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Singapore ranks third in gender parity among Asia-Pac's developed markets

THE high proportion of women with a foothold in leadership positions has propelled Singapore to among the top for gender parity amongst Asia's developed markets.

In terms of overall gender parity in developed markets, Singapore (70.5 index points) ranks third in Asia Pacific behind New Zealand (77.3 index points) and Australia (76.0 index points). This is followed by Hong Kong (63.2 index points), Taiwan (63.0 index points), South Korea (51.6 index points) and Japan (48.8 index points), according to MasterCard's latest Index of Women's Advancement.

The index measures the socioeconomic standing of women across Asia Pacific and comprises three main indicators - employment, capability, and leadership.

Within South-east Asia, in terms of overall gender parity, Singapore emerged second behind Philippines (72.6 index points).

Women's leadership in Singapore showed marked advancement since 2007, gaining 8.7 index points in the past nine years. The rise, though promising, still lags behind the Philippines (up 12.1 index points).

Business ownership among women in Singapore women has also progressed commendably, with the proportion of female-to-male business owners increasing from 29.9 in 2007 to 42.1 in 2015