MANILA (Mabuhay) – Women in developing countries like the Philippines, Myanmar and Indonesia have more positive views of their own well-being compared to their developed counterparts, according to the MasterCard Index of Well-Being.
The inaugural index, based on a survey of 16 Asia-Pacific markets, sought to measure the level of well-being of women in these countries. It covered women’s attitudes in five categories: work and finances, safety from threats, personal and work satisfaction, personal well being and sense of empowerment.
The index showed all of the 16 Asia-Pacific market had scores above the neutral mark (50 points). The index score of 100 is most optimistic, zero as most pessimistic and 50 as neutral.
Women in Myanmar scored the highest on the index with 70.9, followed by Indonesia with 70, Philippines with 69.2 and India with 69.1.
Developed countries such as Japan (53.6), South Korea (54.9) and Taiwan (55) had the lowest index scores.
On the average, the 7 developed markets featured on average lower scores (average of 58.9) than emerging markets (65.7).
“At first glance, the contrast in scores between developing and emerging markets seems to suggest that a higher standard of living may not necessarily translate to a higher sense of well-being as there are other influences involved such as cultural or psychological ones,” said Georgette Tan, group head, Communications, Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, MasterCard.
There was only one component of the survey – “safety from threats” – where women in developed countries ranked higher, 57 versus 55.2 from those in emerging markets.
The index showed women in emerging markets score higher across all other components compared with their counterparts in more developed economies, with the greatest difference seen in the “satisfaction” component (69.9 vs. 59.0) and “personal well-being” (67.4 vs. 55.0).
Women in emerging markets also had a more optimistic outlook on their work and finances. On the other hand, women from developed markets appear to have more control when paying their bills or saving for big purchases, possibly due to the better margins afforded by their higher incomes.
“What differentiates this research from other studies is the holistic view we’ve taken in understanding the factors that impact the level of well-being amongst women. As we look to enhance the role of women in society, our research provides a complementary view to economic data, ultimately helping us better gauge the progress that still needs to be made in this space,” Tan said.
At the same time, MasterCard announced the results of its Index of Women’s Advancement.
Among the 14 Asia-Pacific markets, New Zealand ranked first (77.9 Index Score), followed by Australia (76.0).
The Philippines (72.9) ranked third, followed by, Singapore (68.4) and Taiwan (65.9).
At the other end of spectrum, India (39.2), Japan (48.3) and Korea (50.0) had index scores indicating that much more can be done to achieve gender parity.
The Index of Women’s Advancement, which measures the socioeconomic standing of women across Asia/Pacific via three main indicators: Employment (Workforce Participation, Regular Employment), Education (Secondary Education, Tertiary Education) and Leadership (Business Owners, Business Leaders, Political leaders).
Each indicator measures the ratio of women to every 100 men in each of the 14 Asia/Pacific markets covered by the research. (MNS)