• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Acknowledgement
 Table of Contents
 Map of Asia
 Chapter 1: Introduction
 Chapter 2: Population distribution...
 Chapter 3: Literacy and educat...
 Chapter 4: Women in economic...
 Chapter 5: Marital status and living...
 Chapter 6: Fertility and morta...
 Chapter 7: Conclusions
 Appendix A: References
 Appendix B: Sources of data
 Appendix C: Tables in women in...
 Appendix D: Population by age,...
 Back Cover














Group Title: WID ; 4
Title: Women of the world
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080514/00001
 Material Information
Title: Women of the world Asia and the Pacific
Series Title: WID
Physical Description: vii, 141 p. : col. ill., 1 col. map ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Shah, Nasra M
United States -- Bureau of the Census
United States -- Agency for International Development. -- Office of Women in Development
Publisher: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census :
For sale by Data User Services Division, Customer Services (Publications), Bureau of the Census
Place of Publication: Washington D.C
Publication Date: [1985]
 Subjects
Subject: Women -- Statistics -- East Asia   ( lcsh )
Women -- Statistics -- Asia, Southeastern   ( lcsh )
Women -- Statistics -- Oceania   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
statistics   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 119-123.
Statement of Responsibility: by Nasra M. Shah.
General Note: "Prepared under a Resources Support Services Agreement with the Office of Women in Development, Bureau for Program and Policy Coordination, U.S Agency for International Development."
General Note: "Issued February 1985."
Funding: Women in development (Washington, D.C.) ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00080514
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001306041
oclc - 12122493
notis - AGF6846
lccn - 85600515

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Table of Contents
        Page i
    Acknowledgement
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
    Map of Asia
        Page vii
    Chapter 1: Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Chapter 2: Population distribution and change
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    Chapter 3: Literacy and education
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    Chapter 4: Women in economic activity
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    Chapter 5: Marital status and living arrangements
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
    Chapter 6: Fertility and mortality
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
    Chapter 7: Conclusions
        Page 117
        Page 118
    Appendix A: References
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
    Appendix B: Sources of data
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 139
    Appendix C: Tables in women in development database
        Page 129
        Page 130
    Appendix D: Population by age, sex, and rural/urban residence
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
    Back Cover
        Page 140
Full Text



WID-4


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U.S. Department of Commerce
BUREAU OFTHECENSUS


U.S. Agency for International Development
OFFICE OF WOMEN IN DEVELOPMENT


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WID-4


WOMEN

(OF TE



Asia
and the
Pacific
by Nosra M. Shah



This report was prepared under a Resources
Support Services Agreement with the Office of
Women in Development, Bureau for Program
and Policy Coordination, U.S. Agency
for International Development.

Issued February 1985




U.S. Department of Commerce
Malcolm Baldrige, Secretary
Clarence J. Brown, Deputy Secretary
Sidney Jones, Under Secretary for
Economic Affairs
BUREAU OF THE CENSUS
John G. Keane,
Director














BUREAU OF THE CENSUS
John G. Keane, Director
C.L. Kincannon, Deputy Director
Robert O. Bartram, Assistant Director for
International Programs

CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH
Samuel Baum, Chief






Acknowledgments


This report on Asia and the Pacific was prepared under con-
tract with the U.S. Bureau of the Census. It is one of four regional
handbooks in the Women of the World series prepared under
a Resources Support Services Agreement with the Office of
Women in Development, Bureau for Program and Policy Coordi-
nation, U S. Agency for International Development, Kay Davies,
Director. Thanks are due to present and former staff members
of the Agency for International Development for their contribu-
tions to the various stages of the Census Bureau's Women in
Development project. In particular, Jane Jaquette and Paula O.
Goddard, formerly of the Economic and Social Data Services,
provided useful guidance in establishing the Census Bureau's
Women in Development Data Base, upon which these handbooks
are based. Jean Ellickson and John Hourihan of the Office of
Women in Development and Annette Binnendijk of the Economic
and Social Data Services provided support at subsequent stages
of the project.
Within the Bureau of the Census, Ellen Jamison, Staff Assist-
ant to the Chief, Center for International Research, prepared the
overall outline for the content and format of the world handbook
series, monitored the contracts, prepared appendix B, and served
as coordinator of the publication preparation activities. For this
report on Asia and the Pacific, Kevin G. Kinsella, Demographic
Analysis Branch, performed the major tasks of review and revi-
sion, while Arjun Adlakha, Eduardo E. Arriaga, and Sylvia D.
Quick provided useful review comments.


John R. Gibson, Vera V. Harris-Boume, Eleanor M. Matthews,
Dorothy L. Taylor, and Claire R. Warrick provided statistical
assistance in verifying the tables, and the typing was done by
Larry Owens and Janet M. Sales. All demographic analysts in
the Center for International Research were involved in the com-
pilation and evaluation of statistics for the Women In Develop-
ment Data Base upon which this handbook is based. The map
was prepared in the Geography Division under the direction of
Betty L. Adamek in cooperation with Geography Branch, Data
Preparation Division. Editorial services were provided by Gail
Farren and art work was prepared under the supervision of
Nicholas Preftakes, Publication Services Division.
The author wishes to extend thanks to Muhammad Hafeez
and Salma Hafeez, Research Interns at the East/West Center,
who assisted with the many calculations.



Library of Congress Card Number 85-600515

For sale by Data User Services Division, Customer Services (Publica-
tions), Bureau of the Census, Washington, D.C. 20233, or any U.S.
Department of Commerce district office. Postage stamps not acceptable;
currency submitted at sender's risk. Remittances from foreign countries
must be by international money order or by a draft on a U.S. bank. $5.50
per copy.




Women of the World








Contents


Page




M ap . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii

Chapter 1. Introduction ...................... .... ..................... 1


Chapter 2. Population Distribution and Change ................. . 5

Figures

2.1. Asia: Estimated and Projected Population Size and Components of Change, 1960
to 2025 .................................. ...... ................. 8
2.2. Population Distribution of Asian Countries: 1984 ............................ 9
2.3. Estimated and Projected Population of Asian Countries: 1960, 1970, and 1985 ..... 10
2.4. Percent of All Women in Selected Age Groups ......................... . 11
2.5. Percent of Women Living in Urban Areas: Latest Two Censuses ................ 12
2.6. Sex Ratio by Rural/Urban Residence ......................... . ... 13
2.7. Sex Ratio of Population in Two Age Groups, by Rural/Urban Residence ........... 14

Tables

2.1. Total Population, by Sex, and Sex Ratio ......................... . 15
2.2. Total Population of Selected Countries of Asia: 1960 to 1985 .................. 17
2.3. Percent of Female Population in Selected Age Groups, by Rural/Urban Residence,
for Asian Countries ................................................. 18
2.4. Percent of Male Population in Selected Age Groups, by Rural/Urban Residence,
for Asian Countries ................... ...... . .. ............. 21
2.5. Sex Ratio of Population in Selected Age Groups, by Rural/Urban Residence, for
Asian Countries ................. ........... .. ................... 24
2.6. Percent of Population Residing in Urban Areas, by Sex, and Female/Male Ratio
of Percent Urban: Latest Two Censuses, for Asian Countries .................. 27
2.7. Percent of Female Population in Selected Age Groups, for Pacific Islands .......... 28
2.8. Percent of Male Population in Selected Age Groups, for Pacific Islands............. 29
2.9. Sex Ratio of Population in Selected Age Groups, for Pacific Islands .............. 30
2.10. Percent of Population Residing in Urban Areas, by Sex, and Female/Male Ratio
of Percent Urban, for Pacific Islands .................................... 31


Chapter 3. Literacy and Education ............. ................... 33

Figures

3.1. Percent Literate Among Women and Men Age 10 Years and Over ............... 36
3.2. Percent Literate Among Women and Men Age 10 Years and Over, by Rural/Urban
Residence........................................... .... ....... 37
3.3. Percent Literate for Women and Men, by Age ................. .. 38
3.4. Percent Literate for Women, by Age and Rural/Urban Residence ........... ... 40









Chapter 3. Figures-Continued




3.5. Percent Enrolled in School Among Girls and Boys Age 10 to 14 Years ............ 41
3.6. Percent Enrolled in School Among Girls and Boys Age 10 to 14 Years, by Rural/Urban
Residence ................................................. ..... 42

Tables

3.1. Percent Literate Among Population Age 10 Years and Over, by Sex and Rural/Urban
Residence, and Female/Male Ratio of Percent Literate, for Asian Countries ........ 43
3.2. Percent Literate Among Women and Men in Selected Age Groups, for Asian
Countries ........................................................ 45
3.3. Percent of Population Enrolled in School, by Age, Sex, and Rural/Urban Residence,
for Asian Countries ................................................. 46
3.4. Female/Male Ratio of Percent Enrolled in School, by Age, for Asian Countries ...... 48
3.5. Female/Male Ratio of Percent Enrolled in School, by Age and Rural/Urban Residence,
for Asian Countries ................................................. 49
3.6. Percent of Population Enrolled in School, by Age and Sex, for Pacific Islands ....... 50




Chapter 4. Women in Economic Activity ................................. 51

Figures

4.1. Labor Force Participation Rates for Population Age 10 Years and Over, by Sex ...... 57
4.2. Labor Force Participation Rates for Women Age 10 Years and Over, by Rural/Urban
Residence ........................................................ 58
4.3. Female/Male Ratio of Labor Force Participation Rates, by Rural/Urban Residence .... 59
4.4. Percent Economically Active, by Age and Sex, for Mainland China, India, and South
Korea ........................................................... 60
4.5. Labor Force Participation Rates of Women Age 20 to 29 Years in Rural and Urban
Areas ........................................................... 61
4.6. Percent of Nonagricultural Labor Force in Selected Occupational Groups, by Sex .... 62
4.7. Percent of Labor Force in Agriculture, by Sex .............................. 63

Tables

4.1. Labor Force Participation Rates for Population Age 10 Years and Over, by Sex and
Rural/Urban Residence, for Asian Countries ............................... 64
4.2. Labor Force Participation Rates, by Age, Sex, and Rural/Urban Residence, for Asian
Countries ........................................................ 66
4.3. Female Share of Rural and Urban Labor Force, by Age, for Asian Countries ........ 68
4.4. Female/Male Ratio of Labor Force Participation Rates, by Age and Rural/Urban
Residence, for Asian Countries ........................................ 69
4.5. Urban Labor Force Participation Rates, by Sex, Age, and Marital Status, for Selected
Asian Countries .................................................... 70
4.6. Unpaid Family Workers as a Percent of Labor Force, by Sex, and Female/Male
Ratio of these Percentages, for Asian Countries ............................ 71
4.7. Percent Distribution of Labor Force, by Sex and Occupation, for Asian Countries .... 72
4.8. Female Share of Labor Force, by Occupation, for Asian Countries ............... 74
4.9. Percent Distribution of Nonagricultural Labor Force, by Principal Occupation and
Sex, for Asian Countries ............................................. 75
4.10. Labor Force Participation Rates for Population Age 15 Years and Over, by Sex, and
Female/Male Ratio of Participation Rates, for Pacific Islands ................... 76


iv Contents


Women of the World





Women of the World Contents V



Chapter 4. Tables-Continued




4.11. Labor Force Participation Rates by Age and Sex, for Pacific Islands .............. 77
4.12. Female/Male Ratio of Labor Force Participation Rates, by Age, for Pacific Islands .... 78
4.13. Female Share of Labor Force, by Age, for Pacific Islands ...................... 79
4.14. Percent of Employed Economically Active Population in Selected Industries, by Sex,
for Pacific Islands ................................................ 80


Chapter 5. Marital Status and Living Arrangements ........................ 81

Figures

5.1. Age by Which 50 Percent of Women and Men Have Ever Been Married ........... 84
5.2. Female/Male Ratio of Percent Widowed Age 10 Years and Over ................. 85
5.3. Percent Single Among Women and Men Age 20 to 24 Years, by Rural/Urban
Residence ........................................................ 86

Tables

5.1. Minimum Legal Age at Marriage, by Sex, for Asian Countries ................... 87
5.2. Age by Which 50 Percent of Persons Have Ever Been Married, by Sex and
Rural/Urban Residence, for Asian Countries ............................... 88
5.3. Percent Distribution of Population Age 10 Years and Over, by Marital Status and Sex,
for Asian Countries ................................................. 89
5.4. Percent Distribution of Women Age 10 Years and Over, by Marital Status and
Rural/Urban Residence, for Asian Countries ............................... 91
5.5. Percent Single Among Population Ages 20 to 24 and 45 to 49 Years, by Sex and
Rural/Urban Residence, for Asian Countries ................. ............ 92
5.6. Median Number of Persons per Household, by Rural/Urban Residence, for Asian
Countries ........................................................ 94
5.7. Percent Distribution of Population Age 15 Years and Over, by Marital Status and Sex,
for Pacific Islands .................................................. 95
5.8. Percent Single Among Population Ages 15 to 24 and 35 to 44 Years, by Sex, for
Pacific Islands ..................................................... 96



Chapter 6. Fertility and Mortality ................. ..................... 97

Figures

6.1. Crude Birth Rates ...................................... ............ 101
6.2. Gross and Net Reproduction Rates ...................................... 102
6.3. Distribution of Lifetime Fertility, by Age of Mother ........................... 103
6.4. Life Expectancy at Birth for Women and Men ................. ........... 104
6.5. Infant M mortality Rates ................................................ 105
6.6. Female/Male Ratio of Infant Mortality Rates ................................ 106
6.7. Proportion of Children Dying Before Their Fifth Birthday, by Sex ................ 107

Tables

6.1. Crude Birth Rate, Total Fertility Rate, Gross Reproduction Rate, and Net Reproduction
Rate, for Asian Countries ................................. ......... 108
6.2. Percent Distribution of Lifetime Fertility, by Age of Mother,
for Asian Countries ................................ ................ 109









Chapter 6. Tables-Continued




6.3. Percent Distribution of Lifetime Fertility, by Age of Mother and Rural/Urban
Residence, for Asian Countries ........................................ 110
6.4. Life Expectancy at Birth and at Age 1 Year for Women and Men, and Female/Male
Ratio of Life Expectancy, for Asian Countries ............................. 111
6.5. Number of Years Women May Expect to Outlive Men at Birth and at Age 1 Year,
and Male Gains in Life Expectancy Between Birth and Age 1 Year, for Asian
Countries ............................ .. .... .................. 112
6.6. Infant Mortality Rates per 1,000 Live Births, by Sex, and Female/Male Ratio of
Infant Mortality Rates, for Asian Countries ............................... 113
6.7. Proportion of Children Dying Before Their Fifth Birthday, by Sex, and Female/Male
Ratio of Proportion Dying, for Asian Countries ............................. 114
6.8. Crude Birth Rate, Crude Death Rate, and Total Fertility Rate, for Pacific Islands ..... 115




Chapter 7. Conclusions ............. ............................. .... 117

Appendixes

A. References ......................... .............................. 119
B. Sources of Data .................................................... 125
Table B.1. Number of Tables in WID Data Base, by Country and Category ....... 127
C. Tables in the Women In Development Data Base ............................ 129
D. Population by Age, Sex, and Rural/Urban Residence .......................... 131
E. Abbreviations .......................... ........ ...... ........... 141


Women of the World


vi Contents










Asia


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South
Korea

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i Japan
ifiOen



zcific Ocean


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Indian Ocean


/ Taiwan
Burma
S, Laos
Is


TThaland V a Philippines

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Bangladesh


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Map vii


Women of the World




Women of the World 1


Chapter 1





0Infltr@odU@Dion


The Women of the World handbooks present and analyze
statistical data on women in Latin America and the Caribbean,
Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and the Near East and
North Africa. The handbooks are the latest product of the
National Statistics on Women project of the Office of Women
in Development (WID Office), U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID). The overall project has as its aim the com-
pilation of an adequate data base on women in developing coun-
tries for planning, program development, and project design. It
assists data-gathering efforts in developing countries and
provides statistical information to international agencies, donor
governments, host government development planners and
scholars, as well as to USAID's own policymakers and planners.
A number of subactivities have been funded under this project,
of which the Women of the World handbooks are one. The
analysis of women's status as contained in these handbooks is
offered to planners and others as a starting point against which
they may assess the impact of current and future policies and
programs. Without such a statistical background, the amount,
direction, and significance of change is often only speculative.
The principal objectives of this particular handbook on women
in Asia and the Pacific are to provide an overview of the
sociodemographic situation of women, to discuss variations
among geographical subregions, and to explore female/male dif-
ferentials over a range of variables which bear upon women's
status. Indicators which are used as empirical referents of status
include education, employment, marriage, fertility, mortality, and
demographic characteristics such as age and rural/urban
residence. The format of tabulations and graphic presentations
closely follows the guidelines recently suggested by the United
Nations (Powers, 1983). Throughout the discussion, considera-
tion is given to the strengths and limitations of national-level data
as planning tools for monitoring changes in the status of women
and for facilitating their full participation in national development.
A definition of female status is necessary to put the following
chapters into perspective. This handbook was conceived within


a general framework which construes female status to consist
of "the degree of women's access to (and control over) material
resources (including food, income, land, and other forms of
wealth) and social resources (including knowledge, power, and
prestige) within the family, in the community, and in society at
large" (Dixon, 1978). The question which immediately proceeds
from this definition is whether the indicators used in this hand-
book are sufficient to provide a comprehensive picture of
women's status; the answer is a qualified yes.
The analysis presented herein covers certain aspects of status
involving women's access to social resources such as health and
education. It also examines women's access to material
resources in the form of employment and indirectly through such
indicators as mortality. The major gap in the coverage of this
report consists of an inability to deal directly with the levels of
power and prestige which differentiate women within and across
societies. Access to resources such as education probably con-
stitutes a reasonable proxy for the amount of power and prestige,
just as indirect evidence from differential mortality rates between
sexes gives us some idea of relative female status. However,
we have no quantitative data on questions such as: what is the
cultural valuation of girls and women, which attitudes and beliefs
need to be changed in order to enhance women's access to and
benefits from material and social resources, and, what were the
historical circumstances that influenced the present situation?
A recent study from India shows that certain factors which are
central to current interregional differences in female status
(defined as female autonomy) date back several centuries (Dyson
and Moore, 1983). In other words, an understanding of varia-
tions in the existing familial and communal social structures of
different countries and national subregions may be crucial to
comprehension of the underlying factors which contribute to
demographic differences.
It is implicit in the above discussion that female status is not
a unidimensional concept. The same woman, at the same point
in time, may be responsible for a series of roles which emerge






2 Introduction Women of the World


from her various statuses. For example, she may simultaneously
be a wife, mother, daughter-in-law, employee (outside the
home), part-time unpaid family worker, and so on. Some of the
roles that she performs may accord her a high amount of power
and prestige; others do not. The mother role is one which often
increases a woman's status in Asian societies, while employ-
ment in menial jobs may reduce her societal prestige, even
though it provides her greater access to material resources. In
a useful discussion of the varied roles of women, Oppong (1980)
has suggested a sevenfold typology which may be used to
classify the status of women in a country (or subgroups within
a country). These role categories include parental, occupational,
conjugal, domestic, kinship, community, and individual roles.
This handbook, however, considers only the empirical
referents of female status mentioned before, mainly because of
data limitations but also because the main thrust of this report
is to elucidate the national-level informational base that has been
developed. In recognition of the need for national-level data
disaggregated by sex, the WID Office in 1978 requested the
Center for International Research (CIR), U.S. Bureau of the Cen-
sus, to establish a Women In Development Data Base (referred
to hereafter as the WID Data Base) of demographic and
socioeconomic statistics, disaggregated by sex and, wherever
possible, by age and rural/urban residence. A search was con-
ducted for 19 variables, including demographic, educational,
household and marital arrangements, and labor force topics. Each
variable was chosen because of its importance as an indicator
of women's status and because these particular variables
appeared to be the ones that would be most readily available
in census and survey publications. Special runs of census files
were not undertaken because of high costs and uncertainties
regarding accessibility.
The initial data search included only the 69 countries where
USAID had active programs. It was planned that when this first
phase was complete, more countries would be added for
purposes of comparison, and likewise more variables if the initial
search determined that sufficient information was available on
other aspects of women's situation and activities. Subsequently,
the WID Data Base was expanded to include all countries of the
world with populations of 5 million or more. Over 2,600 tables
have been compiled on the original 19 indicators; to date, the
list of variables covered has not been extended. Statistics come
principally from the 1970 and 1980 census rounds; in some
cases, 1960 round data also are included.1 To supplement the
census data, results of national surveys also are used for some
topics. Detailed characteristics of the WID Data Base are
presented in appendix B.


ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

The 14 Asian countries covered in this report are grouped into
three regional clusters. East Asia consists of Mainland China,
Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan. Eastern South Asia in-
cludes Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand.


'A census round refers to a decade during which the various countries
conduct their censuses; 1960 round censuses were taken during the period
1955 to 1964, 1970 round during 1965 to 1974, and 1980 round during
1975 to 1984.


The remaining five countries-Bangladesh, India, Nepal,
Pakistan, and Sri Lanka-form Middle South Asia. Nations of the
Asian continent which are geographically situated to the west
of Pakistan are often considered part of the Near East, and hence
are examined in a separate Near East and North Africa handbook
which is part of the Women of the World series.
Data for 18 developing Pacific island nations also have been
included in the analysis, even though these countries are not
part of the existing WID Data Base. Because of their relatively
small populations which are dispersed among thousands of
islands, in addition to a general dearth of data, Pacific nations
other than Australia and New Zealand are often overlooked in
global analyses. Nevertheless, several useful indicators of
women's status can be generated, and an attempt has been
made to present at least a rudimentary picture of basic
female/male differentials. The islands are divided into three broad
areas. Polynesia embraces American Samoa, Cook Islands,
French Polynesia, Niue, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna, and
Western Samoa. Melanesia consists of Fiji, New Caledonia,
Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.
Micronesia includes Guam, Kiribati, Nauru, the Northern Mariana
Islands, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Although
intraregional variations abound as a result of different historical
experiences and geophysical circumstances, certain similarities
also may be observed within the three areas; these are explored
more fully in subsequent chapters.

Analytical Summary
The remaining sections of this handbook analyze statistics
drawn from the WID Data Base and supplementary sources.
Chapter 2 describes the populations of the Asian and Pacific
regions-their size, growth, composition, geographic distribu-
tion, and change. Migration and its impact on women is con-
sidered in this chapter, but detailed discussion of both fertility
and mortality is left for chapter 6. Chapter 3 presents data on
literacy and school enrollment among children and youth. In
chapter 4, the critical issues surrounding women's economic
roles are discussed, and data on labor force participation are
examined. Marital status and household characteristics are the
focuses of chapter 5, followed by consideration of fertility and
mortality in chapter 6 as they relate to the status of women.
The handbook closes in chapter 7 with a discussion of the
advantages and limitations of national-level data in planning for
a development strategy which includes women.

Population Distribution and Change
The Asian region contains the world's two largest countries,
Mainland China and India, which together are home to 37 per-
cent of the earth's inhabitants. By way of contrast, Pacific island
nations are relatively small, with several having fewer than
10,000 persons each. Population growth rates vary con-
siderably; countries in East Asia now post gains of under 2 per-
cent per year, while rates in the Middle South Asian countries
of Pakistan and Bangladesh are 3 percent or higher. Most of the
variation in these growth rates is attributable to differential
fertility-crude birth rates are nearly twice as high in Middle
South Asia as in East Asia.


Women of the World


2 Introduction






Women of the World Introduction 3


The following summary, based on United Nations (1982)
estimates for 1985, shows proportions of women and men in
the Asian countries in this report, by age and region. While
gender differences are minor, regional age distributions do vary:

Middle East Eastern
South Asia Asia South Asia

Age Women Men Women Men Women Men

All ages .... 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
0 to 14 years. 39.3 39.3 29.7 29.8 37.5 38.6
15 to 64
years ...... 57.6 57.6 63.9 64.7 58.7 58.3
65 years
and over ... 3.1 3.1 6.4 5.5 3.8 3.1


Compared to other parts of the developing world, the youth
(under age 15) dependency burden in Asia as a whole is low,
due largely to rapidly declining family size in East Asia and
especially Mainland China.
Despite the presence of certain rapidly growing cities in various
Asian countries, the overall level of urbanization is lower than
in Latin America and Africa, and the tempo of urbanization is
generally slower. According to the latest censuses, only South
Korea, the Philippines, and the city-state of Hong Kong have
more than 31 percent of their populations in urban areas. Urban
sex ratios tend to be higher than those for nations as a whole,
although the Philippines represents a striking exception. In Mid-
dle South Asia, the traditional pattern of male migration to cities
produces highly skewed sex ratios.


Literacy and Education

In all countries, men outpace women in the ability to read and
write. However, female/male ratios of total percent literate vary
widely, ranging from only 0.16 in Nepal to near unity (0.97) in
the Philippines. With the exception of Sri Lanka, Middle South
Asia lags behind the eastern regions both in overall percentages
and in terms of female/male ratios.
As expected, literacy is considerably higher among younger
women, and the literate proportion is closest to that of men at
ages 10 toi24 years. Female/male ratios are uniformly higher
for urban than for rural areas.
The situation regarding literacy and enrollment in Asian coun-
tries, by sex and rural/urban residence, can be roughly summa-
rized by median percentages based on the 8 or 9 countries with
available data, as shown below:


Percent literate, age Percent enrolled, age
10 years and over 10 to 14 years

Residence Women Men Girls Boys

Rural ..... 54.7 74.3 45.4 63.6
Urban .... 76.7 90.9 71.8 81.3


In terms of school enrollment, rural girls fare poorly in relation
to both rural boys and urban girls. Throughout Asia, enrollment
by age declines in a generally consistent pattern, with suc-
cessively smaller proportions of both sexes enrolled at older ages.
Gender differences tend to widen at older ages, reflecting higher
dropout rates among young women than men as they reach
secondary and tertiary levels. The persistence of this trend in
the future bears close watching, especially in light of the fact
that enrollment differences between sexes have virtually disap-
peared among the youngest age group (5 to 9 years) in most
East and Southeast Asian countries.


Women in Economic Activity

Most researchers agree that traditional measurement pro-
cedures in censuses and labor force surveys often produce
underestimates of female labor force participation. Comparisons
of data drawn from different sources in a number of Asian coun-
tries support this contention. Since this report focuses on com-
prehensive national-level census and survey information, the
possibility of biases and omissions should be borne in mind when
considering the quantitative data.
There are large female/male differences in rates of economic
activity in both rural and urban areas, as suggested by the fol-
lowing median percentages for the population 10 years of age
and over for the 10 Asian countries with available data:


Residence Women Men

Rural .......... 33.4 77.6
Urban ......... 18.0 65.0


Gender differences generally persist when age groups are taken
into consideration, a pattern also found in available data for
Pacific island nations. Rural Asian women display higher partici-
pation rates than their urban counterparts in all but two coun-
tries, and the relative female/male differences in rates tend to
be greater in the urban sector.
Higher rates of female labor force participation do not
necessarily imply improvement in the status of women. In many
countries, labor force activity may be primarily a response to
severe economic need and may not represent an emancipating
or enriching experience. Particularly in Middle South Asia, work
does not constitute an alternative role for most women; it is more
apt to be an additional role taken on in conjunction with the wife-
mother role. A large portion of women there and in Southeast
Asia are employed as unpaid family workers, while typical female
occupations cluster in the agricultural, sales, and service sec-
tors. It is likely that most jobs in these sectors are prestige-
reducing rather than prestige-enhancing.


Marital Status and Living Arrangements

Marriage continues to be a prime contributor to women's
status throughout much of Asia. In certain nations, marital union







4 Introduction Women of the World


and subsequent motherhood are paramount social goals for
women. These traditional norms are most prominent in Middle
South Asia and, to a lesser extent, in Eastern South Asia. In East
Asia, rewards obtained from extended schooling and labor force
participation appear to be modifying or at least postponing the
desire for marriage and family.
In many nations, the minimum legal age for marriage is lower
for women than for men, and women in each of the 14 Asian
countries marry at younger mean ages than men do. Regional
differentials in the timing of marriage can be large, as illustrated
by the median percentages single at age 20 to 24 years shown
below. Older age at marriage in East Asia is partially responsible
for the relatively lower fertility levels in that region. In spite of
such differentials, however, most Asian women do eventually
marry.



Median Percent Single in Two Age Groups, by Region and Sex

Middle South Eastern South
Asia East Asia Asia

Age Women Men Women Men Women Men

20 to 24 years 9.5 60.1 61.0 88.4 39.6 67.0
45 to 49 years 0.9 2.7 1.2 6.4 2.3 3.3




Both women and men marry at younger ages in rural than in
urban areas, in all Asian regions. While data on age at marriage
for the Pacific islands are not readily available, the greater propor-
tions of single males in all nations suggest a pattern similar to
that in Asia.
Asian households are, on the average, larger than those in
other developing regions of the world. Because of the patriarchal
nature of many Asian societies, a man is usually classified as
head of household. Perhaps for this reason, data on headship
are less likely to be disaggregated by sex than are data for other


variables. Available evidence for countries outside the Indian sub-
continent shows that the national percentage of women-headed
households varies between 11 and 24 percent.

Fertility and Mortality

Women in East Asia bear, on the average, fewer than three
children each, a level significantly lower than that recorded in
either Middle South Asia or Eastern South Asia. Median total
fertility rates (TFR's) for the latter two regions during the
mid-1970's were 6.4 and 5.0 children per woman, respectively,
though more recent indicators suggest that these TFR's have
fallen during the past decade. Nevertheless, social norms which
promote childbearing and favor male versus female offspring
continue to exert an upward pressure on fertility in many nations,
particularly those of and around the Indian subcontinent.
When age at marriage and contraceptive use are low, a larger
proportion of total fertility is found among younger women, and
the length of time it takes for a generation to replace itself is
shorter. Patterns of childbearing vary considerably across coun-
tries, with East Asian women tending to compress their fertility
into shorter time intervals than observed in the other regions.
As is generally the case in developing nations, urban age-specific
fertility rates are lower than xural rates, especially at younger
ages.
Contrary to the relationship in most countries of the world,
life expectancy at birth for women is 2 to 3 years lower than
that for men in much of Middle South Asia, possibly because
of differential health care, nutrition, and sociopsychological
attention given to male versus female children. Median female
life expectancy in Middle South Asia, based on data for varying
points in time, is only 50 years, and infant mortality rates are
in excess of 100 per 1,000 live births except in Sri Lanka.
Elsewhere, median female life expectancies at birth stand at 63
years in Eastern South Asia and more than 70 years in East Asia.
Outside of Indonesia, infant mortality rates are in double digits
and run as low as 24 per 1,000 in Taiwan and 11 per 1,000
in Hong Kong.


Women of the World


4 Introduction





Women of the World 5


Chapter 2









0@[isibU1@io and


The Asian and Pacific countries in this handbook are estimated
to contain 51 percent of the world's population in 1984 (U.S.
Bureau of the Census, 1983). Mainland China, with over 1 billion
people, constitutes 22 percent of the global total, while India
now has nearly three quarters of a billion persons. Of the Asian
populations included in this report, Mainland China has the
largest while Hong Kong has the smallest (table 2.1). The 18
Pacific nations for which data have been included range in size
from over 3.3 million for Papua New Guinea to only 4,000 for
Niue.

ASIA

As indicated in table 2.2, population growth rates for 1980-85
are estimated to be lowest in East Asia, with annual rates be-
tween 1.1 percent in Mainland China and 1.8 percent in Taiwan.
Southeast Asian countries have medium-level growth rates, and
most have experienced considerable fertility decline during the
1970's. Two countries in Middle South Asia, Pakistan and
Bangladesh, continue to have very high growth rates, around
3 percent per year, while Sri Lanka has now reached a lower
level of 1.8 percent per year.

Age Distribution and Sex Ratio

The current age distribution of any male and female popula-
tion is affected by past patterns of fertility and mortality, and
the variation in age patterns among the countries in this report
clearly reflects this. Two distinct age patterns are typical of Asian
countries, one represented by Hong Kong and the other by
Bangladesh.!Hong Kong, which is much farther along than other
countries in its demographic transition towards lower fertility,
has only 8 percent of its females (as well as males) under 5 years
of age (see tables 2.3 and 2.4). Four other populations which
have relatively fewer children of preschool age are those of
Mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Sri Lanka. In all cases,


however, the proportion of male and female children is about
the same. The countries of Middle South Asia (except Sri Lanka)
and Southeast Asia generally have much higher proportions of
preschool-age girls and boys-about twice as high as Hong Kong.
Recent evidence (see, for example, United Nations, 1983) from
almost all Southeast Asian countries indicates that they have
experienced significant fertility declines during the 1970's, and
more recent data on the age compositions of these countries
would certainly show a smaller proportion of preschool-age
children in their populations than displayed in the data tables.
Fertility in Middle South Asian countries (except Sri Lanka) con-
tinues to be high, which results in a large proportion of children
in preschool and school ages. This can be seen graphically in
figure 2.4.
Another distinctive feature, particularly in Hong Kong, is the
relatively larger proportion of older persons, especially women.
As other countries move further along in their demographic tran-
sition, patterns similar to that in Hong Kong are likely to emerge.
A growing proportion of women in East and Southeast Asia will
be concentrated among the elderly, because of both declining
fertility and increasing life expectancy. Of course, this represents
a long-term change; a significant impact on age distributions will
not be felt in the near future.
A comparison of the female and male age distributions sug-
gests that the proportions in each age group are generally similar.
Small differences should not be overemphasized because of cer-
tain well-known age-reporting biases in several of the Asian
countries.
The sex ratios of the populations, shown in table 2.5, indicate
that the countries of the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan,
and Bangladesh), as well as Hong Kong, Mainland China, and
Taiwan, have significantly more males per 100 females than do
countries of Southeast Asia. Two reasons for this high sex ratio
in Middle South Asia can be seen. First, mortality of females is
higher than that of males. Second, there is a tendency towards
underreporting of girls and women in censuses and surveys. The







6 Population Distribution and Change Women of the World


high sex ratios for ages 15 to 64 years in Hong Kong and Taiwan
are probably a result of higher male migration into these island
nations. In fact, four Southeast Asian countries-Burma
Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand-have somewhat fewer
men than women, which is indicative of accurate reporting of
women, greater female longevity, and perhaps male selective
emigration. Mainland China's sex ratio is influenced by the higher
female than male mortality which existed in certain age groups
prior to 1950. As seen in table 2.5, sex ratios for Chinese school-
age children are slightly lower than those for age groups 15 to
49 years and 15 to 64 years.
Because of relatively large proportions of children under 5
years of age, both Bangladesh and Pakistan have relatively fewer
women in the reproductive ages 15 to 49 years (41 and 44 per-
cent, respectively) while Hong Kong, South Korea, Mainland
China, and Taiwan have larger proportions of women in these
ages (50 percent or more in each case; see figure 2.4). Despite
such concentrations of women in reproductive ages, however,
these East Asian populations have experienced lower fertility and
growth rates due to both delayed age at marriage and controlled
fertility within marriage, as discussed later in more detail.


Rural/Urban Residence

In many countries, residence in urban areas portends greater
access to educational and health facilities and the possibility of
obtaining nonagricultural wage employment. These are major
factors which prompt rural-to-urban migration. Although many
Asian countries are characterized by large cities that are growing
rapidly, the overall level and tempo of urbanization are moderate
relative to other developing regions of the world. A comparison
of the proportion of women and men residing in urban areas at
different census dates (table 2.6 and figure 2.5) shows modest
increases, with generally minor differences between the sexes.
In more than half the countries, the female/male ratio of percent
urban increased over time.
Perhaps of greater interest are urban and rural sex ratios,
depicted in figure 2.6 and by age in table 2.5 and figure 2.7,
which reveal some regional variations. The Indian subcontinent
has had a traditional pattern of male migration in which wives
remain in the villages while husbands go to the towns or cities
to earn a living. This is reflected by the high urban sex ratios
for ages 15 to 64 years. The pattern is especially pronounced
in Middle South Asia's largest cities. With few exceptions, the
major urban centers have higher sex ratios than do the respec-
tive urban populations as a whole, running as high as 177 in Chit-
tagong and 143 in Calcutta, for all ages (UNESCAP, 1984). The
process of predominantly male rural-to-urban migration is likely
to have continued through the late 1970's and early 1980's in-
conjunction with large numbers of South Asian men migrating
to the Middle East as temporary laborers.
Unlike the situation in Middle South Asia, there are greater
concentrations of females than males in many urban areas of
East and Southeast Asia, most notably in the Philippines. While
boys outnumber girls under the age of 14 in urban areas of all
countries in these regions, women usually form the majority over
age 15. Female urban migration has been found to be particularly


high among young women age 15 to 19 years in countries of
Southeast Asia, many of whom migrate to take up employment
(Smith, Khoo, and Fawcett, 1983).


PACIFIC ISLANDS

The Pacific island nations included in this report are divided
into three broad cultural areas, namely, Polynesia, Melanesia,
and Micronesia, to facilitate an understanding of the situation
of women among these island groups. Of the three regions,
Melanesia is the most isolated and has the lowest level of urban-
ization, except for New Caledonia and Fiji. Parts of this region
were relatively unaffected by the historical colonization of the
Pacific. In Papua New Guinea, for example, the network of roads
is still relatively undeveloped, and some areas do not have
schools. Some of the Polynesian and Micronesian islands are,
on the other hand, fairly developed. American Samoa, French
Polynesia, and Guam all had a per capital gross national product
(GNP) of over U.S. $5,000 in 1979. Among the Melanesian
islands, New Caledonia was an exception, with an annual per
capital GNP of U.S. $7,500 (Banister, 1982).
In terms of population size, Papua New Guinea comprises
about half of the total of the Pacific region, with over 3.3 million
people in 1984. Other islands such as Niue, Nauru, and Tuvalu
have fewer than 10,000 people each. Fiji is the second largest
nation, with 686,000 persons. Based on the most recent data,
Nauru has the highest sex ratio (119 males per 100 females)
of all Pacific island nations, and Tuvalu the lowest (88). The latter
results from high male emigration, particularly from Tuvalu's rural
areas, while the former is related to labor migration to the island's
phosphate mines. In 1970, Guam had an exceptionally high sex
ratio of 126 men per 100 women primarily because of the
presence of nonnative military personnel, most of whom were
men. By 1980, Guam's male/female ratio had declined to 109.
All countries except Tuvalu and Kiribati have more males than
females in their populations. The generally high regional sex ratio
is similar to the pattern found in many of the Asian countries.

Age Distribution of Males and Females

A large proportion of children in the preschool ages 0 to 4 years
generally indicates the presence of high fertility, as discussed
above for Asia. Pacific nations which have relatively large
proportions- 17 percent or more-of female children under age
5 were Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and
French Polynesia (table 2.7). The same countries have a high
proportion of male children under 5 years of age (table 2.8).
At the other end of the spectrum, several countries are seen
to have large proportions of older women. Almost 8 percent of
Niue's women are age 65 years and over, similar to the level
in Hong Kong. The corresponding proportion of men in these two
countries is about 5 percent. Nine other countries have greater
proportions of women than men in older ages, most likely
because of higher female life expectancy and higher male emigra-
tion rates. In some cases, resultant sex ratios at older ages can
be surprising; among persons over age 65, there are only 57 men
per 100 women in Tuvalu and 67 men per 100 women in Niue
(table 2.9). However, female predominance at older ages is not


6 Population Distribution and Change


Women of the World







Women of the World Population Distribution and Change 7


found throughout all Pacific islands. Countries such as Solomon
Islands, Vanuatu, and Nauru have significantly fewer older
women than men. The female/male ratio at all other ages does
not show any consistent pattern across countries, and is likely
to be related to factors such as selective migration and differen-
tial mortality.


Rural/Urban Residence

The proportion of persons living in urban areas varies widely,
from 100 percent in Nauru and 91 percent in Guam to only 9
percent in Solomon Islands and no urban population at all in
Wallis and Futuna (table 2.10). New Caledonia and French
Polynesia have close to three-fifths, while both American Samoa
and the Pacific Islands have more than two-fifths of their popula-
tion in urban areas. Three of the Melanesian nations, namely
Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu, are all quite
undeveloped in terms of urbanization, with less than 15 percent
of their population in urban areas. The process of urbanization


in a developing country usually implies increasing industrializa-
tion and development of a more diversified economy, which are
likely to affect the lives and occupational opportunities of both
women and men. Such a process seems to be at a rather
rudimentary level in these three Melanesian nations.
With regard to the gender difference in the proportion of per-
sons living in urban areas, percentages are not markedly different
in most of the island countries (table 2.10). Five countries have
slightly higher concentrations of women than men, while four
countries-Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands,
and Tuvalu-have significantly lower proportions in urban areas.
Although women form a majority of Tuvalu's total population,
the urban female/male ratio of 0.77 implies that the country is
experiencing heavy male migration from rural to urban areas,
resulting in a concentration of females in the rural sector (the
female/male ratio in rural areas, not shown in table 2.10, is 1.28).
One obvious implication of such rural-to-urban male migration
is the likelihood of greater female participation in agricultural pur-
suits and other rural income-generating activities.


Women of the World


Population Distribution and Change 7







8 Population Distribution and Change Women of the World


Figure 2.1.


Population in
millions


Asia: Estimated and Projected Population Size and
Components of Change, 1960 to 2025


Rates per
thousand
population


Year


Source: United Nations, 1982, pp. 252-311.


Women of the World


8 Population Distribution and Change







Women of the World Population Distribution and Change 9


Figure 2.2. Population Distribution of Asian Countries: 1984


8 percent in 11 countries not
included in the analysis
Bhutan
Brunei
Japan
Kampuchea
Laos
Macao
Maldives
Mongolia
North Korea
Singapore
Vietnam


Note: This chart does not include countries of the Near East, which are the subject
of a separate handbook.
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1983.


Women of the World


Population Distribution and Change 9













Figure 2.3. Estimated and Projected Population of Asian Countries:
1960, 1970, and 1985




Millions Millions
1,100 50 -



1,000 40



900 30



800 20
20



700 10 -



600 -
0
South Burma Taiwan Nepal Sri Hong
Chore p Lanka Kong

500



400


1960 1970 1985
300



200



100



0
Mainland India Indo- Bangla- Pakistan Philip- Thailand
China nesia desh pines


Note: Countries are presented in rank order by population size in 1985.
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1983.


Women of the World


10 Population Distribution and Change







Women of the World Population Distribution and Change


Figure 2.4. Percent of All Women in Selected Age Groups


Middle South Asia


East Asia


Percent


desh 1971 1971 1972 Lanka
1974 1981


Percent


China Kong Korea
1982 1981 1975


0-14 15-49 50-64 65+


Percent


alwan
1975


Indo- Malaysia Philip- Thailand
nesia 1970 pines 1970
1971 1975


Women of the World


Population Distribution and Change






12 Population Distribution and Change Women of 1i~e Wottd


Figure 2.5.


Percent of Women Living in Urban Areas:
Latest Two Censuses


Percent
Middle South Asia

















rF F


Bangla-
desh
1961/74


India Nepal Pakistan Sri
1971/81 1961/71 1961/72 Lanka
1971/81


East Asia


(NA) I E I EM
Mainland Hong South
China Kong Korea
1971/81 1970/75


Percent


Eastern South Asia


Earlier Later
Census Census


Burma Indo-
1973 nesia
1961/71


Malaysia Philip-
1957/70 pines
1970/75


Percent


Thailand
1960/70


Women of the Woid


12 Population Distribution and Change







Women of the World Population Distribution and Change


Figure 2.6. Sex Ratio by Rural/Urban Residence


Males per
100 females


140


120


*100


80


60


40


20


0






140


120


*100


80


60


40


20


0


Sri
Lanka
1981


Mainland Hong South Taiwan
China Kong Korea
1981 1975


Rural Urban


Burma Indo- Malaysia Philip- Thailand
1973 nesia 1970 pines 1970
1971 1975

*Number of males equals number of females.


Males per
100 females


140


120


100*


80


60


40


20


0


Bangla- India
desh 1971
1974

Males per
100 females


Women of the World


Population Distribution and Change







14 Population Distribution and Change Women of the Wodd


Figure 2.7.




Men per
100 women


Sex Ratio of Population in Two Age Groups, by
Rural/Urban Residence



Men per
100 women


East Asia


- 160

- 140

- '20


-- ----- 100

80


INAi 11 1 1 0 I
Mainland Hong South
China Kong Korea
1981 1 -


Rural Urban
15-64


I 1
Rural Urban
65 +


*Number of men equals number of women.


Bangla-
desh
1974


Men per
100 women


iwan


Burma Indo- Malaysia Philip- Thailand
1973 nesia 1970 pines 1970
1971 1975


14 Population Distribution and Change


Women of the World





Women of the World Population Distribution and Change 15



Table 2.1. Total Population, by Sex, and Sex Ratio
(Population in thousands. Figures may not add to totals due to rounding)


Region and country Year Total Female Male Sex ratio1



I
MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh................. 1981 87,052 41,202 44,850 106.3
India.i................... 1981 665,287 321,357 343,930 107.0
Nepal..................... 1981 15,020 7,421 7,599 102.4
Pakistan.................. 1981 83,782 39,865 43,917 110.2
Sri Lanka................. 1981 14,848 7,280 7,568 104.0

EAST ASIA

China
Mainland................ 1982 1,008,175 488,742 519,433 106.3
Taiwan.................. 1980 17,969 8,595 9,374 109.1
Hong Kong................. 1981 4,987 2,382 2,604 109.3
South Korea................ 1980 37,407 18,658 18,749 100.5

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Burma..................... 1973 28,886 14,526 14,360 98.9
Indonesia................. 1980 146,776 73,825 72,952 98.8
Malaysia.................. 1980 13,436 6,688 6,748 100.9
Philippines............... 1980 48,098 23,969 24,129 100.7
Thailand.................. 1980 44,278 22,270 22,008 98.8

POLYNESIA

American Samoa............ 1980 32 16 16 103.0
Cook Islands.............. 1981 18 9 9 106.9
French Polynesia.......... 1977 137 65 72 110.7
Niue..................... 1979 4 2 2 103.9
Tonga..................... 1976 90 44 46 104.5
Tuvalu ................... 1979 7 4 3 87.2
Wallis and Futuna......... 1976 9 5 5 100.1
Western'Samoa............. 1976 152 73 79 107.2

MELANESIA

Fiji... .................. 1976 588 291 297 102.0
New Caledonia............. 1976 133 64 69 108.4
Papua New Guinea.......... 1971 2,490 1,196 1,294 108.2
Solomon Islands........... 1976 197 94 103 109.4
Vanuatu................... 1979 111 52 59 113.2









Table 2.1. Total Population, by Sex, and Sex Ratio -Continued
(Population in thousands. Figures may not add to totals due to rounding)


Region and country Year Total Female Male Sex ratio1


MICRONESIA

Guam....................... 1980 106 51 55 109.2
Kiribati.................... 1978 56 28 28 97.3
Nauru...................... 1977 7 3 4 118.7
Northern Mariana
Islands................... 1980 17 8 9 110.7
Trust Territory of the
Pacific Islands.......... 1980 116 57 60 105.1

Note: Data for Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Taiwan, South Korea, Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, the
Philippines, and Thailand represent adjusted census results. Data for other nations are unadjusted.


1Number of men per 100 women.


16 Population Distribution and Change


Women of the World








Table 2.2. Total Population of Selected Countries of Asia: 1960 to 1985
S(Midyear population in thousands)


Annual
rate of
growth,
Region and country 1980 to
1985
1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 (percent)

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh.............. 54,622 60,332 67,403 76,195 88,052 102,735 3.1
India................... 445,875 494,882 553,619 617,164 685,119 762,507 2.1
Nepal................... 10,035 10,862 11,919 13,262 14,992 16,996 2.5
Pakistan ................ 50,387 57,495 65,706 74,843 85,743 99,841 3.0
Sri Lanka............... 9,879 11,202 12,532 13,632 14,842 16,206 1.8

EAST ASIA

China
Mainland.............. 650,661 715,546 820,403 917,859 983,379 1,038,427 1.1
Taiwan ............... 11,209 12,978 14,598 16,122 17,800 19,511 1.8
Hong Kong............... 3,075 3,598 3,959 4,396 5,038 5,477 1.7
South Korea.............. 25,142 29,130 32,976 36,669 39,565 42,643 1.5

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Burma... ............... 21,726 24,167 27,078 30,482 34,433 38,890 2.4
Indonesia............... 100,655 112,269 122,671 136,578 151,168 167,833 2.1
Malaysia................ 8,428 9,648 10,910 12,388 14,001 15,664 2.2
Philippines............. 27,898 32,415 37,542 43,103 49,253 55,819 2.5
Thailand................. 27,513 32,062 37,091 42,422 47,669 52,700 2.0

Note: Slight discrepancies between the population totals shown in this table and those in table
2.1 are due to the different dates during the year to which the data refer. Figures in table 2.1
refer toithe respective census dates for each country, while those in table 2.2 all refer to July 1.


Women of the World


Population Distribution and Change 17









Table 2.3. Percent of Female Population in Selected Age Groups, by Rural/Urban Residence,
for Asian Countries
(Percentages do not add to 100.0 because of overlapping categories)


Repro-
Preschool School age ductive Working Elderly
Residence, region, age age age
and country
0 to4 5 to 9 10 to 14 15 to 19 15 to 49 15 to 64 65 years
Year years years years years years years and over

Total country

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh........... 1974 17.6 19.0 12.2 8.0 41.2 48.3 2.9
India................. 1971 14.9 15.1 12.2 8.4 46.0 54.4 3.4
Nepal................ 1971 14.7 14.9 10.4 8.7 48.5 56.8 3.2
Pakistan............. 1972 16.1 16.6 11.9 8.3 43.8 51.6 3.8
Sri Lanka............. 1981 12.5 11.4 11.4 10.9 52.1 60.6 4.2

EAST ASIA

China
Mainland........... 1982 9.4 11.0 13.1 12.6 50.9 61.0 5.6
Taiwan............. 1975 11.2 12.7 13.1 12.3 51.6 59.4 3.5
Hong Kong ........... 1981 7.8 8.2 8.9 11.4 53.8 66.9 8.2
South Korea.......... 1975 11.8 12.5 12.6 11.7 49.9 58.7 4.3

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Burma................ 1973 16.0 13.7 11.9 10.3 45.8 54.5 3.9
Indonesia............ 1971 15.8 15.4 11.4 9.6 47.7 54.9 2.5
Malaysia............. 1970 15.7 15.4 13.3 11.1 45.1 52.6 3.0
Philippines.......... 1975 15.2 14.8 13.4 12.0 47.0 53.7 2.9
Thailand.............. 1970 16.2 15.1 13.1 10.9 45.1 52.2 3.4


Women of the Wodd


18 Population Distribution and Change









Table 2.3. Percent of Female Population in Selected Age Groups, by Rural/Urban Residence,
for Asian Countries Continued
(Percentages do not add to 100.0 because of overlapping categories)



Repro-
Preschool School age ductive Working Elderly
Residence, region, age age age
and country
0 to4 5 to 9 10 to 14 15 to19 15 to 49 15 to 64 65 years
Year years years years years years years and over

Rural


MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh..........
India.............
Nepal ...............
Pakistan............
Sri Lanka............
i
EAST ASIA

Hong Kong............
South Korea.........

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Burma...............
Indonesia...........
Malaysia...........
Philippines..........
Thailand............


1974
1971
1971
1972
1981



1981
1975



1973
1971
1970
1975
1970


17.7
15.2
14.7
16.3
13.0



9.2
11.8



16.0
15.9
16.6
16.1
16.8


19.1
15.2
14.9
16.7
11.7



9.2
13.9



14.2
15.7
16.1
15.7
15.4


12.0
12.1
10.3
11.5
11.4



11.0
14.3



11.9
11.2
13.4
13.9
13.0


7.8
8.1
8.7
7.8
10.7



13.0
9.8



10.2
9.1
10.6
11.3
10.6


41.1
45.3
48.5
43.1
51.6



48.2
43.9



45.4
47.2
43.6
44.7
44.2


48.3
54.0
56.8
51.3
59.9



61.0
54.4



54.0
54.6
51.1
51.4
51.2


Women of the World


Population Distribution and Change






20 Population Distribution and change Women of the World


Table 2.3.


Percent of Female Population in Selected Age Groups, by Rural/Urban Residence,
for Asian Countries -Continued
(Percentages do not add to 100.0 because of overlapping categories)


Repro-
Preschool School age ductive Working Elderly
Residence, region, age age age
and country
0 to4 5to 9 10 to 14 15to 19 15 to 49 15 to 64 65 years
Year years years years years years years and over

Urban

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh......... 1974 16.3 17.5 14.8 10.2 43.5 49.1 2.3
India............... 1971 13.7 14.3 12.8 9.9 48.8 56.3 3.0
Nepal.............. 1971 13.8 14.2 11.3 10.0 49.7 57.6 3.2
Pakistan........... 1972 15.5 16.1 13.0 9.8 45.9 52.6 2.8
Sri Lanka.......... 1981 10.4 10.4 11.3 11.5 54.1 63.1 4.7

EAST ASIA

Hong Kong.......... 1981 7.7 8.2 8.8 11.3 54.2 67.3 8.0
South Korea........ 1975 11.9 11.0 10.9 13.8 56.2 63.2 3.0

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Burma.............. 1973 15.9 12.1 12.1 10.6 47.3 55.9 4.0
Indonesia.......... 1971 15.3 13.9 12.2 11.8 49.9 56.2 2.4
Malaysia............ 1970 13.1 13.7 13.1 12.5 49.0 56.7 3.3
Philippines........ 1975 13.2 12.9 12.4 13.5 51.8 58.5 2.9
Thailand........... 1970 12.2 12.9 13.1 12.9 51.2 58.3 3.5


20 Population Distribution and Change


Women of the Word









Table 2.4. Percent of Male Population in Selected Age Groups, by Rural/Urban Residence,
for Asian Countries
(Percentages do not add to 100.0 because of overlapping categories)


Preschool School age Working Elderly
Residence, region, age age
and country
SOto4 5 to9 10 to14 15to19 15 to64 65 years
Year years years years years years and over

Total country


MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh...........
India.................
Nepal.................
Pakistan.............
Sri Lanka..............

EAST ASIA

China
Mainland...........
Taiwa...............
Hong Kong............
South Korea............

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Burma ................
Indonesia............
Malaysia..............
Philippines..........
Thailand.............


1974
1971
1971
1972
1981


1982
1975
1981
1975



1973
1971
1970
1975
1970


16.2
14.2
13.6
14.2
12.5


9.5
11.1
7.8
12.6



16.3
16.5
16.1
15.6
16.7


17.8
14.9
15.2
15.9
11.3


11.1
12.5
8.2
13.2



14.0
16.3
15.9
15.3
15.7


13.5
12.8
12.1
13.1
11.4


13.2
12.8
8.7
13.5



12.2
12.6
13.5
13.6
13.5


8.5
8.9
9.4
8.7
10.8


12.4
12.0
11.2
12.2



10.2
9.6
10.7
11.5
10.7


48.8
54.8
56.1
52.4
60.2


62.0
60.9
70.2
58.2



53.9
52.1
51.4
52.5
51.4


Women of the World


Population Distribution and Change










Table 2.4. Percent of Male Population in Selected Age Groups, by Rural/Urban Residence,
for Asian Countries -Continued
(Percentages do not add to 100.0 because of overlapping categories)


Preschool School age Working Elderly
Residence, region, age age
and country
Oto4 5 to 9 10 to 14 15 to 19 15 to 64 65 years
Year years years years years years and over

Rural


MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh...........
India.................
Nepal .................
Pakistan..............
Sri Lanka..............

EAST ASIA

Hong Kong.............
South Korea...........

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Burma.................
Indonesia.............
Malaysia.............
Philippines...........
Thailand..............


1974
1971
1971
1972
1981



1981
1975



1973
1971
1970
1975
1970


16.6
14.6
13.7
14.4
13.3



9.0
12.3



16.5
16.6
16.9
16.2
17.3


18.2
15.3
15.3
16.4
11.8



8.8
14.3



14.1
16.7
16.5
15.9
16.0


13.5
13.0
12.1
13.2
11.6



10.5
15.0



12.2
12.6
13.6
13.9
13.5


8.4
8.5
9.3
8.4
10.6



12.6
10.8



10.1
9.1
10.1
11.4
10.4


47.8
53.5
55.9
51.2
58.8



65.4
54.7



53.5
51.5
49.7
51.1
50.4


Women of the World


22 Population Distribution and Change









Table 2.4. Percent of Male Population in Selected Age Groups, by Rural/Urban Residence,
for Asian Countries -Continued
(Percentages do not add to 100.0 because of overlapping categories)


Preschool School age Working Elderly
Residence, region, age age
and country
0 to4 5 to 9 10 to 14 15 to 19 15 to 64 65 years
Year years years years years years and over

Urban


MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh............ 1974 12.7 13.8 12.6 9.8 58.5 2.4
India................. 1971 12.3 13.1 12.2 10.2 59.9 2.6
Nepal................ 1971 11.8 12.7 11.1 11.1 61.9 2.6
Pakistan.............. 1972 13.6 14.6 13.0 9.5 55.6 3.2
Sri Lanka............. 1981 9.9 9.8 10.8 11.4 65.3 4.1

EAST ASIA

Hong Kong.............. 1981 7.7 8.1 8.6 11.1 70.6 5.0
South Korea........... 1975 12.8 12.0 11.8 13.7 61.9 1.5

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Burma................ 1973 16.0 13.7 12.1 10.6 55.2 3.0
Indonesia............. 1971 15.9 14.4 12.5 11.6 55.3 1.9
Malaysia.............. 1970 13.5 14.1 13.4 12.4 56.1 2.9
Philippines........... 1975 14.4 14.0 12.8 11.8 56.1 2.8
Thailand.............. 1970 13.0 13.5 13.5 12.5 57.4 2.5


Women of the World


Population Distribution and Change










Table 2.5. Sex Ratio of Population in Selected Age Groups, by Rural/Urban Residence,
for Asian Countries


Repro-
Preschool School age ductive Working Elderly
Residence, region, age age age
and country- --
0 to4 5 to 9 10 to 14 15 to 19 15 to 49 15 to 64 65 years
Year years years years years years years and over

Total country

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh.......... 1974 99.3 101.2 118.9 114.1 106.5 108.8 137.1
India............... 1971 102.2 106.1 113.0 113.4 107.2 108.4 105.1
Nepal................ 1971 93.7 103.3 118.3 109.5 100.2 100.1 94.9
Pakistan............ 1972 100.8 110.4 127.0 120.1 113.8 116.6 133.0
Sri Lanka........... 1981 104.5 103.2 104.5 102.9 102.0 103.4 111.1

EAST ASIA

China
Mainland.......... 1982 107.1 106.2 106.1 103.5 107.3 107.3 79.8
Taiwan............. 1975 106.3 105.4 105.2 104.4 106.5 110.4 83.6
Hong Kong........... 1981 109.3 108.0 106.7 107.8 116.5 114.8 68.3
South Korea.......... 1975 107.4 107.0 107.8 105.0 102.1 100.3 61.3

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Burma............... 1973 101.0 101.3 100.8 98.4 97.9 97.9 89.4
Indonesia........... 1971 101.2 103.1 107.7 97.4 91.9 92.3 94.2
Malaysia............ 1970 104.1 104.3 103.1 97.5 97.7 99.2 107.8
Philippines......... 1975 105.3 105.5 103.9 98.3 99.2 99.9 101.5
Thailand............ 1970 102.4 102.8 102.5 97.2 97.9 97.6 78.3


Women of the World


24 Population Distribution and Change










Table 2.5. Sex Ratio of Population in Selected Age Groups, by Rural/Urban Residence,
for Asian Countries -Continued


Repro-
Preschool School age ductive Working Elderly
Residence, region, age age age
and country -
0 to4 5to9 10 tol4 15 to19 15 to49 15 to64 65years
Year years years years years years years and over

Rural


MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh..........
India...............
Nepal ..............
Pakistan............
Sri Lanka............

EAST ASIA

Hong Kong..........
South Korea..........
I
EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Burma............
Indonesia ..........
Malaysia............
Philippines........
Thailand............


1974
1971
1971
1972
1981


99.1
101.7
93.5
99.6
104.7


101.2
106.0
103.3
111.0
103.4


1981 108.5 106.4
1975 107.4 106.2


1973
1971
1970
1975
1970


100.6
100.8
103.9
105.1
102.2


97.8
103.1
104.2
105.7
102.7


119.8
113.5
118.5
130.2
104.6



106.2
107.4



100.4
109.1
102.8
105.7
102.7


113.0
111.6
108.6
121.8
101.2


102.3
103.0
99.1
110.2
99.0


104.8
104.5
99.1
113.1
100.8


108.7 120.8 119.9
113.3 106.3 103.3


97.1
97.1
96.1
106.3
97.6


96.7
90.6
96.8
103.7
98.0


97.0
91.2
98.6
104.2
97.7


137.3
105.7
94.9
132.3
115.9



74.5
66.7



92.9
96.9
116.1
106.2
79.5


Women of the World


Population Distribution and Change









Table 2.5. Sex Ratio of Population in Selected Age Groups, by Rural/Urban Residence,
for Asian Countries -Continued


Repro-
Preschool School age ductive Working Elderly
Residence, region, age age age
and, country
Oto 4 5 to 9 10 to 14 15 to 19 15 to 49 15 to 64 65 years
Year years years years years years years and over

Urban

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh.......... 1974 101.5 101.6 110.1 123.4 153.0 154.1 134.2
India............... 1971 104.2 106.6 111.4 119.7 124.1 124.0 102.3
Nepal............... 1971 99.2 104.6 114.5 129.6 127.1 125.3 95.4
Pakistan............ 1972 104.3 108.6 119.0 116.2 123.3 126.1 135.7
Sri Lanka........... 1981 103.6 102.2 104.5 108.9 112.9 112.7 95.5

EAST ASIA

Hong Kong........... 1981 109.3 108.2 106.7 107.8 116.2 114.5 67.7
South Korea......... 1975 107.5 108.2 108.4 98.8 98.6 97.5 50.7

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Burma............... 1973 102.3 114.6 102.0 102.3 101.7 100.7 78.1
Indonesia........... 1971 103.4 103.1 101.5 98.4 97.9 97.8 80.2
Malaysia............ 1970 105.1 104.5 103.7 100.9 99.9 100.6 88.5
Philippines......... 1975 106.0 104.9 99.7 84.5 92.4 93.0 92.2
Thailand............ 1970 104.3 103.5 101.3 95.0 97.3 96.9 70.3

Note: Sex ratios in this table refer to the number of men per 100 women.


26 Population Distribution and Change


Women of the Worid










Table 2.6. Percent of Population Residing in Urban Areas, by Sex, and Female/Male Ratio
of Percent Urban: Latest Two Censuses, for Asian Countries


Earlier Census Later Census

i F/M F/M
Region and country ratio ratio
Both (male= Both (male=
Years sexes Women Men 1.00) sexes Women Men 1.00)

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh .......... 1961/74 5.2 4.5 5.9 0.76 8.8 7.9 9.5 0.83
India............... 1971/81 19.9 19.1 20.7 0.92 23.7 23.0 24.4 0.94
Nepal............... 1961/71 3.6 3.3 3.8 0.87 4.0 3.7 4.3 0.86
Pakistan............ 1961/72 24.4 23.3 25.3 0.92 26.5 26.0 27.0 0.96
Sri Lanka........... 1971/81 22.4 21.7 23.2 0.94 21.5 21.0 22.0 0.95

EAST ASIA

China I
Mainland.......... 1964/82 18.3 (NA) (NA) (NA) 20.6 (NA) (NA) (NA)
Hong Kong........... 1971/81 89.9 89.8 90.0 1.00 92.7 92.8 92.6 1.00
South Korea ......... 1970/75 41.1 41.2 41.1 1.00 48.4 48.7 48.0 1.01

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Burma............... 1973 24.1 23.7 24.5 0.97 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
Indonesia........... 1961/71 14.9 14.7 15.1 0.97 17.3 17.1 17.5 0.98
Malaysia............ 1957/70 26.5 26.1 27.0 0.97 26.9 26.9 27.0 1.00
Philippines......... 1970/75 32.0 32.9 31.1 1.06 31.6 32.5 30.8 1.06
Thailand............ 1960/70 12.5 12.3 12.7 0.97 13.2 13.3 13.2 1.01


Women of the World


Population Distribution and Change






28 Population Distribution and change Women of the World


Table 2.7. Percent of Female Population
(Percentages do not add to 100.0


in Selected Age Groups, for Pacific Islands
because of overlapping categories)


Repro-
Preschool School age ductive Working Elderly
age age age
Region and country
Oto 4 5 to 9 10 to 14 15 to19 15 to 49 15 to 64 65years
Year years years years years years years and over


POLYNESIA

American Samoa......... 1980 14.5 13.0 12.2 12.4 49.5 57.3 3.0
Cook Islands............ 1981 12.7 14.6 15.7 13.1 44.4 52.6 4.4
French Polynesia....... 1977 14.7 14.9 13.8 10.7 46.7 53.7 2.9
Niue................... 1976 12.5 14.9 16.1 11.3 41.1 48.6 7.7
Tonga.................. 1976 13.5 15.7 14.3 11.5 45.7 53.0 3.4
Tuvalui................ 1979 7.7 8.3 11.5 13.6 55.1 66.4 5.1
Wallis and Futuna...... 1976 16.0 16.2 12.7 10.7 43.1 51.9 3.3
Western Samoa.......... 1976 15.9 16.2 15.6 12.5 42.3 49.2 3.2

MELANESIA

Fiji................... 1976 13.7 13.1 14.1 12.5 50.1 56.7 2.3
New Caledonia.......... 1976 14.2 13.2 12.1 10.2 48.4 56.3 4.1
Papua New Guinea........ 1971 18.7 15.6 10.3 8.0 47.6 54.0 1.3
Solomon Islands........ 1976 20.5 15.6 12.1 9.9 43.2 49.2 2.5
Vanuatu................ 1979 17.5 15.1 13.0 11.2 46.6 51.9 2.5

MICRONESIA

Guam................... 1980 12.6 12.2 10.9 10.2 53.4 61.2 3.1
Kiribati............... 1978 13.6 12.2 13.8 11.9 47.7 56.2 4.1
Nauru 1................ 1977 16.8 13.9 13.9 13.8 48.2 54.0 1.4
Northern Mariana
Islands.............. 1980 14.9 13.9 13.5 10.8 48.2 54.3 3.4
Trust Territory of the
Pacific Islands...... 1980 17.7 15.2 13.0 10.6 42.9 50.3 3.8

Age distribution based on native Nauruans only.


Sources: South Pacific Commission, 1978,


28 Population Distribution and Change


Women of the World


table 4; national census reports.









Table 2.8. Percent of Male Population in Selected Age Groups, for Pacific Islands
(Percentages do not add to 100.0 because of overlapping categories)


Repro-
Preschool School age ductive Working Elderly
age age age
Region and country
0 to 4 5 to 9 10 to 14 15 to 19 15 to 49 15 to 64 65 years
Year years years years years years years and over


POLYNESIA

American Samoa......... 1980 15.2 13.2 13.8 11.5 47.5 55.0 2.9
Cook Islands........... 1981 12.3 14.3 15.9 14.3 44.1 53.1 4.4
French Polynesia....... 1977 13.8 14.2 12.8 10.9 49.2 56.3 2.9
Niue................... 1976 14.7 17.5 16.5 12.4 39.7 46.0 5.0
Tonga.................. 1976 14.3 16.2 14.9 11.9 43.9 51.5 3.1
Tuvalu............... 1979 10.5 11.1 15.1 14.2 47.1 59.3 4.0
Wallis and Futuna....... 1976 16.7 17.0 14.6 11.1 38.6 48.5 3.3
Western Samoa......... 1976 16.5 16.7 15.5 13.2 41.8 48.5 2.7

MELANESIA

Fiji... ............... 1976 14.0 13.4 14.0 12.4 49.1 56.2 2.3
New Caledonia.......... 1976 13.4 12.4 11.9 10.2 50.1 58.9 3.4
Papua New Guinea....... 1971 18.2 16.5 11.0 9.1 45.4 52.5 1.7
Solomon Islands........ 1976 20.2 15.5 11.9 9.8 41.3 48.3 3.9
Vanuatu............... 1979 17.0 15.2 13.0 10.7 45.2 51.5 3.3

MICRONESIA

Guam.................. 1980 12.0 11.7 10.5 10.6 54.5 63.3 2.5
Kiribati............... 1978 14.1 13.2 15.2 12.0 46.8 54.4 3.1
Naurul................. 1977 16.7 14.1 12.9 13.3 48.9 54.1 2.2
Northern Mariana
Islands.............. 1980 14.4 11.8 12.7 9.5 50.9 58.5 2.6
Trust Territory of the
Pacific Islands...... 1980 18.4 15.8 13.5 10.5 41.7 48.9 3.4

1Age distribution based on native Nauruans only.


Sources: South Pacific Commission, 1978, table 4; national census reports.


Women of the World


Population Distribution and Change









Table 2.9. Sex Ratio of Population in Selected Age Groups, for Pacific Islands


Repro-
Preschool School age ductive Working Elderly
age age age
Region and country
0 to 4 5 to 9 10 to 14 15 to 19 15 to 49 15to64 65 years
Year years years years years years years and over


POLYNESIA

American Samoa......... 1980 108.1 104.6 115.9 95.3 98.7 98.8 97.7
Cook Islands........... 1981 103.9 104.6 108.3 116.5 106.1 107.9 106.0
French Polynesia....... 1977 104.0 105.7 102.6 112.8 116.5 116.0 110.1
Niue................... 1976 118.4 118.2 103.6 110.1 97.3 95.3 66.9
Tonga.................. 1976 110.1 107.7 109.0 107.8 100.4 101.5 95.4
Tuvalu................. 1979 119.2 117.2 115.6 91.6 75.0 78.5 57.4
Wallis and Futuna...... 1976 104.6 105.1 114.9 103.7 89.6 93.5 100.0
Western Samoa.......... 1976 111.5 110.8 107.1 113.6 106.0 105.8 90.7

MELANESIA

Fiji.................. 1976 104.5 103.8 101.4 101.3 100.2 101.2 99.1
New Caledonia.......... 1976 102.2 102.1 106.1 108.4 112.3 113.2 90.2
Papua New Guinea....... 1971 105.7 114.2 115.8 124.0 103.3 105.1 139.2
Solomon Islands........ 1976 107.9 108.3 108.4 108.3 104.6 107.5 168.5
Vanuatu................ 1979 109.8 114.2 113.4 109.0 108.7 111.3 151.8

MICRONESIA

Guam................... 1980 103.7 104.6 106.0 113.7 111.3 112.8 88.9
Kiribati............... 1978 100.6 105.2 107.1 98.2 95.4 94.1 74.0
Naurul................. 1977 108.0 110.0 100.4 104.7 110.1 108.6 173.1
Northern Mariana
Islands.............. 1980 107.1 93.9 104.2 97.8 117.0 119.2 85.4
Trust Territory of the
Pacific Islands...... 1980 108.7 109.4 109.1 103.7 102.3 102.4 94.2

Note: Sex ratios in this table refer to the number of men per 100 women.

1Age distribution based on native Nauruans only.


Sources: South Pacific Commission, 1978, table 4; national census reports.


30 Population Distribution and Change


Women of the World





Women of the World Population Distribution and Change 31



Table 2.10. Percent of Population Residing in Urban Areas, by Sex, and Female/Male Ratio
of Percent Urban, for Pacific Islands


F/M ratio
Region and country Year Total Female Male (male=1.00)


POLYNESIA

American Samoa.................... 1974 43.2 43.8 42.7 1.03
Cook Islands....................... 1976 26.8 24.0 29.4 0.82
French Polynesia................... 1971 56.6 56.3 56.8 0.99
Niue... ............ ............. 1979 21.4 21.7 21.1 1.03
Tonga .......................... 1976 26.5 27.0 26.1 1.03
Tuvalu .......................... 1979 29.8 26.2 33.9 0.77
Wallis and Futuna 1............... 1976 0.0 0.0 0.0 (NA)
Western Samoa..................... 1976 21.1 21.4 20.9 1.02

MELANESIA

Fiji... .......................... 1976 37.1 37.5 36.7 1.02
New Caledonia..................... 1976 42.1 42.2 42.0 1.00
Papua New Guinea.................. 1971 9.1 7.1 10.9 0.65
Solomon Islands.................... 1976 9.3 8.0 10.5 0.76
Vanuatu.'.......................... 1979 17.8 17.4 18.2 0.96

MICRONESIA

Guam............................. 1970 90.9 89.8 91.7 0.98
Kiribati .......................... 1978 31.9 31.7 32.1 0.99
Nauru1........................... 1977 100.0 100.0 100.0 1.00
1Te popltoneofea..ieandFutuaeisconsdere


1The population of Wallis and Futuna is considered
of Nauru is considered to be entirely urban.

Sources: South Pacific Commission, 1978, table 3;


to be entirely rural, while that


national census reports.








Women of the World


Chapter











Ed (moio@


ASIA

Education is central to the process of improvement in the
status of women. It not only provides women with higher social
status in the community, but also gives them the opportunity
to engage in higher status occupations. Education, particularly
higher education, provides women greater access to resources,
be they political, economic, legal, social, or cultural. There also
are documented links between increased education and lower
fertility. A study of education and fertility in Bangladesh found
that, in addition to the usual inverse relationship between these
variables, a wife's education has relatively more effect on fer-
tility and contraceptive use than does her husband's (UNESCAP,
1981). This finding, which has been observed in other third world
nations as well, has crucial implications for countries such as
Bangladesh, where past attempts to brake population growth
have met with rather limited success.
The analysis in this chapter yields several general observations.
First, a very large proportion of women in Middle South Asia
(over four-fifths) still are illiterate. The proportion of illiterate
women in East Asia is roughly one-fifth and in Southeast Asia
about one-third. Second, there are larger gaps between literacy
rates of women and men in Middle South Asia than in other
regions; these gaps are wider in rural than in urban areas. Third,
literacy of younger women is significantly higher than that of
older women. Fourth, enrollment data indicate that the
female/male differential in enrollment rates among children age
5 to 9 years is quite large in Middle South Asian countries (ex-
cept Sri Lanka), while there are negligible differences in most
countries of the other subregions. Finally, female/male dif-
ferences in enrollment increase with age in all countries except
Sri Lanka and the Philippines, and there are substantial gender
differences among those age 15 to 19 years.
The measurement of literacy levels has some inherent prob-
lems. The definition of who is literate varies across countries,
even though the general objective is to ascertain the number of


people who can read and write. Some censuses specify that in
order to be classified as literate, the person should be able to
read "with understanding." In Pakistan, past censuses have
usually asked whether a person can read with understanding in
any language and write a simple letter. In one of the censuses,
where the ability to read included the ability to recite the Quran
(the holy book of Muslims), the reported female literacy jumped
substantially. Most women, however, could not understand the
Arabic script of the Quran, and subsequent censuses did not use
this definition.
Apart from definitional problems, the concept of functional
literacy can be a difficult one. A person may have gone to school
and yet be functionally illiterate because the educational cur-
riculum did not lend itself to the current needs of society.
Likewise, the mere attainment of functional literacy is not
necessarily significant in terms of enhanced socioeconomic pro-
spects. There also may be a tendency toward overreporting of
literacy in censuses and surveys, since education has now
become a valued goal in most societies.


Literacy Rates

An extremely large proportion of women in Middle South Asia
is still illiterate-only 5 percent of Nepalese and 12 percent of
Pakistani women were reported to have the ability to read and
write. The corresponding figures for men in these countries were
33 percent and 30 percent, respectively (table 3.1). Sri Lanka
represents a striking exception among the Middle South Asian
countries, with 82 percent of its women literate. Among East
Asian countries, over four-fifths of the women in South Korea
and Taiwan are literate, with Mainland China registering a female
rate of 55 percent in the 1982 census. Southeast Asia contains
larger diversity, with 47 percent of the Malaysian and 82 per-
cent of the Filipino women literate. In the regional context,
Filipino society is quite unique in its almost equal emphasis on






34 Literacy and Education Women of the World


education for girls and boys, which can be traced to the
sociocultural traditions of Filipino society (Castillo, 1976).
Percentages of literate women and men according to
rural/urban residence are available for 9 of the 13 countries in-
cluded in table 3.1. The data indicate that a much higher propor-
tion of women in each country is literate in urban than in rural
areas. Only 5 percent of rural Pakistani women are literate, com-
pared to 31 percent of their urban counterparts. Even in Sri
Lanka, which has unusually high literacy levels, 91 percent of
the urban but only 80 percent of the rural women are literate.
Similarly, 92 percent of the urban Filipino women but only 77
percent of the rural women are literate. Since the same pattern
holds true for men in all countries, urban residence is clearly
associated with a greater probability of achieving literacy,
regardless of gender. While much of this residential discrepancy
can be attributed to differential governmental funding and the
resultant quality of urban versus rural facilities, selective migra-
tion to urban areas also may exacerbate regional differences.
In other words, regional female/male differences in literacy may
be affected by the extent to which internal migration is
predominantly a male phenomenon.
Gender differences in literacy are larger in rural than in urban
areas in almost all Asian countries (figure 3.2). Women in Middle
South Asia again seem to be at a greater disadvantage, relative
to men, compared to East and Southeast Asia. In Pakistan, for
example, only one-fifth as many women as men were literate
in rural areas. The Philippines again represents the other extreme,
with negligible male/female differences in rural as well as urban
areas.
While differences between rural and urban areas and between
women and men are large in many cases, table 3.2 and figure
3.3 show that recent decades have been marked by a sharp in-
crease in literacy in most countries. A significantly higher propor-
tion of women age 10 to 24 years are literate than those age
35 years or more, indicating that major strides in female literacy
have been made over the last 25 years. Similar findings have
recently been reported on the basis of data from the World Fer-
tility Survey (Curtin, 1982). Among Southeast Asian countries,
Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand have all made substantial gains
in female literacy. In Malaysia, for example, the rate among
women age 10 to 24 years (69 percent) was more than four
times that among women age 35 years or more (16 percent).
A similar leap can be seen between Mainland Chinese age
groups. Younger women in Middle South Asia also have made
impressive gains, although they still are at fairly low levels of
literacy overall.
At the same time, improvements in literacy rates may mask
undesirable trends in absolute numbers because of rapid popula-
tion growth. Although the percentage of literate females in India
has risen from under 8 percent at the time of the first national
census (1951) to 25 percent in 1981, there are nearly 100 million
more illiterate women today than in 1951. Even within a more
recent time frame, the number of female illiterates in 1980
exceeded the number in 1970 (UNESCAP, 1982b).
A comparison of literacy rates among men of various ages
shows that although younger men also have made gains, the
differences are much less striking than in the case of women.
These findings suggest that the education of men preceded the


education of women in Asian societies. In Malaysia, for exam-
ple, the proportion literate among young men age 10 to 24 years
was half again as large as among those age 35 years and over
(78 as compared to 53 percent).


School Enrollment Rates

Age at entrance into school varies by law and practice among
countries, but by age 10 years most of the children who are going
to enroll have probably done so. As shown in table 3.3 and figure
3.5, enrollment rates for girls age 10 to 14 years vary from only
8 percent in Nepal (33 percent for boys) to 96 percent in South
Korea (98 percent for boys), with rates generally lower for both
sexes in Middle South Asia than in the other two subregions
although enrollment in Sri Lanka for both girls and boys is well
above that in most other countries. The median percent enroll-
ed among Asian countries overall is more than 8 points lower
for girls than boys (56.1 percent and 64.2 percent, respectively).
Gender differences also may be expressed as the female!male
ratio of percent enrolled, as presented in table 3.4. These ratios
parallel fairly closely the level of enrollment, with only a fourth
as many girls as boys enrolled in Nepal, where enrollment is
lowest, and very nearly equal proportions enrolled in Sri Lanka,
Hong Kong, and South Korea, where enrollment is highest. The
Philippines is an interesting exception, with overall enrollment
at a moderate level but with a slightly higher percentage of girls
than boys reported as enrolled in school.
After age 10 to 14 years, enrollment declines in a fairly con-
sistent pattern, with successively smaller proportions of both
sexes enrolled with each subsequent age group. Although levels
of enrollment continue to be generally higher in East and
Southeast Asia than in Middle South Asia at age 15 to 19 years,
rates drop more sharply in Thailand and maintain a fairly high
level in Sri Lanka. Gender differences become more apparent at
the older ages in most countries, reflecting higher dropout rates
among young women as they reach high school and college ages.
Sri Lanka is an exception again, as enrollment stays near parity
for women and men among all the age groups shown.
Additional evidence of sex differentials in dropout rates can
be gleaned from census data on educational attainment as com-
piled by UNESCO (1981). Among Bangladeshis 25 years old and
over in 1974, 5 percent of women versus 14 percent of men
had completed at least 1 year of primary education, but had not
completed the final year. This represents a female/male ratio of
0.38. The female/male ratio of those who had completed the
primary level dropped to 0.12. For completion of the secondary
level, the ratio stands at only 0.06. Similar though less striking
patterns can be seen in 1970 round census data for India,
Malaysia, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. In the case of Sri Lanka,
however, data for younger age groups are much more encour-
aging; female attainment levels beyond grade 9 actually exceed
those of males for persons age 15 to 24 years (UNESCAP,
1976).
Tables 3.3 and 3.5 show that the same general enrollment
patterns exist in both rural and urban areas as in the country
as a whole: enrollment is lowest in Middle South Asia, and both
the level and the female/male ratio decline with age (with Sri


Women of the World


34 Literacy and Education







Women of the World Literacy and Education 35


Lanka again the exception). Although these patterns are similar,
however, there are significant differences in the levels of enroll-
ment in the two types of residence. Almost without exception,
enrollment is higher in the cities in all age groups. In Middle South
Asia in particular, a very small proportion of rural girls are enrolled
(figure 3.6), only 7 percent in Nepal and 10 percent in Pakistan.
The foregoing analysis is limited by the relative paucity of data
on other aspects of education, such as content, quality, and
parental aspirations for the education of their daughters. While
large proportions of children of both sexes may be in school,
the content of education can be quite different for each.
Schooling may provide boys with vocational training but impart
only limited training in home economics or the humanities to girls.
In India, less than one-half of 1 percent of all women have higher
education degrees or qualifications, and among women enrolled
in higher education in the mid-1970's, nearly two-thirds were
pursuing arts courses (Government of India, 1978). As Besaria
has noted for India, the process of formal female education con-
tains institutional sex biases wherein teachers and textbooks
reinforce traditional behavioral patterns: "education largely re-
mains, for a girl, a consumer commodity, the acquisition of which
adds to her eligibility for marriage and improves her prospects
for a better match; it has not as yet emerged as a liberating
force" (UNESCAP, 1982b).
Similar parental attitudes towards female education are found
in rural Pakistan. In a recent study, Anwar and Naeem (1980)
found that roughly one-third of rural Punjabi parents said that
it is not necessary to provide any formal education to their
daughters; another one-fourth said that female education has
no advantage. Although the government has a definite policy
aimed at increasing female education, particularly in rural areas,
there is no consensus about what the content of female educa-
tion should be. Some educators believe that education which
teaches a woman how to run a good home and bring up healthy
children is sufficient. While studies have shown that mothers'
increased education does have beneficial implications for their
children's health (World Bank, 1980), such modest aspirations
alone do not portend a large impact of the welll-intentioned
policy. The Pakistan example clearly suggests that an in-depth
knowledge of a country's culture, including its definition of
appropriate roles for women, is necessary in order to fully under-
stand the situation of its women and girls.


PACIFIC ISLANDS

Data on literacy levels in the Pacific are not available from the
census of any country except Tonga. In 1976, a large propor-
tion (about 188 percent) of Tongan females and males were
literate, either in Tongan alone or in English as well as Tongan
(Kingdom of Tonga, 1976).


School Enrollment Rates

As shown in table 3.6, among children age 5 to 9 years,
roughly the same percentage of girls as boys are in school ex-
cept in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, Melanesian
islands which have low levels of urbanization and relatively fewer


educational facilities. Roughly two-thirds to more than four-fifths
of all girls age 5 to 9 years are enrolled in most other countries,
but the percentages in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands
are only 30 percent (of girls age 6 to 11 years) and 26 percent,
respectively. In Niue, on the other hand, 93 percent of girls and
94 percent of boys age 5 to 9 years are in school.
Except for Niuean boys, percentages of enrollees age 10 to
14 years are consistently higher than those at age 5 to 9 years
for each sex in all countries of the Pacific, but gender differences
among children age 10 to 14 years were similar to those for the
younger age group in most countries.
In all countries, the level of school enrollment is much lower
in the next age group, 15 to 19 years. The largest difference
is seen in Tuvalu, where 92 percent of girls age 10 to 14 are
enrolled in school, compared to only 12 percent at age 15 to
19 years. The lower enrollment rates for both women and men
result from a lack of tertiary educational facilities on this island.
Enrollment at age 15 to 19 years is much lower also in Niue,
Fiji, and Kiribati, while the islands of Western Samoa, American
Samoa, and Tonga have more moderate decreases from the
younger age group. The proportion of females in school in the
latter island groups ranges from 59 percent in Western Samoa
to 64 percent in Tonga. In Solomon Islands, on the other hand,
only 18 percent of women age 15 to 18 years are in school.
At age 15 to 19 years (the high school and college ages), dif-
ferences between men and women are not consistent among
countries. In Niue, Tonga, and Western Samoa, higher propor-
tions of women than men age 15 to 19 years are in school. The
most notable female/male ratio (1.34) obtains in Niue. For most
other islands, far fewer women than men in these ages are
enrolled.
Some information on adult education may be gleaned from an
analysis of participation in extension education conducted by
the University of the South Pacific Extension Services and shown
in part below. Except for Nauru and Niue, where more women
than men are participating in extension services, differences be-
tween the sexes are generally seen to be large and in favor of
men.

Distribution of Population Participating in Extension Education,
by Sex (In percent)


Country Men Women


Total......... 65 35
Cook Islands ..... 56 44
Fiji .......... 68 32
Kiribati ......... 62 38
Nauru .......... 40 60
Niue ........... 40 60
Solomon Islands 84 16
Tonga .......... 54 46
Tuvalu ......... 61 39
Vanuatu ........ 75 25
Western Samoa... 51 49

Source: Kite, 1982, p. 4. Age referents are not available.


Literacy and Education 35


Women of the World







36 Literacy and Education Women of the World


Figure 3.1.


Percent
literate


Percent Literate Among Women and Men
Age 10 Years and Over


Middle South Asia


East Asia


India Nepal Pakistan Sri
1981 1976 1972 Lanka
1981


Mainland Hong South Taiwan
China Kong Korea 1979
1982 1971 1970


Women
Women


Men
Men


Burma Indo-
1973 nesia
1976


Malaysia Philip- Thailand
1970 pines 1970
1970


Percent
literate


1974


Percent
literate


36 Literacy and Education


Women of the World







Wome ofthe orl Lierac an Eduatin 3


Figure 3.2.




Percent
literate
l M


Percent Literate Among Women and Men Age
and Over, by Rural/Urban Residence




licdlI South Asia East Asia


Sri
Lanka
1981


10 Years




Percent
literate


INA) INA) P 1. (NA)
Mainland Hong South Taiwan
China Kong Korea
1970


Percent
literate


M EI!
Women Men
Rural


Women Men
Urban


Burma Indo-
nesia
1976


Malaysia Philip-
1970 pines
1970


Thailand
1970


Literacy and Education 37


Women of the World


M













Figure 3.3. Percent Literate for Women and Men, by Age



Middle South Asia
Women Men
Percent Percent
100 I 100

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

90 -90




80 80 -




70 -- 70 -




60 -60 -




50 50 -




40 -- -- 40 -
Bangladesn

Pakistan

30 30 -
Nepal

Bangladesh
20 -- -- 20 -



Pakistan 10 India


India

0 1 Nepal 0
10-24 25-34 35 + 10-24 25-34 35+

Age Age


Note: See footnotes to table 3.2 for nonstandard age groups.


38 Literacy and Education


Women of the Word






Literacy and Education 39


Figure 3.3. Percent Literate for Women and Men,
by Age Continued

East Asia and Eastern South Asia
Women
Percent Percent
DI 100
Taiwan South Korea


) -- ... Philippines 90 Phlllppines'*


Indonesia
S South Korea
3 Thailand 80




D0- 70


Indonesia
0o 60


Mainland
D China 50




0 40

Malaysia

;0 30




!0 -- 20




0 10




0 I o
10-24 25-34 35 + 10-24

Age

Note: See footnotes to table 3.2 for nonstandard age groups.


Men


25-34

Age


Women of the World




40 Literacy and Education


Figure 3.4. Percent Literate for Women, by Age and Rural/Urban
Residence


Middle South Asia


I- FL


ra F


India Nepal Pakistan
1971 1971 1972


Sri
Lanka
1981


East Asia


INAi iNAl 1"11A1i
Mainland Hong South
China Kong Korea
1970


10-24 25-34 35 +
Rural


Burma Indo-
nesia
1976


10-24 25-34 35+
Urban


Malaysia Philip- Thailand
1970 pines 1970
1970


Percent
100 r
F


Percent


'rrt


Bangla-
desh
1974


Percent


Taiwan


Women of the Wodd






Women of the World Literacy and Education 41


Figure 3.5.


Percent
enrolled


Bangla-
desh
1974


Percent Enrolled in School Among Girls and Boys
Age 10 to 14 Years


Middle South Asia


Lanka
1981


Mainland Hong
China Kong
1976


Percent
enrolled


Eastern South Asia


pines
1970


nesia
1976


Note: See footnotes to table 3.3 for nonstandard age groups.


Percent
enrolled


East Asia

mr-R


SOuIh
Korea
1980


Taiwan
1980


Girls
Girls


Boys
Boys


(NA) I II I ,I I I I I


Women of the World


Literacy and Education 41







42 Literacy and Education Women of the Wodd


Figure 3.6.


Percent
enrolled


Percent Enrolled in School Among Girls and Boys
Age 10 to 14 Years, by Rural/Urban Residence


Middle South Asia


East Asia


(NA) (NA)


Percent
enrolled






















I NAi


Mainland Hong South
China Kong Korea
1980


Eastern South Asia


Girls Boys
Rural


Girls Boys
Urban


Burma Indo-
nesia
1976


Malaysia Philip-
1970 pines
1970


Note: See footnotes to table 3.3 for nonstandard age groups.


1974


Percent
enrolled


Lanka
1981


Taiwan


20 k


(NA)


(NAI


Thailand


'." '


~~ ' ' ~ '


42 Literacy and Education


Women of the Wordd









Table 3.1. Percent Literate Among Population Age 10 Years and Over, by Sex and
Rural/Urban Residence, and Female/Male Ratio of Percent Literate,
for Asian Countries



Residence, region, F/M ratio
and country Year Total Female Male (male=1.00)

Total country


MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh...................
India.......................
Nepal....................
Pakistan.....................
Sri Lanka....................

EAST ASIA

China
Mainland ..................
Taiwan2..................
Hong Kong ...................
South Korea.................

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Burma........................
Indonesia..................
Malaysia...................
Philippines..................
Thailand....................

See footnotes at end of table.


38.0
57.0
33.1
30.2
90.5


0.43
0.51
0.16
0.38
0.91


1974
1981
1976
1972
1981


1982
1979
1971
1970



1973
1976
1970
1970
1970


27.7
43.5
19.2
21.7
86.5


68.1
89.2
80.8
89.8



71.9
67.9
58.0
83.4
81.8


16.2
29.0
5.2
11.6
82.4


54.7
83.5
69.7
84.3



60.8
58.9
46.8
82.2
74.8


80.8
94.4
91.6
95.4



83.4
77.4
69.1
84.5
88.9


0.68
0.88
0.76
0.88



0.73
0.76
0.68
0.97
0.84


Women of the World


Literacy and Education 43









Table 3.1. Percent Literate Among Population Age 10 Years and Over, by Sex and
Rural/Urban Residence, and Female/Male Ratio of Percent Literate,
for Asian Countries- Continued


Residence, region, F/M: ratio
and country Year Total Female Male (male=1.00)


Rural

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA


Bangladesh ..................
India........................
Pakistan......................
Sri Lanka....................

EAST ASIA

South Korea..................

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia ...................
Malaysia....................
Philippines...................
Thailand.....................


Urban

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh ...................
India........................
Pakistan .....................
Sri Lanka....................

EAST ASIA

South Korea..................

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia....................
Malaysia ....................
Philippines .................
Thailand.....................


1974
1981
1972
1981



1970



1976
1970
1970
1970


1974
1981
1972
1981



1970



1976
1970
1970
1970


25.5
35.8
14.3
84.5



85.8



64.3
53.9
78.7
80.5


48.7
67.2
41.5
93.3



95.2



83.6
68.0
92.7
89.3


14.4
20.9
4.7
79.9



78.5



54.7
42.4
77.2
73.2


36.4
55.5
30.9
91.0



92.1



76.7
57.5
91.8
84.4


0.40
0.42
0.21
0.93


35.7
50.1
22.6
89.0



93.3



74.3
65.4
80.2
88.0


0.74
0.65
0.96
0.33


57.3
77.3
49.9
95.3



98.3



90.9
78.2
93.8
94.5


0.6-
0.72
0.62
0.95



0.94



3.84
0.74
0.93
0.89


IRefers to age 12 years and over.
2Refers to age 6 years and over.


44 Literacy and Education


Women of the World




I
Women of the World Literacy and Education 45



Table 3.2. Percent Literate Among Women and Men in Selected Age Groups, for
Asian Countries


Women Men

Region and country 10 to 24 25 to 34 35 years 10 to 24 25 to 34 35 years
Year years years and over years years and over


MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh................... 1974 25.1 13.6 7.0 44.0 37.8 31.3
India......................... 1981 146.1 34.5 14.4 168.1 262.6 44.6
Nepal ........................ 1976 9.6 3.5 1.5 42.9 32.4 23.1
Pakistan..................... 1972 17.4 10.7 5.8 36.8 33.6 21.6
Sri Lanka.................... 1981 89.4 89.0 69.9 90.3 93.8 88.8

EAST ASIA

China
Mainland................... 1982 383.0 62.0 24.6 95.1 88.8 63.2
Taiwan..................... 1979 398.7 94.5 56.2 399.5 99.3 87.0
South Korea................... 1970 98.9 94.7 62.7 99.3 98.7 88.3

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia.................... 1976 81.9 63.7 30.0 88.6 83.3 61.6
Malaysia..................... 1970 69.2 45.7 15.8 78.3 75.5 53.2
Philippines.................. 1970 91.1 87.5 67.4 89.5 88.8 75.5
Thailand..................... 1970 92.9 83.2 46.7 95.7 91.9 78.3

1Estimated rate; refers to age 10 to 14 years.
2Estimated rate; refers to age 15 to 34 years.
3Refers to age 12 to 24 years.









Table 3.3. Percent of Population Enrolled in School, by Age, Sex, and Rural/Urban Residence,
for Asian Countries


Female Male
Residence, region,
and country 5 to9 10 to 14 15 to 19 20 to 24 5 to 9 10 to 14 15 to 19 20 to 24
Year years years years years years years years years

Total country

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh......... 1974 15.5 25.8 7.1 1.1 22.0 40.6 29.1 14.3
India............... 1981 32.2 37.5 (NA) (NA) 44.3 62.1 (NA) (iA)
Nepal................ 1971 14.7 8.5 3.9 0.9 114.4 32.7 22.0 7.5
Pakistan............ 1973 11.8 20.5 9.3 3.3 23.3 45.8 24.6 8.7
Sri Lanka........... 1981 84.0 81.7 41.8 6.9 84.3 82.7 39.9 6.5

EAST ASIA

China
Taiwan............ 1980 (NA) (NA) 279.8 39.1 (NA) (NA) 280.9 11.9
Hong Kong........... 1976 94.8 86.3 39.2 3.5 95.2 90.6 44.7 5.5
South Korea......... 1980 84.1 96.2 54.7 5.7 184.8 97.5 63.6 12.2

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia........... 1976 51.4 64.9 17.5 2.8 52.0 72.5 28.3 7.4
Malaysia............. 1970 461.0 (NA) (NA) (NA) 471.0 (NA) (NA) (NA)
Philippines......... 1970 148.3 78.6 39.1 13.5 145.7 77.2 40.2 15.1
Thailand............ 1970 164.8 47.3 9.9 2.5 165.8 55.8 15.2 3.7


See footnotes at end of table.


46 Literacy and Education


Women of the World









Table 3.3. Percent of Population Enrolled in School, by Age, Sex, and Rural/Urban Residence,
for Asian Countries -Continued


Female Male
Residence, region,
and country 5 to9 10 to 14 15 to 19 20 to 24 5 to 9 10 to 14 15 to 19 20 to 24
Year years years years years years years years years


Rural

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh.......... 1974 14.4 23.6 4.8 0.5 21.1 39.2 27.6 13.0
India............... 1981 25.8 29.2 (NA) (NA) 39.6 57.8 (NA) (NA)
Nepal.... ........... 1971 13.5 6.5 2.4 0.4 113.2 31.1 20.3 6.2
Pakistan............ 1973 5.8 9.5 2.7 1.6 18.6 38.8 18.4 5.3
Sri Lanka........... 1981 83.4 81.0 4U.5 6.9 83.9 81.9 38.9 6.7

EAST ASIA

South Korea.......... 1980 184.6 95.8 55.2 1.8 185.3 97.0 61.4 4.7

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia............ 1976 49.2 61.7 13.0 1.2 50.1 69.3 22.1 4.4
Malaysia............. 1970 457.5 (NA) (NA) (NA) 468.0 (NA) (NA) (NA)
Philippines.......... 1970 145.5 75.5 32.6 9.2 142.7 73.2 32.4 8.9


Urban

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh.......... 1974 29.3 46.5 27.2 7.0 33.7 54.5 40.7 21.7
India..... ......... 1981 55.6 65.5 (NA) (NA) 61.6 77.0 (NA) (NA)
Nepal............... 1971 136.4 56.0 38.5 12.6 147.9 72.6 54.4 27.2
Pakistan............ 1973 28.4 45.5 23.7 7.6 36.8 63.2 39.1 16.0
Sri Lanka........... 1981 86.5 84.3 46.6 6.8 86.2 85.6 43.2 6.0

EAST ASIA

South Korea.......... 1980 183.8 96.5 54.4 7.5 184.3 98.0 65.1 17.3

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia. ......... 1976 62.3 78.2 33.7 8.2 60.9 86.6 50.7 17.0
Malaysia.. ......... 1970 170.3 (NA) (NA) (NA) 479.0 (NA) (NA) (NA)
Philippines......... 1970 55.3 85.7 49.7 20.4 53.2 86.9 56.5 24.4
1Refers to age 6 to 9 years
2Refers to age 12 to 17 years.
3Refersito age 18 to 24 years.
4Refers to age 7 to 19 years.


IRfr t g 7t 9yas


Women of the World


Literacy and Education 47






48 Literacy and Education Women of the World


Table 3.4. Female/Male Ratio of Percent Enrolled in School, by Age, for
Asian Countries
(Male=1.00)


5 to 9 10 to 14 15 to 19 20 to 24
Region and country Year years years years years


MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh.................... 1974 0.70 0.64 0.24 0.03
India.......................... 1981 0.73 0.60 (NA) (NA)
Nepal......................... 1971 0.33 0.26 0.18 0.12
Pakistan...................... 1973 0.51 0.45 0.38 0.33
Sri Lanka..................... 1981 1.00 0.99 1.05 1.05

EAST ASIA

China
Taiwan...................... 1980 (NA) (NA) 10.99 20.76
Hong Kong..................... 1976 1.00 0.95 0.88 0.64
South Korea................... 1980 30.99 0.99 0.86 0.47

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia..................... 1976 0.99 0.90 0.62 0.38
Malaysia...................... 1970 40.86 (NA) (NA) (A)
Philippines................... 1970 31.06 1.02 0.97 0.89
Thailand...................... 1970 30.98 0.85 0.65 0.63

1Refers to age 12 to 17 years.
2Refers to age 18 to 24 years.
3Refers to age 6 to 9 years.
4Refers to age 7 to 19 years.


48 Literacy and Education


Women of the World





Women of the World Literacy and Education 49



Table 3.5. Female/Male Ratio of Percent Enrolled in School, by Age and
Rural/Urban Residence, for Asian Countries
(Male=1.00)


Residence, region, 5 to 9 10 to 14 15 to 19 20 to 24
and country Year years years years years


Rural

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh................... 1974 0.68 0.60 0.17 0.04
India........................ 1981 0.65 0.51 (NA) (NA)
Nepal ........................ 1971 0.27 0.21 0.12 0.06
Pakistan.'.................... 1973 0.31 0.24 0.15 0.30
Sri Lanka................... 1981 0.99 0.99 1.04 1.03

EAST ASIA

South Korea.................. 1980 10.99 0.90 0.99 0.38

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia.................... 1976 0.98 0.89 0.59 0.27
Malaysia.................... 1970 20.85 (NA) (NA) (NA)
Philippines.................. 1970 11.07 1.03 1.01 1.03

Urban

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh................... 1974 0.87 0.85 0.67 0.32
India......................... 1981 0.90 0.85 (NA) (NA)
Nepal ....................... 1971 0.76 0.77 0.71 0.46
Pakistan..................... 1973 0.77 0.72 0.61 0.48
Sri Lanka.................... 1981 1.00 0.98 1.08 1.13

EAST ASIAi

South Korea.................. 1980 0.99 0.98 0.84 0.43

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia ................... 1976 1.02 0.90 0.66 0.48
Malaysia..................... 1970 20.89 (NA) (NA) (NA)
Philippines.................. 1970 11.04 0.99 0.88 0.84

1Refers to age 6 to 9 years.
2Refers to age 7 to 19 years.









Table 3.6. Percent of Population Enrolled in School, by Age and Sex, for
Pacific Islands


Female Male

5 to 9 10 to 14 15 to 19 5 to 9 10 to 14 15 to 19
Region and country Year years years years years years years


POLYNESIA

American Samoa............ 1974 79.2 95.0 60.1 79.1 95.1 69.0
Niue...................... 1976 92.6 96.6 31.4 94.4 94.2 23.5
Tonga..................... 1976 83.5 94.7 64.4 81.8 94.5 63.0
Tuvalu.................... 1979 80.6 91.5 12.0 84.1 87.8 8.7
Western Samoa............. 1976 81.8 96.1 58.7 82.1 93.0 49.6

MELANESIA

Fiji..................... 1976 79.2 90.0 37.3 79.2 89.6 37.9
Papua New Guinea.......... 1976 130.4 222.0 (NA) 145.1 240.7 (?A)
Solomon Islands........... 1976 26.1 49.2 318.0 32.4 70.0 J37.6
Vanuatu................... 1978 465.5 69.2 25.4 469.8 77.3 36.3

MICRONESIA

Kiribati.................. 1978 76.2 92.7 25.3 76.4 91.3 27.2

1Refers to age 6 to 11 years.
2Refers to age 12 to 17 years.
3Refers to age 15 to 18 years.
4Refers to age 6 to 9 years.


1978, table 8; national census reports.


50 Literacy and Education


Women of the World


Sources: South Pacific Commission,





Women of the World 51


Chapter 4












AcYivimy


ASIA

In the developed world, employment outside the home and
access to an independent income have been among the central
factors in the changing role of women. While many women in
developing countries engage in activities beyond housekeeping,
such participation occurs largely in the agricultural and informal
sectors of activity. Furthermore, much of women's labor is
rendered in the form of unpaid family help, often on the family
farm. Thus, work participation is often neither an emancipating
experience nor a socially valued role. In some countries, par-
ticularly on the Indian subcontinent, such participation may in
fact have a status-reducing rather than a status-enhancing con-
notation. Yet; the ability to earn an income can be a potentially
significant factor in promoting a woman's access to other
resources which may improve her overall status. It is for this
reason that adequate measurement of women's economic ac-
tivity as well as promotion of such activity is necessary.

Problems in Measurement of Female Work

Measurement of women's work continues to pose thorny
problems for data collectors and researchers as well as for
policymakers. There is general agreement that the traditional pro-
cedures of censuses and surveys produce an underestimate of
female participation in the labor force in most countries, par-
ticularly the developing ones. It has been shown that there are
definite gender biases in reporting of economic activity in cen-
suses and surveys, resulting in underreporting of female activity
(United Nations, 1980). In a more specific context, Moir (1980)
has pointed out several problems of measurement for Indonesian
women.
Different data sources within the same country may
sometimes yield substantially different estimates of female
economic activity, as illustrated by two examples from India and
Pakistan. The 1977-78 National Sample Survey (NSS) of India


reported crude participation rates for women that were more
than one and one-half times as high as rates reported by the
1981 census, for both rural and urban areas, as shown below.

Participation rates from-
Area and
sex NSS 1977-78 Census 1981


Rural
Females ..... 24.7 16.0
Males ....... 53.7 52.6

Urban
Females ..... 12.2 7.3
Males ....... 49.5 48.5


Similarly, a comparison of different data sources from Pakistan
shows that participation rates are reported to be almost twice
as high (and are probably more accurate) in household surveys
where a woman herself reports on her economic activity as in
the censuses or labor force surveys where men usually report
on women's activity (Shah and Shah, 1980).
There seems to be some evidence that in data sources where
female participation rates are reported to be higher, the following
factors may contribute to better reporting: first, in surveys where
a working woman herself is the respondent, her economic
activity is likely to be reported more accurately; second, such
surveys usually ask more comprehensive questions; and third,
the general quality of such surveys, in terms of interviewer
training and field supervision, and so forth, is usually better than
that of decennial censuses.
A comparison of data from the World Fertility Survey (WFS)
and from censuses included in the present report illustrates this
point:







52 Women in Economic Activity Women of the World


Women's participation rate from-

Census,
WFS, Census, age 10 and
Country age 15-49 age 30-39 over


Middle South Asia
Bangladesh .. 12.2 3.0 4.0
Nepal ....... 66.9 51.2 35.1
Pakistan ..... 17.1 8.5 9.1
Sri Lanka .... 36.5 27.8 18.0

East Asia
South Korea... 49.1 46.6 45.7

Southeast Asia
Indonesia .... 65.5 46.5 36.8
Malaysia .... 46.2 40.8 31.7
Philippines .. 44.3 39.3 33.0
Thailand .... 82.2 79.6 64.3


Sources: WFS data from Curtin, 1982, table 4 (refer to ever-
married women only); census data from tables 5.1 and 5.2, this
report.



The census age group (30 to 39 years) used for the preceding
comparison usually displays the highest age-specific female
participation rates. Despite this, the WFS recorded higher par-
ticipation for each country; differences were particularly large
for Middle South Asia and for Indonesia. The WFS question was
addressed to the working woman herself, and gave her examples
of the type of activities (for example, selling things or having
a small business) which could be considered as economic
activity. Furthermore, the WFS is thought to have had better
quality control than most censuses do and thus better coverage
of women's economic activity.
Even if all the logistic and technical measurement problems
could be eliminated, other serious substantive and conceptual
problems could still lead to underreporting of women's work.
For example, many women who are employed as unpaid family
helpers may not recognize their contribution to the family farm
or family business as work which is beyond housework. Simi-
larly, when the household head (usually a man, particularly in
Middle South Asia) responds to questions on economic activity,
he may consciously or unconsciously underreport such activity
by the female members of his household. Underreporting is more
likely to occur when the society in question considers female
work as undesirable, as activity that reduces the family's social
standing or prestige.
In response to these measurement problems, some researchers
have made an attempt to measure female economic activity by
actually observing the tasks to which various members of the
household allocate their time during a day. Such research has
been done in Pakistan (Khan and Bilquees, 1976; Saeed, 1966),


India (Jain and Chand, 1982), Bangladesh (Cain et al., 1979),
Indonesia (White, 1976), and Nepal (Acharya, 1981; Pradhan,
1981).
The available village studies show that the average number
of hours per day that rural women spend in economic endeavors
can vary widely-from 14.5 hours in Pakistan to 11.2 hours in
Indonesia, 10 hours in Nepal, and 8.3 hours in Bangladesh. It
is difficult to tell whether these differences in numbers of hours
worked result from variations in measurement or represent real
differences. What is important to note is that rural women in
these countries spend a sizable portion of their day on income-
generating activities. In Indonesia, for example, 58 percent of
women's time is spent on income-generating activities, most of
which are not likely to be included in labor force activity as
measured by the usual census or labor force concepts.
A comparison of participation rates obtained from observa-
tion of actual activities and as reported in response to household
surveys in India reveals that the former method results in
substantially higher participation rates than the latter (Jain and
Chand, 1982). In the Indian state of Rajasthan, for example, the
work participation rate of women recorded for sampled villages
through the observation method is 80 percent compared to only
15 percent recorded in the 1971 Census of India.
The debate over what should constitute labor force activity
is not yet over. Some advocates of women's rights believe that
activities such as cooking and child care are productive activities
and should be included in national accounts. Others call only for
more adequate coverage of income-generating activities such
as trading, piecework in handicrafts, part-time work, and home
production.
It is clear that there are many difficulties in accurately
measuring female labor force participation, and several attempts
are currently being made to remedy the situation. The Inter-
national Labour Organization has developed a model question-
naire designed to ensure more accurate measurement of female
work (Anker, 1981). The Food and Agriculture Organization also
is making an attempt to measure more realistically the activities
of rural women.
The remainder of this chapter presents an analysis of labor
force participation data for Asia and the Pacific as reported in
national censuses and surveys, as these are the only comprehen-
sive data available. Data on occupational distributions in Asia
also are presented and discussed here. The reader should keep
in mind the problems in measurement of female work while con-
sidering the quantitative data provided by the censuses and
surveys.

Participation Rates

Women's labor force participation rates are much lower in Mid-
dle South Asia (except Nepal) than in East and Southeast Asia.
Within Middle South Asia, Bangladesh has only 4 percent of its
women in the labor force compared to 9 percent and 14 per-
cent in Pakistan and India, respectively, while the rate for Nepal
was a much higher 35 percent (table 4.1). In East Asian coun-
tries other than Mainland China, nearly one-half of all women
are in the labor force, while roughly one-third of Southeast Asian
women are so engaged. Mainland China and Thailand represent


Women of the World


52 Women in Economic Activity






Women of the World Women in Economic Activity 53


major exceptions, with female participation rates of 76 and 64
percent, respectively. In an analysis which examined the validity
of the Thai participation rate (Chitranukron-Vattangchit, 1977),
the author concluded that the high rate is valid and not a result
of statistical factors. Major reasons for the high Thai rate were
said to be the demand for female workers in manufacturing, com-
merce, and services, and Buddhist tenets which require universal
work in order to gain material reward. Also, the loosely struc-
tured Thai social system and the predominant practice of
matrilocality/matrilineality, in which a wife holds a strong in-
fluence over her husband, were found to be important factors
in high female participation.
There are large female/male differences in participation rates,
particularly in Middle South Asia. Figure 4.1, which includes per-
sons 10 years of age and over, shows that throughout Middle
South Asia, significantly larger percentages of males than
females are in the labor force. The gender differences persist
in most countries even after age is taken into account (see table
4.2). In Bangladesh, for example, only 3 percent of women age
25 to 34 years are said to be economically active, compared
with 97 percent of men in the same age group. Female/male
differences are, however, not as pronounced in many other coun-
tries. Participation rates in Thailand are 80 percent among
women and 98 percent among men age 30 to 39 years; the
corresponding figures for Nepal are 51 percent and 97 percent.
The picture that emerges from this analysis is that although
gender differences in participation exist in all countries and
participation rates are consistently higher among men than
women, the degree of such difference varies substantially across
countries. It is most conspicuous in countries of the Indian
subcontinent.
Rural women are reported to have higher participation rates
than urban women in all countries except Bangladesh and the
Philippines (figure 4.2). Generally, part-time employment and un-
paid family work are more widely available in rural than urban
areas, which probably accounts for the higher participation
among rural women. Rural Thai women again have the highest
rates and rural Bangladeshi women the lowest. The low participa-
tion rate of Bangladeshi women is very largely a function of
measurement problems, as indicated by village research in that
country. Cain (1979) showed that adult married men and women
worked roughly the same number of hours per day-8.33 and
8.29, respectively. A majority (80 percent) of the working time
of women was, however, spent on home production such as
rice processing and firewood collection, or on housework, food
preparation, and child care. Only one-fifth of women's time was
spent on income-generating activities compared to 85 percent
of men's time. The percentage of time spent on income-
generating activities (e.g., wage work and handicrafts) by the
relatively poorer women was 30 percent compared to only 12
percent for the relatively wealthier women.
Rural Nepalese women have an exceptionally high work par-
ticipation rate among Middle South Asian countries. A series of
studies from different parts of Nepal indicates that in some
villages, women age 15 years and over perform more hours of
work than men, 10 hours per day compared with 7 hours,
although about 60 percent of women's work time is spent in
activities that are not income generating (Acharya, 1981). A


separate study of another Nepalese village determined an even
greater difference in number of hours worked by women and
men: 12.5 and 8.2 hours per day, respectively (Bennett, 1981).
Of course, higher work participation in a context such as rural
Nepal does not necessarily imply a higher status of women,
because the poorer, landless women are the ones who are more
likely to be engaged in wage labor as a result more of necessity
than of choice.
The Philippines is perhaps the only Asian country, besides
Bangladesh, in which the female participation rate is higher in
urban than rural areas. However, data are not available for 5 of
the 14 Asian countries being analyzed. In the Philippines, a high
level of female migration to the cities (Castillo, 1976) interacts
with declining urban fertility to produce increased participation
rates. According to Rojas-Aleta et al. (1977), there were more
single working women than married women in Filipino cities in
the mid-1970's. While recent empirical evidence is lacking, it
seems likely that the higher proportion of single women in urban
as compared to rural areas continues to increase beyond that
documented by the 1970 census.
Female/male inequalities in participation are smaller in rural
than in urban areas in all countries except Bangladesh, Pakistan,
and the Philippines, as reflected by ratios of economic activity
rates in figure 4.3. Relative differences are most pronounced in
Middle South Asia and East Asia, while absolute differences be-
tween female and male participation rates are greatest in
Bangladesh and least in Thailand, for both rural and urban areas.



Participation by Age of Women and Men

Tables 4.2 through 4.4 present data on economic activity by
age and sex. Participation rates are generally lower for persons
under age 20 years and for persons age 50 years and over than
for those age 20 to 49 years. This curvilinear pattern, graphically
displayed in figure 4.4 for three selected countries, applies
universally to male rates covered in this report. The pattern
likewise holds for most female rates, except in the Middle South
Asian countries of Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Even in
Thailand, where the overall activity rate is high, there are pro-
nounced differences by age. Nearly 80 percent of women be-
tween ages 20 and 40 years are working, compared to under
50 percent in the younger and older population segments.
However, as figure 4.4 shows, the pattern varies considerably
from one country to another. Ideological norms within Mainland
China produce strikingly high female activity rates, at least prior
to age 50 years. In contrast, India's rates are relatively low, and
the pattern is noticeably flattened. South Korean rates reveal
a characteristic usually associated with more developed coun-
tries, namely, a sizable decline in labor force participation during
the prime childbearing years, followed by a return to the work
force after age 30.
Nepalese women age 10 to 19 years have equal or higher
levels of participation than do all older age groups, while the
opposite is true for men. This pattern among younger women
is consistent with the very low proportion of Nepalese women
enrolled in school, as discussed earlier. Almost nine-tenths of


Women in Economic Activity 53


Women of the World






54 Women in Economic Activity Women of the World


all economically active Nepalese women are engaged in
agricultural activities, which may simply add to the burden of
their lives.
Bangladesh and Pakistan also have higher proportions of active
women in the younger age groups, but unlike Nepal, the overall
levels are very low at all ages. Whereas the low Sri Lankan
activity rate for age 10 to 19 years can be explained by reference
to high school enrollment rates (table 3.3), the same is not true
for Bangladesh and Pakistan. As discussed earlier, such low
reported rates are surely influenced by the definition of economic
activity and/or census methods of measurement relative to other
countries in this study.
The age patterns of labor force participation in rural areas are
similar to those for the total country, with women age 30 to 49
years usually having the highest rates (table 4.2). Among women
20 to 29 years of age, rural/urban rate differentials (figure 4.5)
are markedly similar to those displayed in figure 4.2 for women
of all ages. In urban areas, the curvilinear age pattern of work
participation is generally seen in all countries except Pakistan
and South Korea. Over two-fifths of urban South Korean women
age 10 to 19 years were in the labor force, compared with only
36 percent of those age 20 to 29 years and roughly 27 percent
of those age 30 to 49 years. Since this pattern is not true of
rural areas, it seems that the noticeable dip in the participation
rate in figure 4.4 is primarily an urban phenomenon. Work par-
ticipation has apparently become a more attractive and accept-
able behavior among young, educated South Korean women,
significantly postponing their desire for children.
Table 4.3 shows the female share of the labor force by age
and residence, indicating that the percentage of women in the
urban labor force is consistently highest among the youngest
age group for each of the nine countries for which data are
available. In fact, young female workers outnumber their male
counterparts in the cities of South Korea, Thailand, and the Philip-
pines. A similar pattern is true for rural areas as well, where the
female share of the labor force is much higher among younger
than older ages.
Generally speaking, then, the female share decreases with age
in both urban and rural areas, reflecting the increase in levels
of female economic activity among more recent cohorts that has
been observed in time series data for several countries. While
this narrowing of sex differentials over time is some cause for
optimism, one should be careful not to equate higher female labor
force shares at younger ages with decisive trends in total female
participation. As noted earlier, changes in patterns of work before
marriage have contributed to higher levels of participation among
younger women. Since the norms of parenthood are still per-
vasive throughout Asia, many young women will eventually
leave the labor force. Whether or not they return later, as they
do in South Korea, is not yet certain in many societies. Also,
as female education becomes more valued, we may witness a
decrease in labor force participation at early ages.
An analysis of participation rates controlling simultaneously
for age and marital status for selected Asian countries conducted
by Shah and Smith (1981) indicated that, in urban areas, mar-
ried women had consistently lower participation rates than either
single women or widowed, divorced, and separated women (see


table 4.5). This was true for each of the age groups studied.
Thus, even though a larger proportion of younger single women
may enter the labor force, many probably do withdraw once they
get married. For example, 78 percent of single Thai women age
25 to 44 years were in the labor force, compared to only 45
percent of married women; the rates for widowed and divorced
women were much higher-75 percent and 72 percent,
respectively.
What is the meaning of higher activity rates among younger
women? Does higher participation indicate an improvement in
socioeconomic status? The answer depends on both the nature
of the jobs that these younger women are engaged in and their
motivations for taking such jobs. If most younger women are
pushed into the labor force by economic necessity, and if they
are engaged in tedious, low-paying jobs, one cannot easily reach
the conclusion that such participation leads to an improvement
in their status.
Some indication of the nature of work participation is provided
by the proportion of active women who are unpaid family
workers (table 4.6). The proportion of women in this category
varies from 2 percent in Hong Kong to 67 percent in Thailand.
The reliability of these data is, however, particularly suspect for
countries such as India, where the employment status of four-
fifths of all working women was classified as unknown in the
1971 census. The large proportion of unpaid family workers in
Thailand-the country which has the highest work participation
rate-suggests that the activity of most Thai women is a
response more to the social and economic situation of their
families than to a desire for earning an independent wage for
themselves, as perhaps is the case among urban South Korean
women. The proportion of men employed as unpaid family
workers is consistently smaller than the proportion of women
so employed in each country. Usually, the proportion for women
is 2 to 3 times higher than for men. While the majority of unpaid
family workers undoubtedly work on rural family farms, unpaid
activity also takes place in urban areas.
Data on occupational distribution of the labor force are shown
in figure 4.6 and tables 4.7 to 4.9. Agricultural activity remains
paramount for a large majority of women in Asia. The concen-
tration of women in agricultural activity is as high as 93 percent
in Nepal, but only 38 percent in South Korea. Hong Kong, a
predominantly urban country, represents an obvious exception
to the typical pattern, with only 1 percent of working women
involved in agricultural pursuits. In a majority of countries, a
larger proportion of the female than male labor force is engaged
in agricultural activity (figure 4.7). Bangladesh, Indonesia, and
the Philippines are exceptions to this pattern, the latter difference
being the most pronounced. Only 28 percent of Filipino women
are in agricultural activity, compared with 57 percent of Filipino
men. Much larger proportions of employed Filipino women than
men are engaged in professional, administrative, and clerical
work, as well as in sales and services.
In five of the ten countries for which data are available, only
3 to 4 percent of the economically active women are engaged
in professional, administrative, and clerical jobs, which are likely
to be ranked relatively higher on a prestige scale, provide a
monetary wage, and accord some degree of nonmaterial


54 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World





Women of the World Women in Economic Activity 55
1


satisfaction to the workers (table 4.7). The proportion of women
in such jobs is highest in Hong Kong (27 percent), followed by
the Philippines. A substantial proportion of active women are
engaged in the production sector in some countries, varying from
only 3 percent in Nepal to 48 percent in Hong Kong. The pro-
portion of men in production is, however, almost invariably higher
than that of women. Finally, the proportion of women exceeds
the proportion of men in service occupations in about half the
countries.
Table 4.8 presents data on the female share in particular occu-
pations. Women constitute a substantial proportion (roughly 60
percent) of sales workers in the Philippines and Thailand. Similar
percentages were found among service workers in South Korea
and the Philippines. A concentration of women in sales and
service occupations may imply that they are structurally
segregated into such jobs. Smith and Crockett (1980), in an
analysis of occupational segregation in Thailand, concluded that
urban Thai women were relegated to a few occupations such
as sales, service, spinning, and weaving. They found occupa-
tional sex segregation to be severe among young single women,
particularly among those who were recent migrants to the city.
An overwhelming proportion of the young single migrants were
employed as cooks and maids.
Many questions remain unaddressed in this analysis. An ob-
vious shortcoming involves the lack of a longitudinal perspec-
tive on labor force changes; more definitive comments on levels
and directions of change await the release of detailed census
and survey data from the 1980's. An examination of work par-
ticipation in conjunction with migration status and family head-
ship also could prove extremely useful but is likewise restricted
by the lack of data, particularly in a cross-cultural context.
More attention might be accorded the attitudinal constraints
on and facilitators of female work participation; empirical data
along these lines would be greatly welcome. Labor force par-
ticipation in locations outside the home may not be a desirable
or approved activity in some countries. In fact, some societies
consider such work as contrary to appropriate roles for women.
For instance, an active debate is currently taking place in Pakistan
on whether women should be allowed to work outside the house
in the same location as men. Furthermore, consideration of
certain cultural institutions such as purdah (veiling) on the sub-
continent can be useful in understanding the relatively low levels
of female economic activity. Women who observe purdah are
much less likely to be found in the labor force in Pakistan than
women who do not observe this custom (Shah and Bulatao,
1981).
Of additional interest are legal constraints on female labor force
participation, which can be important even in countries which
have ostensibly made great strides toward ending structural
discrimination. An in-depth examination of female status in Sri
Lanka discovered that while both the 1972 and 1978 Constitu-
tions accepted the principle of legal equality among the sexes,
subtle provisos within these documents permitted the imposi-
tion of discriminatory regulations and quotas regarding the
access of women to important segments of the public service.
While such quotas are now said to be inoperative, the study sug-
gests that the gap between policy and regulation is not easily
bridged (University of Colombo, 1979).


PACIFIC ISLANDS

Data on economic activity by sex are available for 15 of the
18 Pacific nations considered in this report, although 2 of the
15 do not have recent age-specific information. The compar-
ability of participation rates among islands is somewhat
hampered by occasionally differing concepts of economic activity
and/or the availability of precise census definitions. Some coun-
tries distinguish between subsistence and wage employment,
while others do not, and the resulting differences can be large.
For instance, the female activity rate in the cash economy of
Kiribati is under 9 percent. However, if the rather nebulous cen-
sus categories of "village life" and "home duties" are considered
to represent economic activity, the female rate rises to 88 per-
cent, higher than the male rate when the same categories are
included (UNESCAP, 1982a). Activity rates in this chapter were
usually calculated from primary census reports or tabulations.
In cases where the components of the economically active
population were not clearly defined or identified, rates were
generated on the basis of persons in the cash economy if such
a distinction was available. For example, tabular data for Niue
refer to money-earning Niueans only. Such cases are footnoted
in each data table. Fortunately, the basic similarity among total
participation rates in table 4.10 suggests that the majority of
countries share an analogous labor force concept.
For the most part, female participation rates in the Pacific are
not unlike those in Southeast Asian countries. Figures for Tuvalu,
Solomon Islands, Niue, and Kiribati are artificially low because
of their cash-economy-only referent, while rates for Tonga,
Western Samoa, and Fiji appear genuinely low, each below 18
percent. Female rates among other island nations range from
33 percent in American Samoa to an exceptionally high 78 per-
cent in Vanuatu.
Differences in participation rates by sex vary widely across
countries, with female/male ratios ranging from 0.19 in Tonga
to 0.87 in Vanuatu. Of note in table 4.10 are those countries
for which data refer to the cash economy only; male rates out-
pace female rates by factors of two and one-half to nearly five.
Data on age-specific activity rates reveal a pattern of female
economic activity akin to that of Asian countries. That is, par-
ticipation rates are consistently higher among women age 20
to 49 years compared to both younger and older women (table
4.11). A similar pattern is present among men. The basic dif-
ference between the sexes remains the much higher participa-
tion rates of men than of women at most ages. The female/male
ratio of participation by age (see table 4.12) demonstrates that,
with only two exceptions, female participation is lower in all
countries at each age. The youngest women (age 15 to 19 years)
in American Samoa and Vanuatu have higher participation rates
than men. Both these countries have fewer women than men
in school at these ages, which is likely to result in a larger pool
of available women who can enter the labor force.
Table 4.12 provides data on the female share of the labor force
in given age groups. Women predominate only among American
Samoans age 15 to 19 years. Regional differences can be seen
in that peak female proportions on Polynesian islands occur
primarily at age 20 to 29 years, while rates in Melanesia and
Micronesia are highest among 15 to 19 year olds, and decline





56 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World


steadily thereafter. Not surprisingly, Polynesian islands have
higher percentages of female than male school enrollees age 15
to 19 years, while the opposite is true elsewhere.
While substantial proportions of women in most Pacific coun-
tries are economically active, only limited information on occupa-
tional structures can be readily examined (table 4.13). Among
the countries analyzed, women are employed primarily in
nonagricultural activities, except in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands,


and Wallis and Futuna. Because the latter has no urban popula-
tion, the large concentration of workers of both sexes in
agricultural activity is not unexpected. In most of the other coun-
tries, roughly one-third to one-half of all economically active
women are employed in service activities. Contrary to the pat-
tern for women, men tend to be much more concentrated in
agricultural activities and universally less so in services, except
in Vanuatu.







Women of the World Women in Economic Activity


Figure 4.1. Labor Force Participation Rates for Population
Age 10 Years and Over, by Sex


Middle South Asia


East Asia


Percent


India Nepal Pakistan Sri
1981 1971 1973 Lanka
1971


Mainland Hong South Taiwan
China Kong Korea 1979
1982 1981 1975


Women


Men


Burma Indo-
1973 nesia
1976


Malaysia Philip- Thailand
1970 pines 1977
1970


Note: See footnotes to table 4.1 for nonstandard age groups.


Percent
100 r-


Bangla-
desh
1974


Percent


-


Women of the World


Women in Economic Activity






58 Women in Economic Activity Women of the Wo~Id


Figure 4.2. Labor Force Participation Rates for Women Age
10 Years and Over, by Rural/Urban Residence


Middle South Asia


East Asia



















(NA) (NA)


Percent


Bangla- India Nepal Pakistan Sri Mainland Hong South Taiwan
desh 1981 1971 1973 Lanka China Kong Korea
1974 1971 1975


Percent


Eastern South Asia


mR
Rural


Urban


Burma Indo-
nesia
1976


Malaysia Philip-
1970 pines
1970


Note: See footnotes to table 4.1 for nonstandard age groups.


Percent


Thailand
1977


58 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the WorkI






Women of the World Women in Economic Activity 59


Figure 4.3.


Female/Male Ratio of Labor Force Participation Rates,
by Rural/Urban Residence


Middle South Asia

















iII171I


India Nepal Pakistan Sri
1981 1971 1973 Lanka
1971


F/M ratio
(male = 1.0)
East Asia

















(NA) (NA) (NA)
Mainland Hong South Taiwan
China Kong Korea
1975


Rural Urban


1976 1970


*Female rate equals male rate.


F/M ratio
(male = 1.0)


1.U -

0.9 -

0.8 -

0.7

0.6 -

0.5 -

0.4 -

0.3 -

0.2 -

0.1 -


Bangla-
desh
1974

F/M ratio
(male = 1.0)


*1.0

0.9

0.8

0.7

0.6

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

0


, ,


Women of the World


Women in Economic Activity 59








60 Women in Economic Activity Women of the Would


Figure 4.4. Percent Economically Active, by Age and Sex, for
Mainland China, India, and South Korea


Percent


Percent


--90


80 1-


--80


70 F-


/


N
N


50 --


40 1-


301-


,,
,r~ "rt
Let grr
"s
sr,
ZI


20 0-


10


Women


Mainland China 1982
India 1981
South Korea 1975


S--- 10


20 25 30 35 40
Age


45 50 55 60


90 -


I I I I I I -u


---


Women of the Word


60 Women in Economic Activity


~













Figure 4.5. Labor Force Participation Rates of Women Age
20 to 29 Years in Rural and Urban Areas



Percent Percent


Middle South Asia


















j t ( NA) C1


India Nepal Pakistan Sri
1971 1973 Lanka
1971


East Asia


















(NA) (NA) (NA)
Mainland Hong South Taiwan
China Kong Korea
1975


Eastern South Asia


Rural Urban


nesia
1976


1977


Note: See footnotes to table 4.2 for nonstandard age groups.


100-



80-



60



40



20


Bangla-
desh
1974


Percent


I


Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World






62 Women in Economic Activity Women of the Would


Figure 4.6. Percent of Nonagricultural Labor Force in Selected
Occupational Groups, by Sex


Middle South Asia


East Asia


Percent


Bangla- India
desh 1971
1974


Nepal Pakistan Sri
1976 Lanka
1971


INA)
Mainland
China


i
Hong
Kong
1980


(NA)
South Taiwan
Korea
1975


Percent


Eastern South Asia


Women Men Women Men
Professional Services
and technical


(NA)
Burma


Indo- Malaysia Philip- Thailand
nesia 1970 pines 1978
1971 1975


Source: International Labour Office, 1977 to 1982.


Percent


62 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the WorMd







Women of the World Women in Economic Activity 63


Figure 4.7. Percent of Labor Force in Agriculture, by Sex


Middle South Asia


Sri
Lanka
1971


Mainland H,.ng
China Kong
1980


Percent


Eastern South Asia


m M
Female Male


Percent


East Asia


Percent


1980


Women in Economic Activity 63


Women of the World









Table 4.1. Labor Force Participation Rates for Population Age 10 Years and Over, by Sex
and Rural/Urban Residence, for Asian Countries



Residence, region, F/M ratio
and country Year Total Female Male (male=1.00)

Total country

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh.................... 1974 44.3 4.0 80.3 0.05
India ........................ 1981 52.1 21.0 80.7 0.26
Nepal ......................... 1971 59.3 35.1 82.9 0.42
Pakistan...................... 1973 46.6 9.1 77.6 0.12
Sri Lanka..................... 1971 39.0 18.0 58.7 0.31

EAST ASIA

China
Mainland2................... 1982 83.2 76.1 89.8 0.85
Taiwan...................... 1979 67.1 47.7 84.7 0.56
Hong Kongl.................... 1981 66.4 49.5 82.2 0.60
South Korea3.................. 1975 61.2 45.7 77.8 0.59

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Burma......................... 1973 52.2 32.6 72.7 0.45
Indonesia..................... 1976 54.9 36.8 73.8 0.50
Malaysia...................... 1970 48.5 31.7 65.3 0.49
Philippines................... 1970 50.9 33.0 69.5 0.47
Thailand .................... 1977 70.6 64.3 76.9 0.84


See footnotes at end of table.


64 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World









Table 4.1. Labor Force Participation Rates for Population Age 10 Years and Over, by Sex
and Rural/Urban Residence, for Asian Countries -Continued



Residence, region, F/M ratio
and country Year Total Female Male (male=1.00)


Rural

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA


Bangladesh.......................
India5..................... ......
Nepal............................
Pakistan.........................
Sri Lanka.......................

EAST ASIA

South Korea3.....................

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia......................
Malaysia.....................
Philippines......................
Thailand4.......... ............


Urban

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh........... .......
India5...........................
Nepal............................
Pakistan..............................
Sri Lanka........................

EAST ASIA

South Korea3............ .....

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia....................
Malaysia.. .....................
Philippines...................
Thailand4 .....................


1974
1981
1971
1973
1971



1975



1976
1970
1970
1977


1974
1981
1971
1973
1971



1975



1976
1970
1970
1977


44.2
34.8
60.1
48.2
39.9



70.9



57.5
50.5
52.0
73.4


45.8
29.2
42.3
42.7
35.9



51.6



43.8
43.6
48.6
56.1


3.8
16.0
36.0
9.3
19.9



61.1



39.5
34.8
32.1
67.7


5.8
7.3
12.3
8.7
11.1


30.9



25.1
23.7
34.8
46.4


81.1
52.6
83.7
80.4
59.1



81.2



76.3
66.2
72.0
78.9


73.7
48.5
66.9
70.6
57.2



74.4



63.2
63.3
64.2
65.9


0.05
0.30
0.43
0.12
0.34



0.75



0.52
0.53
0.45
0.86


0.08
0.15
0.18
0.12
0.19



0.42



0.40
0.37
0.54
0.70


1Refers to age 15 years and over.
2Refers to age 15 to 64 years.
3Refers to age 14 years and over.
4Refers to age 11 years and over.
5Refers to all ages.


Women of the World


Women in Economic Activity









Table 4.2. Labor Force Participation Rates, by Age, Sex, and Rural/Urban Residence,
for Asian Countries



Women Men

Residence, region, 50 50
and country 10 to 2Uto 30 to 40 to years 10 to 20 to 30 to 40 to years
19 29 39 49 and 19 29 39 49 and
Year years years years years over years years years years over


Total country

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh......... 1974 5.6 13.1 22.8 33.3 43.7 51.9 184.0 296.9 398.9 494.2
India............... 1981 518.5 621.4 25.3 26.0 721.6 551.2 684.0 96.2 96.8 792.4
Nepal.............. 1976 55.1 55.1 51.2 50.1 33.3 61.7 94.0 97.2 97.3 77.0
Pakistan........... 1973 9.7 9.7 8.5 8.2 8.7 51.0 90.9 96.6 96.5 82.0
Sri Lanka.......... 1971 8.1 24.6 27.8 26.6 11.6 15.8 71.2 91.4 92.4 65.5

EAST ASIA

China
Mainland......... 1982 577.8 89.5 88.6 77.0 35.5 570.5 97.5 98.8 98.1 81.4
Taiwan........... 1979 543.9 58.7 49.9 50.5 30.0 547.1 93.5 99.0 98.8 81.6
Hong Kong.......... 1981 842.1 71.5 51.5 51.7 29.6 544.4 94.2 98.5 97.9 70.2
South Korea......... 1975 43.0 47.1 46.6 58.7 36.6 41.0 90.5 98.5 97.5 72.1

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia.......... 1976 21.8 38.8 46.5 51.6 37.5 35.5 91.7 98.8 97.6 81.8
Malaysia........... 1970 20.3 41.4 40.8 41.9 27.0 28.3 89.7 93.8 92.0 68.8
Philippines......... 1970 24.6 37.7 39.3 41.5 30.1 37.7 82.8 90.7 90.4 75.9
Thailand........... 1977 49.3 76.5 79.6 79.3 48.0 47.1 90.7 98.2 97.9 77.0


See footnotes at end of table.


66 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World




Women of the World Women in Economic Activity 67



Table 4.2. Labor Force Participation Rates, by Age, Sex, and Rural/Urban Residence,
for Asian Countries -Continued


Women Men

Residence, region, 50 50
and country 10to 20to 30 to 40to years 10to 20to 30 to 40 to years
19 29 39 49 and 19 29 39 49 and
Year years years years years over years years years years over

Rural

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA


Bangladesh.........
India.............
Pakistan...........
Sri Lanka...........

EAST ASIA

South Korea.........

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia...........
Malaysia...........
Philippines........
Thailand..........


Urban

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh........
India.............
Pakistan..........
Sri Lanka..........


1974
1981
1973
1971


5.6
522.8
9.8
9.0


13.0
625.2
9.8
27.4


226
28.4
9.0
30.7


33.0
28.9
8.6
29.7


43.5
723.9
8.5
12.8


53.5
558.2
56.6
16.1


185.6
687.8
92.6
72.2


297.3
96.7
96.8
92.0


399.1
97.2
96.9
93.3


494.8
794.1
84.2
67.8


1975 846.1 63.8 72.6 81.0 49.5 849.0 95.9 98.5 97.7 75.9


1976
1970
1970
1977


1974
1981
1973
1971


24.1
21.4
24.9
954.1


5.9
56.2
9.3
4.8


EAST ASIA


South Korea........

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia.........
Malaysia'.........
Philippines.......
Thailand..........


1975 840.5


1976
1970
1970
1977


13.5
17.3
23.9
922.9


41.5
42.3
35.3
80.3


14.6
610.7
9.4
14.7



36.4



28.0
39.4
41.8
60.8


49.3
46.8
37.2
82.4


25.6
15.1
7.3
17.7


54.3
49.2
40.1
82.4


36.8
15.3
7.0
16.0


39.5
32.1
30.7
50.7


45.8
12.4
9.2
7.5


39.7
30.0
43.4
951.8


36.7
531.5
37.3
14.8


94.4
90.0
85.4
93.2


175.1
675.1
86.9
68.6


98.9
93.2
90.8
98.2


294.6
94.9
96.3
89.6


98.1
91.5
90.5
98.1


397.6
95.5
95.6
89.6


84.5
71.3
78.4
78.7


488.1
786.9
75.0
57.6


23.4 30.8 14.7 833.8 86.2 98.6 97.2 65.2


32.7
25.3
43.4
65.2


28.1
21.8
44.1
62.0


27.1
14.0
28.8
32.7


18.9
24.1
24.7
920.1


82.7
88.9
77.9
81.0


98.3
95.3
90.4
98.2


95.1
93.3
90.1
96.8


68.2
61.9
70.1
66.9


age 20
age 25
age 35
age 45


to 24
to 34
to 44
years


years.
years.
years.
and over.


to age 15 to 19 years.
to an average of rates for ages 20 to 24 years and 25 to 29 years.
to age 50 to 59 years.
to age 14 to 19 years.
to age 11 to 19 years.


1 Refers
2Refers
3Refers
4Refers
5Refers
6Refers
7Refers
8Refers
9Refers








Table 4.3. Female Share of Rural and Urban Labor Force, by Age, for Asian Countries
(In percent)


Residence, region, All 10 to 19 20 to 29 30 to 39 40 to 49 50 years
and country Year ages years years years years and over


Rural

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh............ 1974 4.1 8.2 13.7 22.8 32.7 42.9
India.................. 1971 18.8 23.4 19.6 19.1 18.2 14.3
Pakistan.............. 1973 8.7 11.7 8.8 8.1 7.4 6.8
Sri Lanka............. 1971 24.4 35.4 28.6 25.0 22.2 13.4

EAST ASIA

South Korea........... 1975 44.2 545.7 40.8 42.9 48.2 44.3

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia............. 1976 35.1 36.0 35.8 36.1 35.2 31.9
Malaysia.............. 1970 34.5 41.7 32.8 34.2 35.2 28.8
Philippines........... 1970 30.9 36.0 29.9 28.0 31.8 28.9
Thailand.............. 1977 46.3 650.5 46.6 45.6 45.0 41.1


Urban

Bangladesh............ 1974 5.2 12.3 13.8 23.6 33.9 43.9
India................. 1971 10.4 14.6 10.2 9.9 9.9 9.9
Pakistan.............. 1973 9.2 17.2 8.5 6.4 5.5 8.0
Sri Lanka............. 1971 14.2 23.0 14.9 14.2 12.6 10.2

EAST ASIA

South Korea........... 1975 31.4 554.6 35.5 18.0 24.7 22.8

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia............. 1976 29.2 42.2 27.0 25.9 28.3 28.8
Malaysia.............. 1970 27.2 41.2 31.0 21.2 18.6 18.4
Philippines........... 1970 37.8 52.8 38.5 32.2 34.8 32.5
Thailand.............. 1977 41.9 653.4 42.9 39.5 39.6 35.4

iRefers to age 20 to 24 years.
2Refers to age 25 to 34 years.
3Refers to age 35 to 44 years.
4Refers to age 45 years and over.
5Refers to age 14 to 19 years.
6Refers to age 11 to 19 years.


68 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World









Table 4.4. Female/Male Ratio of Labor Force Participation Rates, by Age and Rural/Urban
Residence, for Asian Countries



Residence, region, 10 to 19 20 to 29 30 to 39 40 to 49 50 years
and country Year years years years years and over


Rural

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh.. ....................
India... ................... .....
Pakistan........................
Sri Lanka.........................

EAST ASIA

South Korea.......................

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia......................
Malaysia........................
Philippines................ ......
Thailand ........................



Urban

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh .......................
India...........................
Pakistan..........................
Sri Lanka........................

EAST ASIA

South Korea.......................

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia ........................
Malaysia. ........................
Philippines......................
Thailand..........................


age 20 to 24 years.
age 25 to 34 years.
age 35 to 44 years.
age 45 years and over.
age 15 to 19 years.
an average of rates for
age 50 to 59 years.
age 14 to 19 years.
age 11 to 19 years.


ayes 20 to 24 years and 25 to 29 years.


1974
1981
1973
1971



1975



1976
1970
1970
1977


1974
1981
1973
1971



1975



1976
1970
1970
1977


0.10
50.39
0.17
0.56



80.94



0.61
0.71
0.57
91.04


0.16
50.20
0.25
0.32



81.20



0.71
0.72
0.97
91.14


10.04
60.29
0.11
0.38



0.67



0.44
0.47
0.41
0.86


10.06
60.14
0.11
0.21



0.42



0.34
0.44
0.54
0.75


20.03
0.29
0.09
0.33



0.74



0.50
0.50
0.41
0.84


20.06
0.16
0.08
0.20



0.24



0.33
0.27
0.48
0.66


30.03
0.30
0.09
0.32



0.83



0.55
0.54
0.44
0.84


30.07
0.16
0.07
0.18



0.32



0.30
0.23
0.49
0.64


40.04
70.25
0.10
0.19


0.47
0.45
0.39
0.64


40.07
70.14
0.12
0.13



0.23



0.40
0.23
0.41
0.49


IRefers
2Refers
3Refers
4Refers
5Refers
6Refers
7Refers
8Refers
9Refers


Women of the World


Women in Economic Activity 69









Table 4.5. Urban Labor Force Participation Rates, by Sex, Age, and Marital Status, for
Selected Asian Countries



Indonesia South Korea Malaysia Pakistan Thailand

Age group and 1976 1970 1970 1973 1970
marital status
Female Male Female Male Female Male Female Male Female Male



Total, 10 years
and over........... 23.6 58.8 21.9 172.8 26.1 63.1 4.2 61.3 39.9 64.2

10 to 24 years....... 17.5 28.7 231.8 242.0 26.5 42.7 2.9 41.9 33.6 40.0

Single............. 18.1 22.9 37.0 40.7 28.2 40.6 2.7 37.8 34.2 37.4
Married............ 12.6 90.6 6.5 93.1 16.1 85.2 3.2 77.9 29.7 92.4
Widowed............ 38.7 86.1 50.0 (NA) 42.9 57.1 11.8 35.3 66.4 80.0
Divorced........... 45.4 66.7 52.4 50.0 50.0 50.0 11.1 30.2 47.9 63.2

25 to 44 years....... 29.7 93.3 16.9 94.9 29.1 94.3 5.1 89.7 52.7 91.8

Single............. 55.7 71.6 50.5 83.5 67.0 90.0 21.6 80.2 77.5 85.2
Married............ 22.4 97.4 12.0 97.1 21.6 95.8 3.7 92.6 44.6 95.5
Widowed........... 63.7 91.7 57.2 80.4 45.2 86.7 19.9 74.2 74.8 90.8
Divorced........... 60.6 85.1 59.2 88.4 52.6 86.4 18.4 56.3 71.9 81.2

45 years and over.... 29.0 76.5 14.7 74.3 17.0 70.5 5.5 73.4 31.8 73.4

Single............. 37.7 66.1 (NA) 50.0 342.3 64.9 22.7 56.8 46.9 69.7
Married............ 25.5 79.4 14.6 77.1 16.3 73.1 4.0 78.4 33.8 77.7
Widowed........... 30.6 47.3 14.0 33.8 15.5 345.4 7.1 51.2 24.2 43.1
Divorced........... 48.3 61.1 46.0 65.4 333.3 58.3 23.5 56.4 35.9 67.6

Note: Data are derived from sample census and survey tapes.

1Refers to age 14 years and over.
2Refers to age 14 to 24 years.
3Based on fewer than 30 unweighted cases.


Source: Shah and Smith, 1981, p. 9.


70 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World





Women of the World Women in Economic Activity 71



Table 4.6. Unpaid Family Workers as a Percent of Labor Force, by Sex, and
Female/Male Ratio of These Percentages, for Asian Countries


F/M ratio
Region and country Year Total Female Male (male=1.00)



MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh....................... 1974 8.8 30.8 7.5 4.11
India............ ............. 1971 2.9 3.6 2.8 1.29
Nepal............................ 1976 17.5 11.6 27.2 0.43
Pakistan............................. 1973 24.1 55.0 22.5 2.44
Sri Lanka........................ 1971 5.2 11.2 3.6 3.11

EAST ASIA

China
Taiwan......................... 1979 14.8 27.2 8.5 3.20
Hong Kong........................ 1981 1.5 2.9 0.7 4.14
South Korea...................... 1979 18.8 36.9 7.5 4.92

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia.............................. 1976 25.8 43.5 16.5 2.64
Malaysia ....................... 1970 19.7 37.7 11.0 3.43
Philippines...................... 1970 19.8 29.4 15.5 1.90
Thailand........................ 1977 47.7 66.9 31.4 2.13









Table 4.7. Percent Distribution of Labor Force, by Sex and Occupation,
for Asian Countries
(Percentages may not add to 100.0 due to rounding)'



All Profes-1 Agricul- Pro-
Sex, region, and occu- sional Sales Service tural duction
country Year pations workers workers workers workers workers Other2


Female

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh..........
India................
Nepal ................
Sri Lanka...........

EAST ASIA

China
Mainland...........
Hong Kong............
South Korea...........

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia.............
Malaysia.............
Philippines..........
Thailand............


See footnotes at end of table.


100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0


10.2
3.1
0.2
3.9


1974
1971
1976
1971


1982
1980
1980



1977
1970
1977
1978


100.0
100.0
100.0



100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0


69.8
82.6
92.6
42.1


77.1
1.0
37.5



58.4
54.5
28.2
76.2


5.5
26.7
11.0



3.1
8.6
17.2
3.9


12.2
9.0
3.0
11.5


12.9
47.5
20.4



13.3
10.3
14.1
7.1


1.9
7.6
16.0



18.7
4.7
18.3
9.7


3.6
0.2
0.0
33.0


0.1
1.2
33.5



1.2
13.7
9.2
0.5


2.4
16.0
11.6



5.3
8.1
13.0
2.6


72 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World





Women of the World Women in Economic Activity 73



Table 4.7. Percent Distribution of Labor Force, by Sex and Occupation,
for Asian Countries -Continued
(Percentages may not add to 100.0 due to rounding)



All Profes-1 Agricul- Pro-
Sex, region, and occu- sional Sales Service tural duction
country i Year pations workers workers workers workers workers Other2


Male

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh.......... 1974 100.0 3.0 4.7 1.5 77.5 10.9 2.4
India................ 1971 100.0 7.2 4.7 3.4 69.9 14.3 0.5
Nepal............... 1976 100.0 5.2 1.5 0.4 86.2 6.7 0.0
Sri Lanka........... 1971 100.0 8.6 7.7 4.6 38.9 23.9 16.4

EAST ASIA

China
Mainland.......... 1982 100.0 9.8 1.7 2.0 68.1 18.3 0.1
Hong Kong........... 1980 100.0 17.9 11.9 17.6 1.5 50.2 1.0
South Korea.......... 1980 100.0 15.5 12.4 5.0 29.0 32.0 36.2

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia........... 1977 100.0 6.5 11.1 4.9 61.5 14.6 1.4
Malaysia............ 1970 100.0 10.4 9.9 7.7 42.1 22.9 6.9
Philippines......... 1977 100.0 8.6 5.4 4.6 57.4 20.9 3.0
Thailand............ 1978 100.0 5.4 5.7 2.9 70.6 14.4 0.9

1Includes professional and technical workers, administrative and managerial personnel, and
clerical workers.
2Includes persons not classified and/or unemployed and those seeking work for the first time.
31ncludes unemployed persons only.

Sources: International Labour Office, various years; People's Republic of China State Statistical
Bureau, 1983, table 33.









Table 4.8. Female Share of Labor Force, by Occupation, for Asian Countries
(In percent)


All Profes- Agricul- Pro-
Region and country occu- sional Sales Service tural duction
Year pations workers workers workers workers workers Otherl


MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh.......... 1974 4.2 4.0 1.2 23.1 3.8 4.7 6.3
India............... 1971 17.4 9.5 6.0 16.3 19.9 11.7 7.6
Nepal.............. 1976 37.6 30.0 18.6 18.6 39.2 21.3 (NA)
Sri Lanka........... 1971 26.2 24.8 6.3 23.2 27.8 14.6 41.7

EAST ASIA

China
Mainland.......... 1982 43.7 31.7 46.1 48.0 46.8 35.4 25.6
Hong Kong........... 1980 34.8 44.3 25.5 32.7 26.4 33.5 39.4
South Korea.......... 1980 37.6 30.1 43.7 58.1 43.9 27.7 25.5

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia........... 1977 33.7 19.6 46.1 35.6 32.6 31.8 29.8
Malaysia ............ 1970 31.8 27.9 17.9 32.9 37.7 17.4 47.8
Philippines......... 1977 31.5 47.8 60.7 56.4 18.4 23.6 58.2
Thailand............ 1978 47.0 39.2 59.9 43.6 48.9 30.3 33.8

1Includes persons not classified and/or unemployed and those seeking work for the first time.
2Includes unemployed persons only.

Sources: International Labour Office, various years; People's Republic of China State
Statistical Bureau, 1983, table 33.


74 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World







Women of the World


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Women in Economic Activity








Table 4.10. Labor Force Participation Rates for Population Age 15 Years and Over,
by Sex, and Female/Male Ratio of Participation Rates, for Pacific Islands


F/M ratio
Region and country Year Total Female Male (male=1.00)


POLYNESIA

American Samoa.................... 1974 47.6 33.0 62.6 0.53
Cook Islands....................... 1981 57.1 35.9 77.0 0.47
French Polynesial................. 1977 55.9 35.5 73.6 0.48
Niue2............................. 1976 44.5 25.0 66.8 0.37
Tonga........................... 1976 42.8 13.5 71.8 0.19
Tuvalu ........................... 1979 21.5 11.0 35.4 0.31
Wallis and Futunal................ 1976 65.2 45.5 85.6 0.53
Western Samoa..................... 1976 47.5 16.5 77.1 0.21

MELANESIA

Fij .............................. 1976 51.1 17.2 84.6 0.20
New Caledonial.................... 1976 59.5 42.9 74.4 0.58
Papua New Guinea.................. 1971 43.4 35.0 51.2 0.68
Solomon Islands .................. 1976 22.1 7.8 35.0 0.22
Vanuatu........................... 1979 84.1 78.1 89.4 0.87

MICRONESIA

Guam ............................. 1980 51.4 46.3 56.0 0.83
Kiribati3 .........................1978 22.4 8.7 37.3 0.23
Nauru ............................ 1977 30.5 (NA) (NA) (NA)


1Refers to age 14 years and over.
2Refers to money-earning Niueans only.
3Refers to persons active in the cash economy only.
4Actual age referent unknown; the legal age for seeking paid


employment is 17 years.


Sources: Census reports of each country; UNESCAP, 1982c (for Papua New Guinea).


76 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World





Women of the World Women in Economic Activity 77



Table 4.11. Labor Force Participation Rates by Age and Sex, for Pacific Islands



15 to 19 20 to 29 30 to 39 40 to 49 50 years
Sex, region, and country Year years years years years and over


Women

POLYNESIA

American Samoa.............. 1974 16.6 44.1 47.1 38.8 12.9
Cook Islands................. 1981 28.7 51.3 49.1 41.5 13.2
French Polynesia............ 1977 13.0 45.1 43.1 37.7 18.3
Niue2................... 1976 25.2 38.3 42.3 18.7 6.1
Tonga...................... 1976 15.8 23.5 10.3 7.7 5.0
Tuvalu3..................... 1979 9.8 20.8 13.8 5.7 2.2
Wallis and Futuna........... 1976 136.7 54.9 47.9 47.8 41.3
Western Samoa............... 1976 9.1 25.5 21.4 18.9 7.5

MELANESIA

Fiji.... ................... 1976 15.1 22.3 17.6 15.6 10.3
New Caledonia............ 1976 125.8 54.6 49.9 47.4 33.9
Solomon Islands ............ 1976 7.9 9.7 7.9 7.0 5.0
Vanuatu. ................... 1979 64.9 80.0 82.7 84.4 80.9

MICRONESIA

Kiribati3 ................... 1978 8.9 16.0 9.2 3.8 1.7

Men

POLYNESIA

American Samoa.............. 1974 12.0 69.4 87.6 83.2 59.2
Cook Islands................. 1981 60.0 87.2 89.8 93.3 66.5
French Polynesia............ 1977 132.0 76.2 91.5 89.1 59.9
Niue2....................... 1976 57.4 86.8 92.3 79.3 37.5
Tonga....................... 1976 37.4 80.3 85.5 87.2 74.6
Tuvalu3..................... 1979 20.3 47.3 59.0 46.3 19.4
Wallis and Futuna........... 1976 168.8 89.3 96.1 95.9 88.9
Western Samoa............... 1976 49.0 95.2 98.3 98.2 56.6

MELANESIA

Fiji........................ 1976 56.8 93.5 97.3 96.5 75.9
New Caledonia............... 1976 130.9 84.0 95.6 94.5 65.8
Solomon Islands3............ 1976 27.1 48.6 42.7 34.0 18.7
Vanuatu.................... 1979 61.7 94.9 98.7 98.7 93.0

MICRONESIA

Kiribati3................... 1978 18.2 47.5 53.1 48.8 19.2

1Refers to age 14 to 19 years.
2Refers to money-earning Niueans only.
3Refers to persons active in the cash economy only.
Source: National census reports.









Table 4.12. Female/Male Ratio of Labor Force Participation Rates, by Age, for Pacific Islands



15 to 19 20 to 29 30 to 39 40 to 49 50 years
Region and country Year years years years years and over


POLYNESIA

American Samoa................ 1976 1.38 0.64 0.54 0.47 0.22
Cook Islands.................. 1981 0.48 0.59 0.55 0.44 0.20
French Polynesia............. 1977 10.41 0.59 0.47 0.42 0.31
Niue2........................ 1976 0.44 0.44 0.46 0.24 0.16
Tonga...................... 1976 0.42 0.29 0.12 0.09 0.07
Tuvalu ...................... 1979 0.48 0.44 0.23 0.12 0.11
Wallis and Futuna............ 1976 10.53 0.61 0.50 0.50 0.46
Western Samoa................ 1976 0.19 0.27 0.22 0.19 0.13

MELANESIA

Fiji......................... 1976 0.27 0.24 0.18 0.16 0.14
New Caledonia................ 1976 10.83 0.65 0.52 0.50 0.52
Solomon Islands 3............. 1976 0.29 0.20 0.19 0.21 0.27
Vanuatu...................... 1979 1.05 0.84 0.84 0.86 0.87

MICRONESIA

Kiribati 3 ................... 1978 0.49 0.34 0.17 0.08 0.09


1Refers to age 14 to 19 years.
2Refers to money-earning Niueans
3Refers to persons active in the


only.
cash economy only.


Source: National census reports.


78 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World









Table 4.13. Female Share of Labor Force, by Age, for Pacific Islands
(In percent)



15 to 19 20 to 29 30 to 39 40 to 49 50 years
Region and country Year years years years years and over


POLYNESIA

American Samoa............... 1974 60.3 43.8 31.9 31.1 17.2
Cook Islands.................. 1981 29.4 37.1 35.4 29.2 14.9
French Polynesia............. 1977 126.7 33.5 28.6 26.1 21.6
Niue2........................ 1976 28.6 31.2 37.2 23.3 23.0
Tonga........................ 1976 28.2 22.7 11.4 8.2 6.0
Tuvalu3...................... 1979 ,34.4 38.4 26.1 15.4 12.3
Wallis and Futuna............ 1976 32.9 40.0 36.4 41.3 29.9
Western Samoa................ 1976 14.1 19.9 18.2 16.2 11.7

MELANESIA

Fiji............... ........ 1976 20.8 19.7 15.3 13.4 11.3
New Caledonia .......... 1976 43.4 36.7 31.7 30.1 32.0
Solomon Islands ............ 1976 21.2 17.1 14.6 15.6 15.9
Vanuatu...................... 1979 49.3 44.6 43.1 40.7 38.4

MICRONESIA

Kiribati3..................... 1978 33.3 27.3 15.0 7.5 9.4

1Refers to age 14 to 19 years.
2Refers to money-earning Niueans only.
3Refers to persons active in the cash economy only.

Source: National census reports.


Women of the World


Women in Economic Activity








Table 4.14. Percent of Employed Economically Active Population in Selected Industries,
by Sex, for Pacific Islands


Women Men

Region and country Agricul- Agricul-
Year ture, etc. Trade Services ture, etc. Trade Services


POLYNESIA

Cook Islands............. 1976 1.7 20.8 47.0 32.9 6.6 33.2
French Polynesia.........1977 6.4 131.7 50.4 21.7 13.0 34.0
Niue ................... 1976 4.3 7.3 19.4 6.2 4.8 9.1
Tonga.................... 1976 3.5 17.4 67.1 62.8 3.2 18.5
Tuvalu.................. 1979 0.9 19.6 59.6 5.7 7.7 31.8
Wallis and Futuna........ 1976 76.2 1.1 6.5 82.0 1.2 1.3
Western Samoa............ 1976 25.1 17.5 48.2 68.7 4.1 12.1

MELANESIA

Fiji.................... 1976 27.1 17.5 40.9 50.7 9.4 13.6
New Caledonia............ 1976 35.2 10.2 19.6 26.9 5.6 4.0
Solomon Islands3......... 1976 52.8 6.2 34.1 43.2 8.0 24.0
Vanuatu.... .............. 1979 84.7 2.5 9.7 71.6 5.7 11.6

MICRONESIA

Kiribati3................ 1978 1.2 21.0 64.4 9.2 11.8 36.7

1Includes those engaged in financial services.
2Refers to money-earning Niueans only.
3Refers to persons active in the cash economy only.

Notes: "Employed" is used in a generic sense to denote persons engaged in specific
industries. Such persons may or may not receive cash compensation. "Agriculture, etc."
includes agriculture, hunting, fishing, and forestry. "Trade" refers to wholesale and
retail trade, including the restaurant and hotel sectors. "Services" refers to community,
social, and personal services, and excludes financial and business services. Percentage
bases exclude persons whose activities were not stated or not adequately described.

Source: National census reports.


80 Women in Economic Activity


Women of the World





Women of the World 81


Chapter 5








o@dl LviDng


ASIA

Marriage has traditionally been, and continues to be, a cen-
tral feature of adult female life in most Asian countries. The
pressures towards marriage, and also early marriage, are
particularly strong in Middle South Asia. In India, for example,
marriage and motherhood are considered to be the most
honorable and religiously valuable achievements for a Hindu
woman. Hindu religious belief holds that "there is no God for
a woman but her husband, and by serving him she attains
heaven" (Government of India, 1974). An extreme form of the
notion that a woman has no worth without her husband is
embodied in the practice of "sati," in which a widowed woman
kills herself by jumping into the deceased husband's pyre. This
phenomenon is rarely witnessed today, but the values which hold
the husband to be the maintainer, protector, and savior of
women still condition behavior in India. In the Islamic countries
of the subcontinent, Pakistan and Bangladesh, rigid beliefs re-
garding the centrality of marriage are likewise held; Islam
prescribes marriage as a most cherished and desired state. In
all these countries, the main system of descent is patrilineal with
patrilocal residence. Upon marriage, a woman leaves her home
to live in her husband's (or his parents') home. The emphasis
on early marriage in such societies results from values which
consider virginity before marriage and chastity to be very
important.
In Southeast Asian countries, the patriarchal and patrilocal
traditions are not as strong. Nevertheless, marriage stands as
a pervasive institution, and only a negligible proportion of women
never marry. In the Philippines, for example, the mean female
age at marriage has increased, but there is continued pressure
for all women to marry eventually (Castillo, 1976).
The minimum legal age at marriage for women in Asian coun-
tries varies from 14 years in Malaysia and the Philippines to 20
years in Mainland China (table 5.1). The legal age below which
women may not marry is more a safeguard against child mar-


riage than a prescription for an appropriate age at marriage.
Mainland China is probably an exception to this, since the
Chinese are promoting higher age at marriage as a deliberate
policy of population control. Smith and Karim (1980), in an
analysis of South Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, and the Philippines,
showed that the mean age at marriage has risen considerably
in each of these countries since the 1950's. This is true in most
Asian nations, although the average age at marriage is generally
lower in Middle South Asia (except Sri Lanka) than in East and
Southeast Asian countries.
Table 5.2 and figure 5.1 show the age by which half of all
women have married. In Bangladesh, half marry by age 15 years
while in South Korea, half are married only by age 24 years-a
large difference indeed. Middle South Asian women in general
reach the median mark at younger ages than women in the other
two regions. Sri Lanka presents a deviation from the regional
pattern, with one-half of its women marrying by age 23 years-a
figure similar to that of Taiwan and the Philippines, and second
only to South Korea and Hong Kong. Furthermore, the average
marital age of Sri Lankan women was reported to have risen 2
years between 1971 and 1975 (University of Colombo, 1979).
As noted previously, Sri Lanka represents an exception also in
terms of the very high literacy and education of its women, and
has relatively few employed women working in agriculture or
as unpaid family workers.
Based on cross-sectional data on the marital status distribution
of the population, shown in table 5.3, over three-fifths of all Mid-
dle South Asian women (except Sri Lanka) age 10 years and over
are married. The proportion varies between 41 and 57 percent
in the other regions, with the exception of Mainland China, where
the 66 percent level resembles figures for Middle South Asia.
Taiwan has the lowest proportion of married women (only 41
percent) while Nepal has the highest (68 percent). The current
marital distribution depends not only on age at marriage and the
proportion marrying, but also on the dissolution of marriage
through either divorce or death of one of the spouses. Divorce


I






82 Marital Status and Living Arrangements Women of the World


and separation apply to a negligible proportion (generally under
1 percent) of women as well as men in most Asian countries.
Proportions of widowed women, however, are quite high relative
to men (figure 5.3) and vary from 5 percent in the Philippines
and Taiwan to 16 percent in Indonesia. Larger proportions of
women than men are found in the widowed/divorced/separated
category for at least two reasons: first, a greater percentage of
men than women are single in each country; second, women
usually have a higher life expectancy and therefore tend to outlive
their husbands. Another conceivable reason for the large percent-
ages of widowed women may be a greater incidence of remar-
riage among men than women, although data have not been
compiled to support this argument.
The percentage of single women in any country is probably
an indirect indicator of opportunities other than marriage which
are available to women. There is a large variation in the percen-
tage of single women among the countries in this report-54
percent of all Taiwanese women are single compared to only
21 percent of Nepalese and Bangladeshi women. The percent-
age of single women is consistently higher in urban than rural
areas in each country, even in Middle South Asia (figure 5.2).
This finding indicates that the marriage of urban girls probably
gets delayed because of their greater access to (and participa-
tion in) schooling and wage employment, particularly in the
modern economic sectors. Furthermore, urban norms are likely
to support later marriage in most countries. The differential be-
tween rural and urban areas is smallest in Sri Lanka, where about
31 percent of the rural and 36 percent of the urban women are
single.
Patterns within overall proportions of single persons come to
light when data are tabulated by age, as shown in table 5.5.
Regional differences in the percent single are very marked among
women age 20 to 24 years-only 3 percent in Bangladesh but
63 percent in South Korea and 71 percent in Hong Kong. Mid-
dle South Asia in general has significantly smaller proportions
of single women, while East Asia has the highest proportions;
Southeast Asian women are intermediate, with considerable
variation within the region. Only 21 percent of women are single
in Pakistan and 24 percent in predominantly Muslim Indonesia,
while in the Philippines and Malaysia comparable figures are 51
percent and 41 percent, respectively.
A large percentage of single women in the younger ages does
not imply that women remain single throughout their lives. Mar-
riage may take place late and yet still be universal, as illustrated
by the data for South Korea. In the age group 20 to 24 years,
63 percent of women and 93 percent of men are single; by age
49 years, there are almost no single women or men. A similar
situation is reflected by the data for Mainland China. Although
Mainland China has by far the highest overall percent married
among women age 10 years and over compared to other coun-
tries of East and Eastern South Asia, over 46 percent of women
age 20 to 24 years are single. By age 49 years, the percent single
is practically zero. This noticeable delay in age at first marriage
has contributed, in some measure, to the recent remarkable
declines in Chinese fertility. In most other countries, also, a very
small proportion (1 to 3 percent) of all women are still single by
age 45 to 49 years. The two exceptions to this pattern are Sri
Lanka and the Philippines, where 4 percent and 6 percent,


respectively, of women age 45 to 49 years are single. In the
Philippines, more women than men age 45 to 49 years remain
single-a deviation from the typical pattern.
A comparison of the percent single among women age 20 to
24 years in rural and urban areas shows pointed differentials in
all countries. In Indonesia, where the difference is quite substan-
tial, the proportion of single urban women (41 percent) is more
than double its rural counterpart (19 percent). The differential
is smallest in Sri Lanka, with 63 percent of urban and 53 per-
cent of rural women reported as single.

Household Size and Headship

Median household size is presented in table 5.6 for the total
country and for rural and urban areas. While the concept of
household appears to be relatively consistent across national
censuses, the extended family pattern found in a number of
countries may add some degree of uncertainty to the delinea-
tion of separate households within a single dwelling structure.
Perhaps for this reason, Asian households tend to be larger than
those in other developing regions of the world. With few excep-
tions, median size exceeds 5 persons per household, with a high
of 6.2 persons in Pakistan. Outside of Sri Lanka and South Korea,
there are only minor size differences between rural and urban
areas.
As mentioned above, many Asian cultures, particularly in
Middle South Asia, are partriarchal in nature, and a male member
of the household-usually the husband or his father in the case
of a joint family-is classified as head. The death of or desertion
by the husband may, however, result in female headship. In other
cases, single women who live alone may be classified as
household head. In many countries, however, women may not
be reported as the household head in censuses and surveys,
since this goes against traditional norms. This is discussed in
some detail by Buvini6 and Youssef (1978). Underreporting of
female headship is likely to be greater in cases where a widowed,
divorced, or single woman lives in a joint family with a male
member (or patriarch) present; this may happen even if she is
the sole wage earner in the family.
Asian censuses usually ask a question about who is the head
of household and how the other members are related to the head.
The responses to such questions are, however, not always
tabulated or readily available. Of the 14 Asian countries included
in this report, only 6 have national-level data on headship, as
shown below:

Percent of female heads

Total
Country Year country Rural Urban


Sri Lanka .... 1981 17.4 17.0 19.1
Hong Kong ... 1971 23.5 (NA) (NA)
South Korea .. 1980 14.7 13.5 15.5
Indonesia .. 1971 16.3 16.7 14.1
Malaysia ..... 1970 19.7 19.1 21.6
Philippines ... 1970 10.8 10.0 12.7


82 Marital Status and Living Arrangements


Women of the World






Women of the World Marital Status and Living Arrangements 83


Other data for Pakistan show that only about 1 percent of all
household heads were women and that 70 percent of all women
heads in urban areas were migrants (Shah, 1982).
A comparative analysis of labor force participation among
female heads and nonheads in several Asian countries revealed
that participation rates were invariably higher among the former,
as the following table indicates:

Percent in labor force among-

Recent female
All urban women migrants to urban
age 10 years and areas age 10 years
and over and over

Country Year Heads Nonheads Heads Nonheads

Indonesia. 1976 56.9 21.3 53.0 27.0
Korea ... 1970 44.1 20.2 43.1 23.4
Malaysia ... 1970 30.7 25.5 40.6 29.7
Pakistan ... 1973 26.7 3.8 58.0 4.6
Thailand ... 1970 56.8 38.2 66.2 40.8

Source: Shah and Smith, 1981, table 5.

These data illustrate that family headship may force some
women to enter the labor force. Even in Pakistan, which other-
wise has very low participation rates, female heads, and in par-
ticular those among them who are migrants, have extremely high
participation rates. Women who are reported as household heads
are likely to be single, widowed, or divorced women who have
to support themselves and their families. In some countries,
destitute women may be more likely to migrate to urban areas
in order to find employment. These subgroups of women, even
though numerically small, represent special groups who may be
in need of assistance with regard to job procurement as well as
food and shelter.


PACIFIC ISLANDS
The marital distribution of women and men age 15 years
and over in Pacific islands is shown in table 5.7. The proportion
of single women varies from 23 percent in Solomon Islands to
53 percent in Kiribati; corresponding percentages of single
men in these countries are 40 and 61. Percentages of
widowed/divorced/separated women are similar to those found
in Asia, ranging from 7 to 15 percent. Tuvalu has the highest
proportion (15 percent) of women in this marital status category,
perhaps again because of the high rural-to-urban migration in
this country. French Polynesia has the lowest proportion of
widowed/divorced/separated women.
The relatively large percent single among women age 15 to
24 years in some countries suggests that corresponding average
age at marriage is quite high. This is likely to be true particularly
in Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Tonga, and Tuvalu, where
four-fifths or more of women age 15 to 24 years are single (table
5.8). Furthermore, certain nations have a relatively high propor-
tion of persons who have never married. While the proportion
single among women age 35 to 44 years is below 10 percent
in most countries, French Polynesia, Tuvalu, and New Caledonia
are exceptions to the pattern. Proportions are strikingly high in
French Polynesia, with 24 percent of women and 30 percent
of men single at age 35 to 44 years. Being single, however, may
not necessarily imply living alone without a sexual partner. In
some cases, persons in consensual or other forms of unions may
be reported as single.
Finally, data on household headship are generally not available
for most of the islands. The three countries for which informa-
tion exists (Niue, Cook Islands, and Western Samoa) have a level
of female headship quite similar to that found in Asia. Of all
household heads in Niue, 22.5 percent are women; the corre-
sponding figure is 17 percent for Cook Islands and 20 percent
for Western Samoa.


Women of the World


Marital Status and Living Arrangements 83







84 Marital Status and Living Arrangements Women of the World


Figure 5.1.




Age
(years)


Age by Which 50 Percent of Women and Men Have
Ever Been Married



Age
(years)


Bangla- India Nepal Pakistan Sri Mainland Hong South Taiwan
desh 1971 1976 1972 Lanka China Kong Korea 1979
1974 1981 1982 1981 1975


Age
(years)


Women Men


Burma Indo-
1973 nesia
1976


Malaysia Philip-
1970 pines
1975


Thailand
1970


84 Marital Status and Living Arrangements


Women of the World













Figure 5.2. Female/Male Ratio of Percent Widowed Age 10 Years
and Over


F/M ratio
(male = 1.0)

F


Middle South Asia


10.0

9.0

8.0

7.0

6.0

5.0

4.0

3.0

2.0

*1.0

0






10.0

9.0

8.0

7.0

6.0

5.0

4.0

3.0

2.0

*1.0

0


East Asia


Mainland Hong
China Kong
1982 1981


F/M ratio
(male = 1.0)

1


South Taiwan
Korea 1979
1975


10.0

9.0

8.0

7.0

6.0

5.0

4.0

3.0

2.0

1.0*

0


Bangla- India Nepal Pakistan Sri
desh 1971 1976 1972 Lanka
1974 1981

F/M ratio
(male = 1.0
Eastern South Asia




-














(NA)
Burma Indo- Malaysia Philip- Thailand
nesia 1970 pines 1970
1976 1975
*Female percent equals male percent.
Note: See footnotes to table 5.3 for nonstandard age groups.


Marital Status and Living Arrangements 85


Women of the World













Figure 5.3. Percent Single Among Women and Men Age 20 to 24
Years, by Rural/Urban Residence



Percent Percent
100 Middle South Asia East Asia 100


Bangla- India
desh 1971
1974


Nepal Pakistan Sri
1972 Lanka
1981


INA) (NAI
Mainland Hong
China Kong


Percent


Women Men Women Men
Rural Urban


Burma Indo-
nesia
1976


Malaysia Philip- Thailand
1970 pines 1970


Taiwan


86 Marital Status and Living Arrangements


Women of the World







Women of the World Marital Status and Living Arrangements 87


Table 5.1. Minimum Legal Age at Marriage, by Sex, for Asian Countries


Region and country Female Male


MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh.........
India.............
Nepal..............
Pakistan...........
Sri Lanka.........


Region and country Female Male


EASTERN SOUTH ASIA


Burma..............
Indonesia..........
Malaysia1..........
Philippines.......
Thailand..........


EAST ASIA


China
Mainland..........
Taiwan..........
Hong Kong...........
South Korea.........


22
(NA)
16
18


Note: Data on minimum legal marital age represent the most recently compiled information.

1Refers to West Malaysia only.


Marital Status and Living Arrangements 87


Women of the World









Table 5.2. Age by Which 50 Percent of Persons Have Ever Been Married, by
Sex and Rural/Urban Residence, for Asian Countries



Total Rural Urban
Region and country
Year Women Men Women Men Woaen een

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh................ 1974 15 24 15 23 17 25
India..................... 1971 17 22 16 22 19 25
Nepal..................... 1976 17 20 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
Pakistan.................. 1972 19 25 19 25 20 25
Sri Lanka................. 1981 23 28 23 27 25 29

EAST ASIA

China
Mainland................ 1982 22 24 (NA) (NA) (NA) ()A)
Taiwan.................. 1979 23 26 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
Hong Kong................. 1981 25 28 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
South Korea............... 1975 24 27 23 27 24 27

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Burma..................... 1973 20 23 20 23 21 25
Indonesia................. 1976 19 23 19 23 21 25
Malaysia.................. 1970 21 25 21 24 23 27
Philppines................ 1975 23 25 (NA) (NA) (NA) (NA)
Thailand.................. 1970 21 24 20 24 24 27


88 Marital Status and Living Arrangements


Women of the World










Table 5.3. Percent Distribution of Population Age 10 Years and Over, by Marital
Status and Sex, for Asian Countries
(Figures may not add to totals due to rounding)



Divorced or
Sex, region, and country Year Total Single Married Widowed separated


Women

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA


Bangladesh...............
India.....................
Nepal .....................
Pakistan..................
Sri Lankal................

EAST ASIA

China
Mainland ...............
Taiwan........... ......
Hong Kong1................
South Koreal..............

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia.................
Malaysia......... ........
Philippines..............
Thailand2.................

See footnotes at end of table.


1974
1971
1976
1972
1981


1982
1979
1981
1975



1976
1970
1975
1970


100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0


100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0



100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0


21.1
22.3
20.6
29.7
32.3


24.2
54.0
32.6
28.5



30.9
39.1
46.5
31.4


64.4
64.4
68.5
61.5
58.8


65.5
40.6
56.0
57.1



52.1
50.3
47.9
56.4


13.3
12.7
10.6
8.6
8.3


10.0
4.7
10.7
13.8



15.7
9.4
5.0
8.8


Marital Status and Living Arrangements 89


Women of the World









Table 5.3. Percent Distribution of Population Age 10 Years and Over, by Marital
Status and Sex, for Asian Countries -Continued
(Figures may not add to totals due to rounding)


Divorced or
Sex, region, and country Year Total Single Married Widowed separated


Men

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh................ 1974 100.0 41.2 57.0 1.7 0.1
India...................... 1971 100.0 36.5 58.9 4.1 0.4
Nepal..................... 1976 100.0 32.2 63.1 4.4 0.3
Pakistan................. 1972 100.0 44.4 51.4 4.0 0.2
Sri Lankal................ 1981 100.0 42.6 55.1 1.9 0.4

EAST ASIA

China
Mainland................ 1982 100.0 32.7 61.9 4.5 0.9
Taiwan.................. 1979 100.0 60.5 37.3 1.5 0.7
Hong Kong ................ 1981 100.0 43.2 54.0 2.1 0.6
South Korea .............. 1975 100.0 40.7 57.0 1.9 0.3

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia................. 1976 100.0 42.2 53.7 3.5 0.5
Malaysia................. 1970 100.0 48.2 48.5 2.5 0.9
Philippines.............. 1975 100.0 51.3 46.6 1.8 0.3
Thailand2................. 1970 100.0 39.9 56.5 2.2 1.0

1Refers to age 15 years and over.
2Refers to age 13 years and over.


90 Marital Status and Living Arrangements


Women of the World









Table 5.4. Percent Distribution of Women Age 10 Years and Over, by Marital Status and
Rural/Urban Residence, for Asian Countries
(Figures may not add to totals due to rounding)


Residence, region, Divorced or
and country Year Total Single Married Widowed separated


Rural


MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh..............
India............. ......
Pakistan......... ........
Sri Lanka 1...............

EAST ASIA

South Korea ..............

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia.................
Malaysia .................
Thai 1 and 2................


Urban

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh ................
India............. ......
Pakistan......... ........
Sri Lanka 1................

EAST ASIA

South Korea 1..............

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia................
Malaysia .................
Thailand 2................


1974
1971
1972
1981



1975



1976
1970
1970


1974
1971
1972
1981



1975



1976
1970
1970


100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0



100.0



100.0
100.0
100.0


100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0



100.0



100.0
100.0
100.0


20.4
20.7
28.0
31.2



31.2



29.0
36.7
29.7


29.9
29.2
34.3
36.1



40.2



39.3
45.2
41.2


65.0
65.7
62.9
59.7



64.5



53.4
52.3
58.0


58.3
58.9
57.4
55.7



55.4



46.3
45.2
47.3


13.6
13.0
8.8
8.5


16.3
9.6
9.0


11.0
11.3
8.2
7.5


13.1
8.8
7.8


1Refers to age 15 years and over.
2Refers to age 13 years and over.


',


Women of the World


Marital Status and Living Arrangements 91









Table 5.5. Percent Single Among Population Ages 20 to 24 and 45 to 49 Years,
by Sex and Rural/Urban Residence, for Asian Countries



Women Men
Residence, region,
and country 20 to 24 45 to 49 20 to 24 45 to 49
Year years years years years

Total country

MIDDLE SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh.................. 1974 3.2 0.3 60.1 1.1
India........................ 1971 9.5 0.5 49.9 2.7
Nepal ....................... 1976 9.1 0.9 33.6 1.7
Pakistan.................... 1972 21.3 1.5 67.8 1.3
Sri Lanka................... 1981 55.3 4.4 83.7 7.1

EAST ASIA

China
Mainland.................. 1982 46.4 0.2 72.0 4.4
Taiwan.................... 1979 59.6 2.2 87.5 3.4
Hong Kong................... 1981 71.3 2.3 89.4 9.2
South Korea................. 1975 62.5 0.2 92.9 0.3

EASTERN SOUTH ASIA

Indonesia................... 1976 23.5 0.8 57.9 0.9
Malaysia.................... 1970 41.4 1.6 73.4 3.!
Philippines................. 1975 51.2 6.1 69.1 5.2
Thailand.................... 1970 37.9 3.0 64.9 3.2


92 Marital Status and Living Arrangements


Women of the World




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