6 Gender: Local

6.1        Statistics

  • On average, Singapore women earn 91 cents to $1 earned by Singapore men34
  • 64% of women, compared with 38% of men, rely on their immediate families to assist with medical expenses.35

6.2        The Challenge

According to the 2014 Human Development Report by the UN, Singapore ranks 13th out of the 155 countries surveyed, and comes up as the top Asian nation for gender equality. This is measured through the differences between men and women in reproductive health*, empowerment** and labour participation rates.

Despite the high rankings on an international level, there are still several gender gaps that needs to be addressed including equal pay, representation at senior management level and ease of retiring from the workforce. Singaporean women are still espoused with more caregiving and households responsibilities, which are frequently associated with the many issues mentioned above. These issues are further amplified when it comes to vulnerable minority groups such as single mothers, LBT groups and women with disabilities.

Read more: 5 gender gaps that Singapore women still face in 2015

Read more: 5 biggest challenges of single mothers

*Reproductive health looks at maternal mortality and teenage pregnancy rates

**Empowerment takes into account parliamentary seats held by women and how they figure in higher education

6.3        The Opportunity

“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings” ~ Nelson Mandela

Eradicating poverty in all its forms remains one of the greatest challenges facing our generation – but it is possible. Globally, more than 800 million people are living on less than US$1.90 (S$2.60) a day. They are unable to meet basic needs, many lacking access to adequate, nutritious food, clean drinking water and sanitation.

“While rapid economic growth countries such as China and India has lifted millions out of poverty, the progress is uneven. Women are disproportionately more likely to live in poverty than men due to unequal access to paid work, education and property. Progress has also been limited in other regions, such as South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, which account for 80 percent of the global total of those living in extreme poverty. This rate is expected to rise due to new threats brought on by climate change, conflict and food insecurity.”²


34Labour Force and the Economy: Median Gross Monthly Income and Gender Wage Gap. (2015). Retrieved from Ministry of Social and Family Development: https://app.msf.gov.sg/Research-Room/Research-Statistics/MME-GenderWageGap

35Abeysinghe, T., Himani, & Lim, J. (2010). Singapore’s healthcare financing: Some challenges. 13.

1.1        Resources

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