Asia loses every year about $89 billion in terms of reduced productivity and inefficient use of human resources, because it limits employment of women, according to United Nations data cited by a new survey conducted by Asia Society.
The survey concluded that the 2 billion women living in Asia continue to be paid less than men for similar jobs and that women are underrepresented in top leading positions. The problems are present even in wealthy countries such as Japan.
“To continue in this direction would put in peril Asia’s many achievements,” according to the study, which took into consideration women’s status in health, education, economic activity and political involvement.
“Some economies in Asia with the highest human development rankings also perform most poorly in some measures of women’s leadership,” the survey said, indicating mainly Japan and South Korea.
Pay gaps between women and men are significant, with South Korea and Japan scoring some of the lowest figures (women payment at 51 percent of men’s lowest in South Korea, and 60 percent respectively in Japan).
The Asia Society is a global non-profit organisation based in New York which promotes closer ties between Asia and the West through arts, education, policy and business outreach.