank.org/query/SMResult.asp <visited
7/27/05>


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                                                                                                              Pauline C. Reich          133
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unemployment)                                                                                          31         29          3539

Korea
% change                                                                                               2000-2001
Employees, agriculture, female (% of female employment)                                                -7.20
Employees, agriculture, male (% of male employment)                                                    -4.12
Employees, industry, female (% of female employment)                                                   -3.13
Employees, industry, male (% of male employment)                                                       -2.04
Employees, services, female (% of female employment)                                                   -2.05
Employees, services, male (% of male employment)                                                        1.97

                   % change                                                                2001 2002
Long term unemployment (% of total unemployment)                                           0.00 8.70
Long-term unemployment, female (% of female                                                50.00 0.00
unemployment)
Long-term unemployment, male (% of male                                                    -6.45 6.9040
unemployment)

SOUTH ASIA
Bangladesh
                                                                                                       2000 only
Employees, agriculture, female (% of female employment)                                                77
Employees, agriculture, male (% of male employment)                                                    53
Employees, industry, female (% of female employment)                                                   9
Employees, industry, male (% of male employment)                                                       11
Employees, services, female (% of female employment)                                                   12
Employees, services, male (% of male employment)                                                       3041

Pakistan
                                                                                                       2000 only
Employees, agriculture, female (% of female employment)                                                73
Employees, agriculture, male (% of male employment)                                                    44
Employees, industry, female (% of female employment)                                                    9
Employees, industry, male (% of male employment)                                                       20
Employees, services, female (% of female employment)                                                   18
Employees, services, male (% of male employment)                                                       3642

SOUTHEAST ASIA
Cambodia
                                                                                           2000        2001
Unemployment, female (% of female labor force)                                             3           2
Unemployment, male (% of male labor force)                                                 2           2

39
   Id., http://genderstats.worldbank.org/query/SMResult.asp?COUNorSERI=JPN&scale=1
40
   Id., http://genderstats.worldbank.org/query/SMResult.asp
41
   Id., http://genderstats.worldbank.org/query/SMResult.asp?COUNorSERI=BGD&scale=....
42
   Id. http://genderstats.worldbank.org/query/SMResult.asp?COUNorSERI=PAK&scale=1 <visited 7/24/04)


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134 Pauline C. Reich
                            Participation of Women in the Labor Markets of the Asia-Pacific/Oceania Regions:
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Unemployment, total (% of total labor force)                                               3           243

Malaysia
                                                        % change, 1999-2000
Employees, agriculture, female (% of female employment)(% change)     14
Employees, agriculture, male (% of male employment) (% change)        21
Employees, industry, female (% of female employment) (% change)       29
Employees, industry, male (% of male employment) (% change)           34
Employees, services, female (% of female employment) (% change)       57
Employees, services, male (% of male employment) (% change)          4544

Philippines
                                                                                                                  2001 only
Employees, agriculture, female (% of female employment)(% change)                                                  1.63
Employees, agriculture, male (% of male employment) (% change)                                                     0.22
Employees, industry, female (% of female employment) (% change)                                                   -9.09
Employees, industry, male (% of male employment) (% change)                                                        0.56
Employees, services, female (% of female employment) (% change)                                                    1.28
Employees, services, male (% of male employment) (% change)                                                        0.8145

Thailand
                                                                                                       2000 only
Employees, agriculture, female (% of female employment)                                                48
Employees, agriculture, male (% of male employment)                                                    50
Employees, industry, female (% of female employment)                                                   17
Employees, industry, male (% of male employment)                                                       20
Employees, services, female (% of female employment)                                                   35
Employees, services, male (% of male employment)                                                       3046

OCEANIA
Australia
                                           % change                                                    2001
Employees, agriculture, female (% of female employment)                                                0.00
Employees, agriculture, male (% of male employment)                                                    0.00
Employees, industry, female (% of female employment)                                                   -4.81
Employees, industry, male (% of male employment)                                                       -4.50
Employees, services, female (% of female employment)                                                   0.46
Employees, services, male (% of male employment)                                                       2.23

                   % change                                                                2000-2001, 2001-2002
Long term unemployment (% of total unemployment)                                            -22.94      -2.79
43
   Id., http://genderstats.worldbank.org/query/SMResult.asp?COUNorSERI=KHM&scale=...
44
   Id. http://genderstats.worldbank.org/query/SMResult.asp?COUNorSEI=MYS&scale=1 <visited 7/24/04)
45
   World Development Indicators database, http://genderstats.worldbank.org/query/SMResult.asp <visited
7/24/05)
46
   World Development Indicators database,
http://genderstats.worldbank.org/query/SMResult.asp?COUNorSERI=THA&scale=1... <visited 7/24/05)


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Long-term unemployment, female (% of female
unemployment)                                                                                -25.00               -5.00
Long-term unemployment, male (% of male
unemployment)                                                                                -21.57               -7.9247

New Zealand
                                                                                            % change 2000 to 2001
Employees, agriculture, female (% of female employment)                                           1.72
Employees, agriculture, male (% of male employment)                                               5.41
Employees, industry, female (% of female employment)                                              -2.48
Employees, industry, male (% of male employment)                                                  -1.55
Employees, services, female (% of female employment)                                              0.49
Employees, services, male (% of male employment)                                                  0.00

                   % change                                                                2000-2001, 2001-2002
Long term unemployment (% of total unemployment)                                           -12.87        -15.44
Long-term unemployment, female (% of female
unemployment)                                                                              -7.14                   -`14.53
Long-term unemployment, male (% of male
unemployment)                                                                              -15.53                  -14.3748

WORLD BANK – WOMEN IN DEVELOPMENT DATA (SELECTED ASIA-PACIFIC
OCEANIA COUNTRIES)

COUNTRY                           FEMALE                                        LABOR                  MATERNITY
                                  POPULATION                                    FORCE                  LEAVE
                                  (% OF TOTAL)                                  GENDER                 BENEFITS
                                  2000                                          PARITY                 (% of
                                                                                INDEX49                wages
                                                                                                       paid in
                                                                                                       covered
                                                                                                       period
                                                                                                       (1998)
                                                                                1990 2000
Australia                         50.2                                          0.7 0.8                0
Bangladesh                        48.4                                          0.7  0.7               100
47
   World Development Indicators database, http://genderstats.worldbank.org/query/SMResult.asp <visited
7/24/05>
48
   World Development Indicators database, http//genderstats.worldbank.org/query/SMResult.asp
 <visited 7/24/05>
49
   The “labor force gender parity index” is the” ratio of the percentage of women who are economically active
to the percentage of men who are. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO) definition, the
economically active population is all those who supply labor for the production of goods and services during a
specified period. It includes both the employed and unemployed. While national practices vary in the
treatment of such groups as the armed forces and seasonal or part-time workers, in general the labor force
includes the armed forces, the unemployed, and first-time job seekers, but excludes homemakers and other
unpaid caregivers and workers in the informal sector.” See 1.5 Women in development,
www.worldbank.org/data/wdi2002/pdfs/table1-5.pdf


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Cambodia                          51.2                                          1.2        1.1          50
China                             48.6                                          0.8        0.8         100
Hong Kong                         49.1                                          0.6        0.6         --
India                             48.4                                          0.5        0.5         100
Indonesia                         49.8                                          0.6        0.7         100
Japan                             51.1                                          0.7        0.7          60
Korea Dem.Rep.                    49.8                                          0.8        0.8         --
Korea, Republic                   49.7                                          0.6        0.7         100
Lao PDR                           50.1                                          --         --          100
Malaysia                          49.3                                          0.6        0.6         100
Mongolia                          49.9                                          0.9        0.9         --
Myanmar                           50.3                                          0.8        0.8          67
Nepal                             48.7                                          0.7        0.7         100
New Zealand                       50.7                                          0.8        0.8            0
Pakistan                          48.6                                          0.3        0.4         100
Philippines                       49.6                                          0.6        0.6         100
Singapore                         49.6                                          0.6        0.6         100
Sri Lanka                         48.6                                          0.5        0.6         100
Thailand                          50.5                                          0.9        0.9         100
Vietnam                           50.2                                          1.0        1.0         10050

World Bank Publications on Women and Employment in the Asia-
Pacific/Oceania Regions

      Although the statistics are a bit dated, the World Bank has produced a rare document
that looks at wage differentials between the public and private sectors in India and includes
gender in the statistics. The reason for the dated statistics is no doubt the lack of current
ones collected by the national and state governments, rather than any laxity by the research
team. It is a valuable piece of statistical work with a good but dated bibliography.51

     The Asian Development Bank and the World Bank have jointly produced a Country
Gender Assessment on Mongolia with discussion of women in the formal and informal
economies of that nation, 52 The World Bank has also produced a Cambodia Gender
Assessment report, including “Gender Outlook on the Labor Market,” 53 and a China
Country Gender Review, and an excellent paper drawing on gender assessments prepared
by the World Bank and/or Asian Development Bank in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao
PDR, Mongolia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.54
50
   World Bank, 1.5 Women in development, www.worldbank.org/data/wdi2002/pdfs/table1-5.pdf
51
   Elena Glinskaya and Michael Lokshin, “Wage differentials between the public and private sector in India,
Vol. 1”, Policy Research Working Paper, World Bank Report No. WPS3574, 4/1/05, http://www-
wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDS_IBank_Servlet?pcont=detail&eid=000...
52
   East and Central Asia Regional Department and Regional and Sustainable Development Department, Asian
Development Bank and Environment and Social Development Unit, East and Asia Pacific Region, World
Bank, Manila Philippines, 2005, MONGOLIA:COUNTRY GENDER ASSESSMENT.
53
   http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/EASTASIAPACIFIC...
54
   East Asia Environment and Social Development Unit, World Bank, China: Country Gender Review, June
2002. See also Gillian M. Brown, Laila Al-Hamad, Carmen de Paz Nieves, “Gender Equality in East Asia:


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_____________________________________________________________

World Economic Forum: Gender Gap Rankings for Countries in the Asia-
Pacific/Oceana Region (58 Countries Total in the Rankings)

     In 2005, the World Economic Forum issued a study to “assess the current size of the
gender gap by measuring the extent to which women in 58 countries have achieved equality
with men in five critical areas: economic participation, economic opportunity, political
empowerment, educational attainment and health and well-being.” It stated: “Countries that
do not capitalize on the full potential of one half of their societies are misallocating their
human resources and undermining their competitive potential,” and noted, “Even in light of
heightened international awareness of gender issues, it is a disturbing reality that no country
has yet managed to eliminate the gender gap.” 55 Among the countries evaluated in the
survey, New Zealand and Australia placed among the highest ranks in eliminating the
gender gap, while India and Korea placed in the lowest ranks.

     The study states, “These country comparisons are meant to serve a dual purpose: as a
benchmark to identify existing strengths and weaknesses, and as a useful guide for policy,
based on learning from the experiences of those countries that have had greater success in
promoting the equality of men and women. The study provides concrete measures of the
gender gap within the five categories identified above, providing an unambiguous
framework for future policy-making in each of the countries. By quantifying the size of the
gap in each of the five key categories, the study highlights the priority areas for reform.” 56

    Economic participation was defined as the presence of women in the workforce in
quantitative terms. “Economic participation concerns not only the actual numbers of
women participating in the labour force, but also their remuneration on an equal basis.
Worldwide, outside of the agricultural sector, in both developed and developing countries,
women are still averaging slightly less than 78% of the wages given to men for the same
work, a gap which refuses to close in even the most developed countries”.57

     Economic opportunity was defined in the study as the “quality of women’s economic
involvement, beyond their mere presence as workers. This is a particularly serious problem
in developed countries, where women may gain employment with relative ease, but where
their employment is either concentrated in poorly paid or unskilled ‘job ghettos,’
characterized by the absence of upward mobility and opportunity. This is most commonly
the result of negative or obstructive attitudes, and of legal and social systems which use

Progress and the Challenges of Economic Growth and Political Change,”
http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTEAPHALFYEARLYUPDATE/Resources/genderequality.pdf
(no date)
55
   Augusto Lopez-Claros and Saadia Zahidi, Women’s Employment: Measuring the Global Gender Gap,
World Economic Forum, 2005, page 1.
56
   Id.
57
   Id., page 3.


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maternity laws and benefits to penalize women economically for childbirth and childcare
responsibilities, and discourage – or actively prevent – men from sharing family
responsibilities….The ghettoization of female labor is a phenomenon which crosses all
cultural boundaries, and professions, affecting women in virtually all countries.
Internationally, women are most concentrated in ‘feminized’ professions, such as nursing
and teaching, office work, care of the elderly and disabled – termed –horizontal
occupational segregation’ – where they tend to remain in lower job categories than men.
Typically, because these functions are carried out by women, they are the lowest paid, in
addition to offering limited or no opportunity for advancement.”58

     In the study, the authors used data on “the duration of maternity leave, the percentage
of wages paid during the covered period and the number of women in managerial positions
to capture the variation between the economic opportunities available to women in different
countries. In addition, we have included a unique dataset on qualitative elements such as
the availability of government-provided childcare, the impact of maternity laws on the
hiring of women, and wage inequalities between men and women for private sector
employment.”59

         Results for countries in the Asia-Pacific/Oceania region were:

COUNTRY       OVERALL                        OVERALL                ECONOMIC                           ECONOMIC
              RANK                           SCORE*                 PARTICIPATION                      OPPORTUNITY
New Zealand     6                            4.89                   16                                 47
Australia      10                            4.61                   15                                 25
United States   17                           4.40                   19                                 46
People’s       33                            4.01                    9                                 23
Repub. China
Japan          38                            3.75                   33                                 52
Bangladesh     39                            3.74                   18                                 53
Malaysia       40                            3.70                   40                                 36
Thailand       44                            3.61                    1                                 39
Indonesia      46                            3.50                   29                                 24
India          53                            3.27                   54                                 35
Korea          54                            3.18                   34                                 55
Pakistan       56                            2.90                   53                                 54

“Invisibility” in the Statistics

    Older women – Very few countries in the regions reviewed, except for perhaps
Australia, look at age in combination with gender in their statistics.

     Widows, marital status in relation to employment- Another invisible group is widows,
since gender disaggregated data that include marital circumstances are not available from

58
     Id.
59
     Id., page 4.


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most countries. The few books that do look at marital status in relation to employment
contain dated information.60

    Migrant women -Women working as “foreign domestic workers” (FDW) are found in
a number of countries in the region, e.g. Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia. Limited data
about their numbers and legal issues have been reported in the media of various countries
and on Internet-based websites of human rights groups, embassies, advocacy groups, etc.,
from 1998 to the present with allegations of violations of human rights and labor rights in
some instances. A brief summary follows.

      Singapore – There are currently 150,000 foreign maids working in Singapore. Most
are from the Philippines and Indonesia, with the others from Sri Lanka, India, Myanmar
and Thailand. “Singapore courts frequently hear cases of housemaid abuse- or those
concerning retaliatory murder, the usual plea of defense lawyers on behalf of their clients
being that they were driven to homicide after suffering extreme abuse. Last month,
Singapore’s image as a destination for foreign job-seekers took yet another beating when
homemaker Sazarina Madzin was arrested for the abuse last year of her Indonesian maid,
Wiwik Setyowati…. The 28-year-old Madzin was charged on 80 counts of abuse, including
bludgeoning her hapless victim… with an assortment of household items, including shoes,
a tomato sauce bottle and a plastic chopping board. Madzin now faces seven years in prison
for threatening to kill her employee….

     Filipino maids who can converse in English usually receive about $215 a month while
Sri Lankans rate less at $150. Indonesians get paid about $120, slightly more than the $117
levy that employers must pay the government per worker… The wages – and that’s for
round-the-clock work – seem exploitative in a country with one of the most affluent
societies in Asia and a per capita monthly income exceeding $2000.

     Employers in Singapore risk forfeiting a US$3,000 security bond if the maid goes
missing – or if they fail to repatriate her at the end of the contract or in the event of
pregnancy…”61
60
   See, e.g. Margaret Owen, A WORLD OF WIDOWS, (Zed Books, London & New Jersey, 1996. See
chapter 2, “Poverty, Work and Income Support,” and Chapter 10, “Human Rights, Equality and Legal
Protection”; Norman Stockman, Norman Bonney, Sheng Xuewen, WOMEN’S WORK IN EAST AND
WEST: THE DUAL BURDEN OF EMPLOYMENT AND FAMILY LIFE, Cambridge Studies in Work and
Social Inequality 3, (UCL Press Ltd., London, 1995), especially Chapter 3, Women in Paid Work in Four
Societies (China, U.S., U.K., Japan); Saraswati Raju and Deipica Bagchi, Eds., WOMEN AND WORK IN
SOUTH ASIA: REGIONAL PATTERNS AND PERSPECTIVES (Routledge, London and New York, 1993),
covering India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) and Mary C. Brinton, Ed. WOMEN’S WORKING LIVES IN
EAST ASIA (Stanford University Press, Stanford, Ca., 2001) with excellent but similarly dated statistics on
married women’s employment in South Korea, Taiwan, Japan.
61
   Stanislaus Jude Chan, “Maids dying for a day off,” Online Asia Times, 9/29/05,
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/GI29Ae02.html. For other accounts of cases of abuse of
foreign domestic workers in Singapore, see, e.g., Wong Siew Ying, “Two Indonesian maids escape gallows
for killing employer,” 9/5/05,
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/166667/1/.html; “Singapore couple take
turns in jail for maid abuse,” 8/21/02, http://www.dailynews.lk/2002/08/21/wor03.html ;Noorashikin Abdul
Rahman, “Singapore girl? Indonesian maids in Singapore want to be heard,” Jan.-March 2002,
http:..www.insideindonesia.org/edit69/noor2.htm; “Shattered dreams on island Shangri-la,” 8./17/02,


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     Indonesia’s Manpower Minister was quoted as saying that Singapore was “not doing
enough” to protect Indonesian maids working there. He stated that at least 94 Indonesian
maids have died since 1999, including one in 2004, most of them falling to their death
when working in high-rise apartments. The response of the Singapore Manpower Ministry
in January 2004 was that first-time employers of foreign maids would have to take
government-run orientation courses on how to be better bosses. The ministry stated that 22
employers had been jailed for abusing their maids from January 2001 to June 2003.62

      As of June 28, 2004, 40 migrant workers claiming to have been abused by their
employers were living at the Indonesian Embassy’s “Temporary Shelter for Indonesian
Maids Working in Singapore”. Some claimed physical or sexual abuse, while others said
they were not paid for their work. One woman claimed that she had reported her situation to
the police (not having been paid for two years “ but my passport is still being kept by my
employer”. Another woman claimed that her employer abused her daily. The Indonesian
Ambassador to Singapore said that many employees were also victims of workplace
accidents. He stated that “dozens of Indonesian maids died from 1999 to May 2004 after
falling from high-rise apartments in Singapore” while hanging out clothes to dry or washing
windows.63

   As of September 2004, the Singapore Employment Act did not apply to foreign
domestic workers. The government leaves the relationship between the employers and
FDWs to a “personal arrangement” and does not interfere.64

     Hong Kong –In 2002, there were 150,000 Filipino maids in Hong Kong, but that
number had been reduced to 124,000 as of June 2004. During the same period, the number
of Indonesian maids increased from 55,000 to almost 85,000.65

     “Many Hong Kong families have foreign domestic helpers, who must be paid at least
HK $3,270 a month. However, most families find maids through agents, and the agents
often collect fees from both the families and the maids. The Hong Kong government set up
a task force in 2003 to deal with complaints of employer and agent abuse of maids, but in


http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/8-17-2002-24620.asp; “Abuse of maids in Singapore angers many,”
Associated Press, 9/9/01, http://www.sfdonline.org.Link%20Pages/Link%20Folders.01PF.ap090901.html
62
   “Indonesian minister criticizes S’pore over treatment of maids,” Agence France Presse, January 27, 2004,
http://www.singapore-window.org/sw04/040127af.htm. For full legal requirements and employee rights, see
The High Commission of India in Singapore, “General Guidelines for Indian Maids/Workers Seeking
Employment in Singapore,” http://www.embassyof India.com/Indian_maids.htm (no date) See also “Migrant
maids run for shelter,” SHANGHAI STAR, 3/25/04, http://app1.chinadaily.com.cn/star/2004/0325/fe21-
1.html
63
   “Indonesian maids in S’pore prone to human rights violations,” JAKARTA POST, June 28, 2004,
http://www.singapore-window.org/sw04/040628jp.htm
64
   Yasuko Kobayashi, “Lowest of the low: Foreign domestic workers (FDWs) in Singapore,” 9/23/04,
http:.//www.jamesgomeznews.com/article.php?AID=174
65
   Jacob Adelman, “Hong Kong’s Filipino maids aid Indonesian newcomers; Seasoned workers impart local
laws on wages, abuse”, 11/18/04, http://www.sfgae.com/cgi-
bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/11/18.MNG0Q...


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its first 18 months, only five of 100 agents charged with overcharging had their licenses
revoked.”66

      “Surveys of Indonesian maids in Hong Kong reported that over 40 per cent received
less than the minimum wage of HK $3,270 a month, even though many said they signed
receipts provided by their employers showing that they earning the minimum. Most also
paid more than the 10 percent that Hong Kong allows to be charged in recruitment fees
(Indonesia allows higher fees, and some maids reported paying over five months salary).67

      Indonesia –“Indonesia sent 480,393 migrants abroad via legal channels in 2003. The
government is under pressure to do more to protect Indonesia women who migrate to the
Gulf oil exporters, Malaysia, and Hong Kong to work as domestic helpers…. Indonesian
maids in Singapore reportedly early $150 a month, and remit two-thirds to their families…
Many of the Indonesian women’s problems begin at home, where recruitment agencies
extract fees for contracts that may not reflect jobs abroad. Women are supposed to be at
least 25 to go abroad, but recruiters routinely change the ages of younger women so they
can leave. Indeed, reports of abuses of potential migrants in Indonesia is so common that it
is said neither the workers nor society considers them wrong.”68

     Malaysia – The Malaysian government “instituted a new lifetime ban on employers
who physically abuse foreign maids. Employers who fail to pay the salary to their maids
will be barred from employing foreign maids for one or two years. In 2002, five Kuala
Lumpur-based employers were blacklisted for mistreating their maids, who complained of
non-payment of salary and verbal, emotional and physical abuse.”69

     According to Human Rights Watch, in 2004 Malaysia promised to create a labor
agreement with Indonesia on migrant domestic workers within a three-month period. There
has since been “little progress”. Malaysia labor law protects most categories of workers, but
“specifically excludes domestic workers”. The same report notes: “Indonesian domestic
workers in Malaysia typically work grueling 16 to 18 hour days a week, and earn less than
US$5 a day. Many employers hold their domestic worker’s salary until the end of the
standard two-year contract. In Malaysia, most domestic workers are forbidden to leave their
workplace and many suffer psychological, physical, and sexual assault by labor agents and
employers. Nongovernmental organizations and the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur
have received thousands of complaints from maids about working conditions, wages or
abuse in the past few years.” Human Rights Watch notes that “…While Malaysia excludes
domestic workers from most standard labor protections, Hong Kong ensures domestic



66
   Migration News, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, http://migration.ucdavis.edu/mn/more.php?id=3056_0_3_0
67
   Migration News, China, Hong Kong, http://migration.ucdavis.edu/mn/more.php?id=3123_0_3_0; Maria
Cheng, “Out of the Frying Pan… Indonesians flocking to Hong Kong to seek better jobs as maids are finding
fraud and exploitation,” 8/16/99,
http://www.time.com/time/asia/asia/magazine/1999/990816/hard_labor1.html
68
   See Migration News, Indonesia, Philippines, India,
http//migration.ucdavis.edu/mn/more.php?id=3009_0_3_0
69
   See Migration News, Southeast Asia, http://migration.ucdavis.edu/mn/more.php?id=61_0_3_0


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workers: rights to rest days, a minimum wage, limitations on hours of work, and to join
unions.” 70

     Philippines – In the 1990s, many Filipinas went abroad to work as maids and
entertainers and they are being joined by middle-class professionals, including nurses,
doctors and computer analysts…”In many cases, Filipinos experience downward mobility,
as teachers earning $200 a month migrate to Hong Kong to be maids for $450 a month.”71

     Sri Lanka – “Some 200,000 Sri Lankans a year go abroad to work. Two thirds of them
are women who have not worked for wages in Sri Lanka and are migrating to be domestic
helpers, usually in the Middle East. By some estimates, about 600,000 of the one million
Sri Lankans abroad are domestic helpers who are aged 18 to 40 and have at least a tenth-
grade education. Sri Lankan migrants remitted $1.4 billion in 2003, equivalent to eight
percent of Sri Lankan GDP… Before going abroad to be domestic helpers for a salary of
about $120 a month, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SBLE) offers migrants
a 12-day course in one of 22 training centers that includes instruction on how to use modern
appliances, with instructors warning would-be migrants that they risk beatings if they do
not pay attention and learn. Sri Lanka’s government promotes the export of domestic
helpers, and critics say that the training and shelters for abused women, who may be 15 to
20 per cent of the total, are insufficient protection for women sent to work behind high
walls in the Gulf oil states. When domestic helpers seek safety in Sri Lankan embassies,
they sometimes have to stay there for months for lack of funds to fly them home. Until Sri
Lanka’s constitution was recently amended, children born to Sri Lankan women abroad
were not given Sri Lankan citizenship.”72

     Expatriate professional women - Underemployment or unemployment is a common
feature of “trailing spouses” or foreign professional women in some countries in the region,
however data are unreported. The author’s several attempts to survey the Prime Minister’s
Gender Equity Office in Japan resulted in no response about whether the Japanese
government views the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women or
its Equal Employment Opportunity Law to apply to non-Japanese women legally working
in Japan. Review of Ministry of Education data and data from the Dawn Center (an Osaka-
based women’s organization) indicated male-female data, e.g. about women in higher and
other education positions, are available, but there is no further breakdown of data to
indicate nationality. The Japan Federation of Bar Associations does, however, collect data
about Japanese and non-Japanese lawyers by gender.
70
   “Malaysia: Migrant Workers Fall Prey to Abuse: Mass Expulsions Ensnare Refugees; Migrant Women
Lack Legal Protections,” Human Rights Watch, http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/05/17/malays10959.htm.
See also Hazlin Hassan, “Maids as slaves: Asia’s hidden shame,” THE MANILA TIMES, 6/3/04,
http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2004/jun03/yehey /opinion/20040603opi7.html; Nisha Varia, “Asia’s
Migrant Workers Need Better Protection,” ASIAN WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/1/04,
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2004/09/01/malays9337.htm; “Help Wanted: Abuses against Female Migrant
Domestic Workers in Indonesia and Malaysia- VII. Recommendations,” Human Rights Watch,
http://hrw.org/reports/2004/indonesia0704/; Todd Crowell, “Domestic Strife: Household workers are feeling
the pain of the economic downturn” http://www.asiaweek.com/asiaweek.98/0619/feat.html
71
   Jane Perlez, “Educated Filipinos, Disillusioned at Home, Look Abroad for a Better Life,” NEW YORK
TIMES, April 8, 2002, http://migration.ucdavis.edu/mn/more.php?id=2631_0_3_0
72
   Migration News, South Asia, http://migration.ucdavis.edu/mn/more.php?id=3126_0_3_0


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      Trafficked women - The United States Department of State has embarked on an
initiative concerning trafficked women, and findings are published in annual State
Trafficking in Persons reports.73

     Some human rights groups have criticized the State Department for its rankings of
countries. For example, Human Rights Watch criticized the 2003 State Department report
for not giving statistics on the number of people being trafficked. Again, gender
disaggregated statistics would also be helpful when such data is made available by
governments, NGOs and human rights groups.

     In the 2003 report, 116 countries were evaluated. The report put each country in one of
three categories:

Tier 3 – not in compliance with minimum standards or not making significant efforts;
Tier 2 – not in compliance but making significant efforts;
Tier 1 – in compliance.

     The following is an excerpt from the Human Rights Watch June 2003 comments about
the 2003 State Department trafficking report:

The U.S. State Department's third annual trafficking in persons report fails to meaningfully evaluate
governments' efforts to combat trafficking in persons, Human Rights Watch said
today.
                                          "For the third consecutive year, the
                                          State Department report fails to give hard figures on the number of
people being trafficked," said LaShawn R. Jefferson, executive director of the Women's Rights Division of
Human Rights Watch. "The report gives undue credit for minimal effort and ignores government practices,
such as summary deportation and incarceration, that effectively punish trafficking victims."

The State Department released the 177-page report today to comply with the Victims of Trafficking and
Violence Protection Act of 2000. The report evaluates the performance of 116 countries, putting each country
in one of three categories, depending on how its domestic efforts meet the legislation's minimum standards for
the elimination of trafficking. Tier 3 countries are deemed to be not in compliance with the minimum
standards and not making significant efforts; Tier 2 countries are not in compliance, but making significant
efforts; and Tier 1 countries are in compliance. The report covers countries worldwide with a "significant
number" of trafficking victims.

The State Department consistently credits countries for their efforts to combat trafficking even when they
have not passed legislation specifically criminalizing all forms of forced labor as trafficking, or when they
have failed to sign or ratify the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking supplementing the U.N.
Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, the single most authoritative international human rights
instrument on trafficking. Another consistent shortcoming is that Tier 2, where seventy-five countries fall,
remains a catch-all category. Tier 2 comprises countries of varied trafficking records. The report also fails
adequately to explain its concrete minimum standards for countries to move up tiers.



73
  See, e.g. Trafficking in Persons Report 2003, http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/21555.pdf;
Trafficking in Persons Report 2004, http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2004; Trafficking in Persons Report
(with expanded coverage of labor slavery), http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/47255.pdf


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Human Rights Watch said that if this report is to be useful, it must improve its analytical framework for
country narratives. "We know government corruption and complicity is an undeniable fact of trafficking,"
said Jefferson. "Facts about how many government agents have been tried, prosecuted, and convicted for
trafficking-related offenses are absolutely essential to evaluating a government's record."

Human Rights Watch noted that the report has improved since last year, in part by including more countries,
better organizing the country narratives, ensuring that the report included information on trafficking into
many forms of forced labor, and discussing domestic as well as international trafficking.

Human Rights Watch urges the State Department to:

          Ensure that all future reports include all reliable data on the number of trafficking victims in each
           country, disaggregated by age, sex, nationality, and the nature of their forced labor;
          Categorize as Tier 3 any country that summarily deports or incarcerates trafficking victims;
          Bar from being placed in Tier 1 any country that fails to enact specific legislation criminalizing
           trafficking;
          Add the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and its
           Optional Protocol to the list of "Relevant International Conventions" that it appends to the report;
           and
          Ensure that all future reports adequately weigh efforts toward eliminating and punishing corruption
           in assessing a country's record on combating trafficking

Select Illustrations of the Report's Shortcomings:

Catch-All Tiering: Tier 2 encompasses countries of widely disparate records, from Nigeria, where the
government has been involved in an aggressive anti-trafficking awareness campaign and has cooperated with
other governments to combat trafficking to Laos, where there are no government-sponsored prevention efforts,
no anti-trafficking legislation, no capacity for arrests and prosecutions, state corruption is a huge problem, and
the one international agreement signed with Thailand excludes children altogether, although child trafficking
is a significant problem.

Malaysia: Malaysia should be a Tier 3 country. Malaysia's anti-trafficking efforts have focused on penalizing
victims rather than protecting them. The State Department report itself states, "foreign trafficking victims・re
generally treated as immigration offenders, often detained and held for up to several months before
deportation." Further, there is no comprehensive anti-trafficking law and in 2002, there were no prosecutions
for the specific offense of trafficking.

Japan: Japan should be placed in Tier 3. Specific legislation prohibiting trafficking does not exist and there is
no indication that there will be. In fact, there are special agreements that facilitate trafficking, allowing the
admittance of "entertainers" into the country but not unskilled workers. Trafficking cases are not aggressively
pursued and penalties are weak. Though the government has funded international programs to increase
awareness in other countries, little to nothing has been done to control the growing trafficking issue in Japan.
[More...]

Pakistan: Although there are some indications that the Pakistan government is dedicating more resources to
control trafficking along its border with Iran, discriminatory laws still exist under the Zinah or Hudood
ordinances that treat victims like criminals. These laws criminalize extramarital sex and use victim testimony
as admissions of adultery, therefore discouraging victims from bringing forth their cases. [More...]

Laos: Laos should be Tier 3. Laos is weak on prevention, prosecution, and protection. It does not monitor its
borders well, it fails to arrest and prosecute traffickers, and corruption remains a serious problem. The steps
taken towards victim protection are highly flawed: some victims have been punished for illegal border
crossings and even sent to re-education seminars. A memorandum of understanding signed with Thailand



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addressing repatriation of Laos trafficking victims excludes children, despite child trafficking being a serious
problem.74

United Nations and Other International Organizations –Meetings and
Activities to Produce Gender Disaggergated Statistics

United Nations: Asia-Pacific

     From 1992-1996, UNIFEM supported three projects to improve statistics on gender
issues in the Asia-Pacific region, specifically in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam,
India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, with an evaluation of UNIFEM Gender Statistics projects in
China and Indonesia executed by the ESCAP Statistics Division. National statistics offices
were also involved in the regional project. In each country, teams were formed among
producers and user groups to produce three documents:

     -     a study identifying priority gender concerns and sex-disaggregated indicators
           needed to monitor them;

     -     a report identifying gaps in the existing statistics on gender issues, and a National
           Plan of Action for addressing them;

     - a statistical booklet on the situation of women and men.

     The project gives the following explanation for the need to generate gender-
disaggregated statistics about countries in the region:

What are Gender Statistics?

The term gender statistics refers to two separate but related dimensions of statistical data: disaggregation by
sex for all individual-level statistics to show the different roles and activities of women and men; and the
specific collection of statistics that relate to important gender issues. Depending on individual country
circumstances, these might include statistics on unpaid domestic work and childcare, gender-based violence
on women, trafficking in women, and/or migrant women workers.

In the past, statistics offices and researchers have presented only aggregate labour force data, for example, for
the entire population. However, labour force participation for women (defined as the proportion of the total
population of women aged 15-60 who are actually in the work force) is usually much lower than for men.

Similarly, the distribution of the male and female labour force by sector is usually quite different. In many
countries, a higher proportion of the female labour force is employed in the service sector, while a higher
proportion of the male labour force is employed in industry, and particularly in heavy industries. There are
also clear differences by occupation, with some "feminized" occupations such as teaching or nursing being
dominated by women while others, such as engineering, tend to be dominated by men.

74
  See http://www.hrw.org/press/2003/06/traffickingreport.htm (non-Asia-Pacific/Oceania country comments
deleted by the author of this paper). See also other Human Rights Watch publications about trafficking in the
Asia-Pacific/Oceania region, e.g. Owed Justice: Thai Women Trafficked into Debt Bondage in Japan,
September 2000, http://ww.hrw.org/reports/2000/japan; Crime or Custom: Violence against Women in
Pakistan, August 1999, http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/pakistan.


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A consequence of the failure to recognize and routinely distinguish the different patterns for women and men
is that the situation of men tends to be regarded as the norm or standard, and the different situation of women
is overlooked.

Furthermore, policies and programmes may be based on stereotypes that are significantly different from the
empirical reality. For example, agricultural programmes continue to assume that "farmers are men" even in
countries such as Thailand and Vietnam where sex-disaggregated data show that a majority of farmers in
many rural areas are actually women.

For these reasons, the early work on gender statistics focused primarily on ensuring that individual-level data
are collected, tabulated, presented and analyzed by sex.

While sex disaggregation is important, it is not sufficient because traditional statistical systems have collected
data on the issues that government officials and development analysts - most of whom were men - considered
to be important.

Issues that are important to women rather than men were overlooked. As a result, most developing countries
do not collect data on issues such as domestic violence or on unpaid household and domestic work and child
care.

Thus, later work on gender statistics has also encouraged statistical agencies to collect data on gender issues
and has provided technical support for the collection of data on Violence Against Women and on Time Use,
which shows how much time women and men spend on paid work, unpaid household work, child care,
recreation, commuting etc.

Why Gender Statistics?

As noted above, failure to disaggregate statistics by sex meant that the differences between women and men
were largely overlooked in the design and implementation of development policies, plans and programmes. In
particular, women's specific needs tended to be neglected. Thus, gender statistics were essential in order to
assist policy makers and planners and development projects and programmes to identify and meet women's
needs equally with those of men. 75

     As a result of the above project, statistical booklets on men and women in the eight
countries were produced. The books have been printed and re-printed with funding from
national budgets.

     Nonetheless, according to UNIFEM, “although women’s agencies, researchers and
gender advocates have a strong understanding of the importance of statistics in their work
and can articulate their data requirements, utilization of gender statistics in policy
formulation and programme monitoring remains limited…. But the policy analysts,
planners and policy makers identified as ‘users’ were largely missing. As a result, further
work by UNIFEM on gender statistics will focus more on training those who SHOULD be
using them on how to use gender statistics for policy analysis, as well as for advocacy”. 76

     Review of publications on gender and employment and gender statistics for countries
in the regions under discussion in this paper indicate few current publications issued by the

75
   UNIFEM East and Southeast Asia Regional Office, Improving Statistics on Gender Issues in the Asia-
Pacific Region, http://www.unifem-eseasia.org/projects/improvinggendestat.htm
76
   Id. page 6.


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United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. 77 There is
clearly a need for continued statistical compilations of this nature by national statistics
offices in the region now that there has been training and production of such statistical
resources.

OECD: Going Beyond Statistics: from the “What is” to the “Why?”

     In a Policy Brief, two authors of an OECD Development Centre publication conclude
the following:

-“Deeply rooted social institutions – societal norms, codes of conduct, laws and tradition –
cause gender discrimination.”

-“Religion per se does not systematically define such discrimination. All dominant
religions show flexibility n interpreting the role of women in society.”

-“The Millennium Development Goals 78 demand change in gender-discriminating social
institutions, which should be added to the seven strategic priorities identified by the UN
Task Force on Education and Gender Equality.”

-“Donors must redesign their strategies to focus not only on improving women’s capacities
and capabilities, but also and concurrently on lowering men’s resistance against reforms
that improve gender equality.”79

     In the same policy brief, the authors state that “To address gender equality in a country
properly requires knowledge of the sources and the depth of discrimination. Valid
indicators that capture various aspects of gender inequality are indispensable for informed
policy making. The existing indicators tend to focus on gender disparities related to access
to education, health care, political representation, earnings or income and so forth. The
aggregate indices that have received the most attention are the UNDP’s Gender
Development Index (GDI) and the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM). The UNDP’s
Human Development Reports cover both regularly for individual countries. The GDI is an
unweighted average of three indices that measure gender differences in terms of life
expectancy at birth, gross enrolment and literacy rates and earned income. The GEM is an

77
   See http://www.unescap.org/publications/titltebysubject.asp?id
78
   The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and targets come from the Millennium Declaration, singed by
189 countries, including 147 heads of State and Government, in September 2000. See
http://www.un.org/millennium/declaration/ares552.htm Goal 3 is to promote gender equality and to empower
women. One of the indicators for monitoring progress that is relevant to equal employment is to monitor “the
share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector”.Target 16 is “In cooperation with
developing countries, develop and implement strategies for decent and productive work for youth. The
indivator for monitoring progress that is relevant to equal employment is to monitor the “unemployment rate
of young people aged 15-24 years, each sex and total”. It is noted that the ILO is working on an improved
measure for that target.
79
   Johannes Jutting and Christian Morrison, CHANGING SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS TO IMPROVE THE
STATUS OF WOMEN IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, OECD Development Centre, Policy Brief No. 27,
2005, http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/24/32/35155725.pdf <accessed 10/7/05>


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unweighted average of three other variables reflecting the importance of women in society.
They include the percentage of women in parliament, the male/female ratio among
administrators, managers and professional and technical workers, and the female/male
GDOP per capital ratio calculated from female and male shares of earned income.”80

      The authors then criticize the two indices, by stating that “they measure the results of
gender discrimination rather than attempt to understand its underlying causes. The school
enrolment ratio and the percentage of women among managers, for example, are useful in
comparing different country situations, but neither explains why these differences arise.
They ignore the institutional frameworks that govern the behavior of people and hence the
treatment of women. In most developing countries, especially poor ones, cultural practices,
traditions, customs and social norms hold the keys to understanding the roots of gender
discrimination.”81 The authors come up with deeper levels of analysis to understand the
roots, e.g. the direct and indirect effects of social institutions in constraining the economic
role of women. In a chart, they show how social institutions, which limit women’s access to
resources and human capital formation constrain or limit the economic role of women
directly and indirectly. 82 They measure the depth of discrimination caused by social
institutions utilizing economic and non-economic indicators, finding the higher the value
for economic and non-economic variables, the lower the probability that women will play
an active role in the economy.83

     The measurement of social institutions was conducted by the authors with respect to
information about social institutions in more than 60 countries. The economic (ECO) and
non-economic (NON-ECO) indicators are aggregate indicators “reflecting longstanding
norms, customs and traditions that usually have prevailed for more than a century. The
ECO indicator for a country refers to the family code in place that affects the ability of
women to undertake economic activities. The NON-ECO indicator is composed of
variables that have no direct link to the economic role of women.”


ECO Indicators                                                      NON-ECO Indicators
Right to inherit                                                    Genital mutiliation
Freedom of movement and                                             Marriage before the age of 20
dressing                                                            Polygamy
Right to ownership and access                                       Authority over children
to property84

      The authors then indicate the degree of discrimination against females due to social
institutions for different regions worldwide. They compare the differences between two
large multi-regional groupings: Southeast Asia and Latin America vs. sub-Saharan Africa,
the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East/North Africa. The ECO and NON-ECO values

80
   Id. at 6.
81
   Id.
82
   Id. at 7.
83
   Id.
84
   Id. at 8.


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were found consistently very low in the first group (comparable to those in OECD
developed countries), indicating a low level of discrimination. The numeric values given in
the regional indices of discrimination against women are:

South Asia                                       1.1
Southeast Asia                                   0.1
Latin America and Caribbean                      0.1
Sub-Saharan Africa                               0.95(approximate)
Middle East and North Africa                     1.1
0= no discrimination
2= maximum discrimination
The numbers “represent the added value of ECO and NON-ECO for different regions”.85

     They also calculate indices of discrimination against women by religious affiliation,
but caution that the results for Hindu, Animist and Buddhist countries should be interpreted
with caution, as the overall sample size was smaller than the one for Christian and Muslim
countries. The lowest rate was found in 3 Buddhist countries, highest for 23 Muslim
countries and 20 Christian countries.86

     The authors conclude that “The chances for successful reforms are highest in middle –
income countries that are democratic and where the whole population has access to basic
services like education, information and health care. Few such countries have high
measured levels of discrimination against women, but several middle-income countries that
are non-democratic do maintain high discrimination values….. Introducing changes of
social institutions in favor of women seems most complex in lower middle-income
countries where the shares of rural population remain important along with the percentages
of illiterate women. Overcoming long-lasting discriminatory cultural practices depends
heavily on the authority of the countries’ leaders.”87 They describe two scenarios:

     The non-democratic environment, i.e. countries “that have political leaders with
exceptional authority” in which leaders can not only introduce but also enforce reforms that
the majority of the population would otherwise reject. They cite the historical examples of
Kemal Ataturk in Turkey in the 1920s and Habib Bourguiba in Tunisia in 1956.88

     The democratic context, in which “top-down or bottom-up development can make a
difference in societies generally open to change owing to trade openness, cultural
exchanges, tourism development and media freedom. The current changes in the code de la
famille in Morocco exemplify a mainly top-down development. The influence of women in
the society has increased under a generally open regime allowing people access to
information about different lifestyles. In this environment, the highly popular King
Mohammed VI has introduced substantial institutional changes in favor of women. In
principle, the political establishment within a society could also introduce such top-down

85
   Id. at 9
86
   Id. at 10 and footnote 1.
87
   Id. at 11.
88
   Id. at 12.


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changes or, alternatively, react to pressure generated by a bottom-up democratic process.
The history of the development of gender equality in Western countries reveals that lobby
and pressure groups have often organized and channeled support for changes, which
political parties eventually incorporated into their agendas.”89

     The authors indicate that there is not a uniform way to bring about reforms for gender
equality purposes; it depends on a country’s individual history, cultural legacies, group
composition, level of development, degree of participation and political liberties. 90 They
also note that reforms can encounter four different major obstacles that will take on
different importance in different country environments:

     1.    constraints on empowering women;
     2.    flawed interpretations of religious laws and the depth of traditions;
     3.    missing drivers of change and the vested interests of men;
     4.    limited enforcement of reforms.

    The above are interesting insights. Whether these criteria are universally valid and
how the analyses were conducted deserves further analysis.

Individual Country Developments and Obstacles to Equal Employment
Opportunity for Women: Occupations, Professions, etc.

CEDAW Reports and CSW/NGO Comments As A Resource

      For those seeking narrative and statistical information from governmental sources as
well as alternative reports from NGOs, the various country reports to the United Nations on
CEDAW compliance may be a useful resource. Recently, several countries which had
ratified the Convention have submitted their first reports, e.g. Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea, Lao People’s Republic.91

Survey of Women in Corporate Senior Management

      A survey of women executives in 6900 medium-sized businesses worldwide indicated
that although 59% of the businesses include women in management, they occupy only 19%
of senior management positions.

       Results for the Asia-Pacific/Oceania region are:

Proportion of companies with women in senior management
Philippines 85%
Hong Kong 74%

89
   Id.
90
   Id.
91
   See note 5, supra.


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Australia 70%
New Zealand 70%
Indonesia 67%
Taiwan 67%
Singapore 66%
India 42%
Pakistan 27%
Japan 29%

Women as a percentage of the total in senior management
Philippines 39%
New Zealand 31%
Taiwan 31%
Indonesia 29%
Hong Kong 26%
Singapore 23%
Australia 22%
Pakistan 15%
India 12%
Japan 8%92

    According to another 2004 census, 8.4% of Australia’s corporate directors were
women.93 There were no comparable data for other countries in the regions studied in this
paper.

Case Study: New Zealand As A Source of Bencmarking for Other Countries
in the Regions Studied

     It is understandable why New Zealand was ranked so highly by the World Economic
Forum. Review of a number of the government’s documents available online indicate that,
although it is a country with a small population, there is a great commitment to achieving
CEDAW goals through first-class data collection, honest reporting of shortcomings and
goals for overcoming them.

     One example is the NEW ZEALAND CENSUS OF WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION
IN GOVERNANCE AND PROFESSIONAL LIFE, 94 which includes statistical tables on
not just the broad-ranging data found in the above-cited databases, but more finite issues
such as women as directors of publicly listed companies, directors of New Zealand Crown


92
   Grant Thornton International, “Senior management still male-dominated,” Press Release, 2/23/04,
http://www.gti.org/pressroom/articles/pr_022004.asp
93
   Women in business census 2004, June 30, 2004,
http://www.southafrica.info/doing_business/trends/women/women-census.htm
94
   New Zealand Human Rights Commission, New Zealand Census of Women’s Participation in Governance
and Professional Life, June 2004, http://www.hrc.co.nz/hrc/worlddocs/Census-
1_multipart_xF8FF_2_application.pdf.


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companies, statistics about women university professors and associate professors and
partners in law firms. There are also breakdowns by ethnic and migrant classifications.

       Here are some examples of the data found:

     New Zealand Law Society data: Of lawyers who have been in practice for 16 to 20
years, nearly 30% are women. In comparison, “women now make up 14% of partners in the
twenty two largest law firms; 10% of Queens Counsel; 23% of District Court judges and
16% of High Court Judges. There is one woman permanent member of the Court of Appeal
of seven members (excluding the Chief Justice) and the Chief Justice is the only woman of
5 Judges appointed to the new Supreme Court.” 95 It is noted that the purpose of this
benchmarking study will enable the Law Society to engage in better monitoring of the
progress of women in the profession and “so to provide reliable information to move
toward better representation of women at all levels of the legal profession.”96

    Readers may also wish to read the Fifth periodic CEDAW report of New Zealand
(October 14, 2002), which is exhaustive in length, statistics and details.97

     Finally, the EEO Commission’s Report, FRAMEWORK FOR THE FUTURE:
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN NEW ZEALAND 98 outlines both the
concept of equal employment opportunity adopted in New Zealand as well as the reasons
for implementation for various segments of the population.

     Readers will again find useful statistics as well as narrative information about laws and
policies and needs that indicate how and why equal employment opportunity practices are
being implemented in New Zealand.

INDIA

      At the “other end of the spectrum” from New Zealand is India. Recent statistics are not
available, as noted by their absence in this paper. Perhaps they are not available in the
international collections and online data reviewed by the author, which produced data for
other countries in the region? That was the response from a group of Indian labor experts
met at last year’s conference in Seoul, Korea, at which the author presented similar
statistics-based research on the situation of women workers in the regions.

       One of the few individual reports which has been accessed indicates:



95
   Id.
96
   Id., page 6.
97
   Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Consideration of reports submitted by
States parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against
Women, Fifth periodic report – New Zealand, October 14, 2002.
98
   Summary publication, June 2004 – available in PDF form online at
http://www.hrc.co.nz/hrc_new/hrc/cms/files/document/04-Aug-2005-18-18-
17_PDF_Summary_Framework_for_the_Future.pdf


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     Women judges –According to at least one account, quoting the Karnataka state High
Court Judge H.G. Ramesh, the “representation of women on the Bench (is) dismally low
and the representation of women in higher court such as Magistrate Courts, District and
Session Court and the High Court was less than 1 per cent” when he spoke at the one-day
Regional Conference of the Karnataka Federation of Women Lawyers and Women
Lawyers of the Gulbarga Bar Association in December 2004.

     The author visited the Indian Commission on Women and its Ministries of Labor and
Justice six years ago. At that time, limited statistics were found, however there is a definite
need for the Government of India to collect and publish national, regional, local and other
gender-disaggregated data on women in the formal and informal sectors in India.

TAIWAN

     One study of women lawyers in Taiwan contains the author’s subjective impressions
but no statistics to support them. For example, she states: “I would rather take a close-up
look at how gender represents a substantial factor that influences every state of a female
legal professional’s life… I wish to point out that the examination system, along with the
disciplinary legal institute, indeed plays a vital force on gendered relations of power and
status for women in the legal field in Taiwan…. Rather, I go beyond the fixed and static
conceptions embodied in the female gender stereotype and in the concept of a masculine
legal culture, to recognize the diversity and complexity of women’s gendered lives as they
influence the gendered division of labor for the legal profession….”99

      The author notes that studies of the legal profession from a gender perspective “are
still few”. Perhaps this is so in Taiwan, but not so in other countries, e.g. Australia, New
Zealand, U.S., U.K. She does include a survey conducted by a Taiwanese prosecutor, who
initiated a sample essay discussing “Taiwanese women lawyers’ gender consciousness and
made a comparison to Japanese women lawyers. In his essay, 44.2% of female lawyers in
Taiwan did not think they had been discriminated against because of their sex, but 55% of
female lawyers thought they had been. Of the female lawyers who found they encountered
sex discrimination, 50% of the discrimination came from their clients and 30% from their
male colleagues and male judges. Su’s work also indicates that: 58% of female lawy3ers do
not think gender/sex had any impact on their careers; 15% of female lawyers agreed that
being a woman had a positive impact on their careers; and 63.7% of female lawyers thought
they must sustain gender-neutrality. On a small number of female lawyers ((0.8%) agreed
that they need to “learn the male-model” in order to be successful. In Su’s survey, 63.7%
of female lawyers agree that sustaining gender-neutrality was important for maintaining
their professional authority. Finally, Su concludes that female lawyers in Taiwan are more
confident of their female gender roles than their Japanese counterparts. Although limited by



99
  Shu-chin Grace Kuo, “Symposium: The Feminism and Legal Theory Project: Celebrating Twenty Years of
Feminist Pedagogy, Praxis and Prisms: Rethinking the Masculine Character of the Legal Profession: A Case
Study of Female Legal Professionals and Their Gendered Life in Taiwan,” 13 American University Journal of
Gender, Social Policy and the Law 25 (2005).


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the scale of his sample, Su’s research shows the positive attitude of women lawyers in
Taiwan toward their gender roles in the legal field.”100

PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

    Very little statistical or narrative data has been located, except for the Hong Kong
SAR, whose Equal Opportunity Commission and Human Rights Commission report the
laws and some cases, and the All-China Women’s Federation, whose data are presented
below:

            II. Women and Development

            1. There are 711.5 million employees in China. Female employees total 330 million, accounting for
            46% of the total, an increase of 0.3% from 1995. Women account for 37.9% in enterprises; 43.4% in
            institutions; 24.4% in state organs, Party and government departments and NGOs; 43.5% in service
            trades; and 57% in sectors
            of public health, physical culture, and social welfare service. Among the 5.95 million registered
            unemployed people in cities and towns, women occupy 49% and the rate is 3.1%.

            2. Proportion of Women in Professional and Technical Personnel in the Past Five Years (%)
                 1997        1998       1999       2000     2001
                 38.7         39.3      39.9       40.6     41.0

             3. There are
              44 women
            academicians
                 in the
                Chinese
             Academy of
               Sciences,
             6.7% of the
               total; and
             there are 34
                women
            academicians
                 in the
                Chinese       227.9         277.3      3402.4       237.4     6194.6 10339.6
             Academy of
            Engineering,
             5.5% of the
                 total.
              Therefore,
             the amount
              of women
            academicians
              in the two
            academies is
             78 or 6% of
              the total at
                present.
                 2000

            2. Proportion of Female Students in School (%)




100
      Id. at 9.


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                                                    Ordinary Vocational
                  Colleges and       Polytechnic                        Primary
           Year                                     Middle Middle               Total
                  Universities        Schools                           Schools
                                                    Schools Schools
          1995         35.4              50.3          44.8        48.7       47.3      46.5
          1998         39.3              54.7          45.7        47.9       47.6      47.1
          1999         39.2              55.8          45.9        47.7       47.6      47.1
          2000         41.0              56.6          46.2        47.2       47.6      47.1

          3. Number of Female Teachers (Unit: 10,000)
                                                Ordinary Vocational
                  Colleges and      Polytechnic                     Primary
           Year                                 Middle Middle               Total
                  Universities       Schools                        Schools
                                                Schools Schools
          1995         13.2             10.7         119.2        10.8       264.0    417.9
          1998         14.8             12.3         145.4        13.8       284.6    470.9
          1999         15.9             12.2         155.0        14.2       291.0    488.3
          2000         17.7             11.5         165.7        13.7       296.7    505.3

          4. Proportion of Female Teachers (%)
                                                    Ordinary Vocational
                  Colleges and       Polytechnic                        Primary
           Year                                     Middle Middle               Total
                  Universities        Schools                           Schools
                                                    Schools Schools
          1995         32.9              41.6          35.8        37.0       46.6      42.0
          1998         36.3              44.0          39.3        41.1       48.9      44.7
          1999         37.6              46.6          40.4        42.3       49.7      45.5
          2000         38.2              44.9          41.4        42.9       50.6      46.3
           Source: All China Women’s Federation101

      Several commentaries note the unreliability of Chinese statistics in general. One states:
“Employment figures for China are usually confusing and non-standard. They reflect, in
part, conventions from the Maoist command economy period 1949-1978 as well as new
conventions for the semi-market economy of the economic reform period since 1978. The
available data also reflect China’s attempts to make its economic statistics more
internationally comparable…..” (This is noted to be data excluding those from Hong Kong,
Macao and Taiwan.)102

     It is noteworthy that the PRC has recently passed its first Sexual Harassment
legislation.103

101
    See http://www.women.org.cn/english/english/fact/mulu.htm
102
    Judith Banister, “Manufacturing Employment and Compensation in China,:” December 2004, page 6. See
also two subsequent articles by the same author in the Monthly Labor Review published by the U.S.
Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics at http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2005/07/art2full.pdf and
http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2005/08/art3full.pdf.
103
    See, e.g., “China Will Legislate to Ban Sexual Harassment to Women”,
http://www.womenofchina.com/cn/WOC.ShowArticle2.asp?ID=2955&ArticlePage=1... ; Margaret
Neighbour, “China outlaws sexual harassment 56 years after Mao’s diktat,” THE SCOTSMAN, Aug. 29,
2005, http://scotsman.com/?id=1857592005; Rong Jiaojiao, “Law Revised to Protect Women’s Rights,”
9/20/05, http://www.chinese-embassy.org.uk/eng/zt/t213042.htm; “Legal interpretation on sexual harassment
needed”, 8/30/05, http://en-1.ce.cn/National/Lawq/200508/30/t2000830_4557732.shtml; “Sexual harassment
law gives hope to Chinese women suffering in silence,” 9/1/05,
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/theworld/205/Septembe.... ; “Women’s rights
better guarded by revised law, http://en.chinacourt.org/public/detail.php?id=3938; “Law amendment may


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AUSTRALIAN ISSUES AND INITIATIVES
     WOMEN LAWYERS AND JUDGES –In a speech given to the Women Lawyers of
Western Australia on October 22, 2003, the Hon. Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG indicated
the following statistics for women lawyers and judges in Australia:

                      ….the participation of women in courts throughout Australia
                      can only be described as “steady as she goes”. In the Federal
                      Court of Australia, women make up about 9% of the Bench.
                      In State Supreme Courts, they constitute about 6%. The propor-
                      tion of women rises in the lower branches of the judiciary. In
                      the District Courts it is about 25% and higher in the magistracy.
                      The proportion of women in the higher judiciary is still low by
                      comparison to the proportion of women in Australian parliaments,
                      now about 26%. It is approximately the same as the proportion of
                      senior women executives in the private sector of Australia, about
                      8.2%. Perhaps the unique feature of our judiciary, drawn as it is
                      from the private practing legal profession, has influenced these
                      comparatively low proportions…..

                      The proportion of full-time women advocates varies between the
                      States. The highest proportion at the separate Bar is in Victoria
                      (15%). Most States comprise about 12%. In Western Australia it
                      is 8%. I set out to find out why this was so.

                      Some women told me that, at the Bar in Perth, they still face a
                      culture that is somewhat unwelcoming…


open door for first sexual harassment case,” China Economic Net,8/30/05, http://en-
1.cn/National/Law/200508/30/t20050830_4556837.shtml; “China outlaws sexual harassment,”8/28/05,
http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/l/hi/world/asia-pac...”; “China outlaws
sexual harassment” 8/28/05, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2005-08/28/content_472839.htm; “An
Epic Struggle Against Sexual Harassment,” 8/29/05, People’s Daily,
http://www.china.org.cn/english/China/140117.htm; “CHINA; Nation Amends Law to Ban Sexual
Harassment,” 6/26/05, http://www.corpwatch.org/print_article.php?=12477; Shao Da, “Sexual Harassment: A
Growing Social Problem, : 5/19/05, http://www.china.org.cn/english/2005/May/129031.htm; “71% Chinese
Women Sexually Harassed?” SHANGHAI DAILY,
4/1/05,Phttp://www.china.org.cn/english/Life/124393.htm; “Women to Get Protection from Harassment,”
CHINA DAILY, 3/5/05, http://www.china.org.cn/english/2005/Mar/121850.htm; “Female Teacher Wins
Sexual Harassment Law Suit,: PEOPLE’S DAILY ONLINE,
http://english.people.com.cn/200306/10/print210030610_117948.html; M. Ulric Killion, “Post-WTO China:
Quest for Human Right Safeguards in Sexual Harassment Against Working Women, : TULANE JOURNAL
OF INTRNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW, Vol. 22, pp. 201-235, Spring 2004; Zheng Guihong,
“Sexual Harassment Focus for Women’s Rights Law,”10/22/03
http://www.china.org.cn/english/2003/Oct/78069.htm. See also the English translation of the text of the Law
of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Women (adopted at the
Fifth Session of the Seventh National People’s Congress on April 3, 1992) at
http://www.women.org.cn/english/english/laws/02.htm


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                      In legal firms, many women still appear to hit a glass ceiling in
                      Australia. They now comprise 50% of law graduates… Yet they
                      are seriously under-represented in legal partnerships. Their salary
                      levels show a gap when compared to male counterparts.Lawyers’
                      Weekly recently described the differential as “alarming”. On the
                      average, Australian women lawyers earn $20,225 less a year
                      than males.

                      In firms too the culture is sometimes off-putting. Some women
                      solicitors in Perth have told me that even those who do not have
                      children do not advance at the same rate as men. Men are offered
                      partnerships so that the firm “will not lose them. With women,
                      there is commonly an assumption that their careers will be
                      interrupted anyway. The culture of work hours is often inimical
                      to child raising. There are fewer mentors for women lawyers…..
                      Attitudes of condescension and hostility must be identified so
                      things can improve…104

      On March 20, 2004, the Law Council of Australia issued a Model Equal Opportunity
Briefing Policy for Female Barristers and Advocates. This was the first in a series of
measures the Law Council “intends to take in bringing about cultural and attitudinal change
within the private legal profession. Further work is also intended on measures that would
help guide implementation of the Model Policy and promote its adoption by the private
ethnicity and disability.105 Under the 2004 national briefing policy, “law firms must make
efforts to ‘identify and genuinely consider engaging female counsel in the relevant practice
areas’” as well as to “‘regularly monitor and review the rate at which female counsel are
being engaged.’”.106 The Victorian attorney general also attempted to deal with the issue,
by writing to the government’s 33 panel firms late in 2003 “putting them on notice about
their briefing practices. Hull’s move followed a report which revealed that female barristers
received 17% of briefs from government panel firms in 2002-03, but earned just 6% of total
fees.”107

     WOMEN LAW DEANS-The author’s own statistical analysis of the number of male
and female law deans at Australia’s law schools indicated the following results as of 2003:


104
    Speech, “Women in Law – Doldrums or Progress?”
http://www.hcourt.gov.au/speeches/kirbyj/kirbyj_22oct.html
This speech combines both statistical data (what is) with the “why” via observations of treatment of women
lawyers.
105
    Law Council of Australia, Policies and Guidelines – Equal Opportunity; Model Equal Opportunity
Briefing Policy for Female Barristers and Advocates, March 20, 2004,
http://www.lawcouncil.asn.au/policy/2393225385.html
106
    “Breaking News”, http://www.asianlegalonline.com/asia/detail_article.cfm?articleID=1720.
107
    Id. See also “Long way to the top”,
http://www.asianlegalonline.com/asia/detail_article.cfm?articleID=1294 and Chris Merritt, “More equal
before the law,” THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW, 3/5/04, indicating the law firm Mallesons
Stephen Jaques was the fist Australian law firm to adopted a national equal opportunity briefing policy.


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Male Deans                                   Female Deans
   27                                              4

     Whether this percentage is high or low needs to be compared to results in comparable
jurisdictions.108

SINGAPORE

WOMEN LAWYERS

The Law Society of Singapore reports the following gender statistics for its members:

Year                  Male                   Female
2001                  2,114                  1,410
2002                  2,142                  1,391
2003                  2.154                  1,361
2004                  2,181                  1,341
2005                  2,140                  1,350109

     Although the statistics for women Law Society members are reasonably positive,
further information is needed to explain the “why” of declining female membership in the
Law Society.

MALE-FEMALE WORKPLACE STATISTICS (GENERAL)
    Using 2002 data, the Singapore Statistics office compared various characteristics of
male and female workers in the Singapore market and presented the following results:

     Female workers are generally younger than male workers. Males tend to have longer
tenure than females.

Median ages of workers

Male – 40
Female – 35

% of permanent employees who have been with the same employer for at least ten years

Male -29.5%
Female -20.6%

     Proportionately more working males than females had upper secondary or higher
education. A higher proportion of males have studied engineering sciences and IT in
polytechnic institutions and universities.

108
      Australia Law School Deans, http://www.cald.asn.au/deans.html
109
      See http://www.lawsociety.org.sg/about/statistics_2005.asp Update as of May 5, 2005.


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% of workers with upper secondary or higher qualification

Male- 40.9%
Female- 36.5%

% of tertiary educated workers who studied Engineering Sciences or IT

Male - 54.5%
Female – 21.5%

     Among working persons, proportionately more males than females were in managerial,
professional and technical jobs. Males typically earned more than females.

% in managerial, professional and technical jobs

Male – 46.1%
Female – 35.9%

Median monthly income from work ($)

Male – 2,000
Female – 1,500

     Proportionately more males than females were self-employed. The incidence of
multiple jobs holdings was marginally higher among males than females.

% self-employed

Male - 18.3%
Female - 7.0%

% multiple job holders

Male - 1.4%
Female - 0.9%

    Males were more likely than females to work beyond the standard 44-hour week.
Proportionately more females than males worked part-time.

% working 45 hours and above per week

Male – 59.3%
Female – 49.2%

% working part-time



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Male – 2.8%
Female – 6.8%110

Conclusion

     As has been seen above, there continues to be a wide variation in the data-collection
and sex disaggregation of data in the practices of countries in the Asia-Pacific/Oceana
regions. This has also been noted by the United Nations with respect to countries
worldwide.111

     Countries have agreed to improve the equality issues affecting women, including
employment, by signing various United Nations instruments, however progress is “glacial”,
as the World Economic Forum has noted. Some countries in the regions have adopted
legislation and then not applied it; others have not yet adopted legislation; others have both
adopted legislation and policy, and empowered (not merely hired) top level gender equality
professionals with authority to get things done. They engage in extensive data collection
and analysis, as well as self-studies, in order to reach a higher standard of compliance with
CEDAW and more employment opportunity for national and non-national women.

     The countries in both the Asia-Pacific and Oceania regions (including India) would
benefit greatly from reviewing the work of countries such as Australia and New Zealand
when it comes to learning how to achieve change and progress. The excellent data
collection work of Japan, the Republic of Korea112 and Australia may also serve as useful
models of types of data that are useful in evaluating the effectiveness of laws and programs.
The reporting of the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the narrative studies and reports of
the Equal Opportunity in the Workplace Agency of Australia are also good models for
other countries. 113Above all, more detailed and gender-disaggregated statistics are urgently

110
    “How Do Females Compare with Males at the Workplace?: Statistics Singapore Newsletter, March 2003,
pages 12-13.
111
    See Commission on the Status of Women, Results of the Thirty-second session of the Committee on the
Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Note by the Secretary-General, E/CN.6/2005/CRP.1, February
8, 2005 and United Nations Economic and Social Council, Commission on the Status of Women, Review of
the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of the special session of
the General Assembly entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first
century”, Report of the Secretary-General, E/CN.6/2005/2, December 6, 2004.
112
    See Pauline C. Reich, note 1 supra.
113
    See http://windownonwomen.gov.au/wdw/supersite/searchgrouping.jsp?guid=ZA7C... for sex-
disaggregated data on work and economic resources for such categories as employment type by capital city;
joblessness by relationship in household; employment type by occupation; employment type by industry;
employment type by industry; employees in main job; employment type by time worked in main job;
employment type by full-time/part-time status; employment type by preferred working pattern; current
working pattern by preferred working pattern; employment type by usual weekly earnings; employment type
by usual hours worked each week; entitlement to paid sick/holiday leave by industry; entitlement to paid
maternity/paternity leave by industry; employees with leave entitlements not working on a fixed-term contract
– usual hours worked by usual weekly earnings; self-identified casuals by usual hours worked each week by
usual weekly earnings; owner managers in main job – employment type by current working pattern, etc.. Fro
an example of one report, see Australian Social Trends 2000: Income and Expenditure 0 Income Distribution:
Female/male earnings, Australian Bureau of Statistics,
http://www.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/abs%40.nsf/94713ad445ff1425ca25682000192af21/25... For data and


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needed not only to assess CEDAW compliance but to develop and fund government and
private sector programs for the employment opportunity and advancement of women of all
ages, nationalities and statuses in the societies in the Asia-Pacific/Oceania regions.




narrative information on opportunities for rural women to obtain opportunities in leadership in the agricultural
sector in Australia, see The Short Report, No. 79: Stage 2 – Missed Opportunities: Unlocking the future for
women in Australian Agriculture, http://www.rirdc.gov.au/pub/shortrps/sr79.html. For Australian initiatives
to provide workers 45 years and over with low income who are in the labor force to attain skills in
information and communication technology to operate more effectively in the workforce, see, e.g.
http://itskills.dest.gov.au/Default.asp See also, EOWA, Facts on Work/Life Balance in Australia,
http://www.eowa.gov.au/About_Equal_Opportunity/Key_Agenda_Items/Work_Life_... which provides the
following statistics to the effect that Australian organizations “are not providing enough flexibility to enable
employees to balance competing work and family demands”: “Only one in ten enterprise agreements contain
family friendly measures. Only 4% of enterprise agreements include paid personal leave, 3% include job
sharing, 3% include paid parental leave and 9% include unpaid personal leave”… Women not returning from
maternity leave or resigning because they are unable to combine work and family demands is expensive for
organizations….”


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162 Pauline C. Reich

				
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