South Korea ranked 10th out of 188 countries in terms of gender equality, the highest among Asian nations, the UN rankings for 2015 showed.
According to the Gender Gap Index released by the United Nations Development Program on Tuesday, South Korea scored 0.067 in 2015, up 13 notches compared to a year earlier, mainly on the back of a decrease in maternal mortality ratio and adolescent birth rate.
The GGI evaluates gender disparity using the measurements – women’s reproductive health, women’s representation in the parliament, their education level and economic status. The closer the figure is to zero the more equal women are to men.
The maternal mortality ratio, the number of deaths per 100,000 live births, slipped from 27 to 11. The adolescent birth rate, births per 1,000 women aged 15-19, fell from 2.2 to 1.6.
In Asia, Korea ranked the highest, followed by Singapore at 11 and Japan at 21. Northern European countries dominated the top five spots, with Switzerland taking the No.1 slot with 0.040 points. The United States ranked 43rd, China at 37th, the United Kingdom at 28th, Australia 24th and France at 19th.
But other gender disparity indicators put South Korea among the bottom of the rankings.
The Gender Gap Index released by World Economic Forum last year placed South Korea at 116 out of 144 countries. The country was the worst in terms of discrimination against women at work among the 29 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to the index disclosed earlier this month by the British magazine The Economist.
The UNDP unveiled the index as part of the Human Development Report. South Korea was placed at 18 in the world in the overall human development index, which assesses the average achievement in three basic dimensions -- life expectancy, level of education and standard of living.
By Ock Hyun-ju (firstname.lastname@example.org