Women earn half as much as men in the Maldives, finds WEF report

A report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) has ranked the Maldives 99th out of 134 countries for gender disparity, narrowly beating Azerbaijan.

The Global Gender Gap Index examines the gap between men and women in four fundamental categories: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment.

Of the Maldives’ neighbours, Sri Lanka ranked 16th, Bangladesh 82nd, and India 112th.

Scandanavian countries Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden led the index, while Pakistan, Chad and Yemen were ranked last.

The Maldives ranking has changed little in three years, and scores fairly well for health and educational attainment in comparison with the region.

However data in the WEF’s report identifies a significant under-representation of women in business (to the point of negligible at a decision-making level) and politics, especially parliament and ministerial positions.

Moreover, men earn almost twice as much as women for the same level work, at a per capita income level, with an average annual wage of US$3,597 compared to US$6,714 for men.

Labour force participation for women is at 59 percent, compared to 79 percent for men.

The mean age of marriage for women in the Maldives is 23, the report found. It also noted that contraceptive prevalence among married women was 39 percent.

“The Global Gender Gap Report demonstrates that closing the gender gap provides a basis for a prosperous and competitive society,” observed the WEF report’s authors, Laura Tyson, and Angela Chan Professor of Global Management at the Haas School of Business, University of California.

“Regardless of level of income, countries can choose to integrate gender equality and other social inclusion goals into their growth agenda – and have the potential to grow faster – or they can run the risk of undermining their competitive potential by not capitalising fully on one-half of their human resources,” the authours noted.

“The economic incentive for closing the gender gap in health, education, economic opportunity and political power is clear.”


24 thoughts on “Women earn half as much as men in the Maldives, finds WEF report”

  1. Am sorry but for being dump. I did not quite get this. Is the income of a woman less in the same level of work with a similar TOR? Or are less women employed at the same level and therefore based on numbers of women employed at the same level as compare to the numbers of men employed at that level makes the average salary of women to falls almost 50% below what men earn?

  2. is gender equality based on what makes money?? how about house wives who stay at home and give a better generation of workers?? are they less important ??

  3. JJ get a life please. The whole thing is misleading. If women generally are in lower paying posts, then its a different story altogether. It is not that our society forbid women from working and earning or discriminate them in terms of not accruing equal pay. These reports do not put a monetary value on those women who work constantly to take care of their children. Assign a pay based what the daycare services charge- spread for 24 hour work days, 7 days a week, 364.25 days a year. Current rates for a 5-days a week, daycare in Maldives for 1/3 of a day is RF3500. So these women who look after their children are effectively earning MRF10,500 per child. So a woman that looks after a family of 5 are earning about MRF52,250 a month compared to men's average of about MRF10,000 per month.
    Look at places like US where women are paid less for the same job as a man. But we do not have that kind of discrimination. Our women were always allowed to vote unlike US women who only recetly got their right to vite...etc.
    These are pathetic attempts to try to show the world that these westerners are somehow superior and treat their women better than we do.

  4. ... In every aspect of life women are somehow subject to inequity. There is so much work to be done to improve the well being of women in Maldives. Woman are important but they are dicriminated by the dominant group.

  5. isn't it obvious. we actually do not need an official report to see that. women's place in society in large is being a house wife and that trend is actually growing since the invent of taliban allies in maldives.

  6. @ali
    i am sorry but study after study has established that their is no difference between children raised in homes where both parents work and those with one parent staying home.

  7. The data above is misrepresented if not utterly false.. show me a one job in Maldives where men earn more than a women at the same level of work! There IS NONE. However, I agree in business and in politics women are under-represented, but women are stepping up slowly.. but to say women are discriminated in anyway in the work place is a LIE

  8. I think we're doing pretty awesome for a country that had it's first ever legit election not even a decade ago.

    Ablho: And what report/research are your findings based on?

    That didn't make any sense at all =/

  9. Lets look at US. Does it pay men and women doing the same job equally? NO.


  10. While the index (Global Gender Gap Index) is not a perfect indicator such as we do not put a dollar value for most of woman's work (house wife doing house chores and looking after children), I believe the indicator provides information to think and can help for policy makers as well as individuals. As women plays important role in the society they need to be engage in the decision-making at a higher level as their input can make a huge significance in tackling problems and to achieve sustainable development. Furthermore men and women should be able to choose by themselves whether to be more actively involved in social or economic activities. In all the societies it is a default position such as a given role by social an cultural etc perspective thus we do not have freedom of choice nor facilitate capacity and capabilities to make the choice on our own. So there is a huge gap between the required role and optimal role and also there is a huge disparity between gender in every part of the world. If we can engage people (men and women) in our society to make decisions and work for the society such as social and economic development then we can progress and develop our society together for betterment. We are not here to just breed, eat, sleep and die but even for that we need to work in a sustainable manner, we have come to this point today by a dominant leading role mainly by half of the population engagement and a more stagnant role by the other half, we need to seriously think is this what we want and desire and is correct? at a global or local perspective we need to think holistically what is going on and what is happening. There is a purpose that we can or have to achieve for ourselves and for the future as well.

  11. @Nash Rafeeq,
    I disagree with you. I have proof of this in my own family. Children of families where one member, usually mother, stays home do much better in studies and in life.

  12. So, is the government going to do anything about this? How about reinstating the gender ministry?

    Ablho: While housewives do a very important of raising the next generation of workers, are they compensated for it? If a woman who has sacrificed her career to take care of five children, for some sudden and unfortunate reason finds that her husband is no longer there to support her, can she safely draw on her savings from MRF52,250 per month to start her new life?

  13. It shows that the previous regime had done nothing except campaigning women rights & equality but both went a flop ... so we need to do a lot to empower women in all fields to achieve our goal...

  14. My dear Hani Amir, look what happened to you, after finishing js, majeediya, chse now studying your degree in australia you still don't know anything about islam.I mean won't you feel much happy if your mother taught you something like how to pray, what you do in australia is going writing these nonesense comments about islam a though you know everything about the dheen.

  15. Well practically what these people are saying that women, right? But I'm sorry to say that you can't change nature just in the name of democracy. Look what happened when women joined the army in the united states.
    1. According to several studies of the US military funded by the Department of Veteran Affairs, 30% of military women are raped while serving, 71% are sexually assaulted, and 90% are sexually harassed.The Department of Defense acknowledges the problem, estimating in its 2009 annual report on sexual assault (issued last month) that some 90% of military sexual assaults are never reported. (Taken from bbc news) Is this what you want for our sisters to be? I Islam, we beleive that the best guardian to our children is their mother.
    2. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, which includes crimes that were not reported to the police, 232,960 women in the U.S. were raped or sexually assaulted in 2006. That's more than 600 women every day.
    So is this what you want our sisters to be?to be sexually harrased? We still don't know the total statistics in Maldives.

  16. My dear Ahmed
    The sexual harassment and abuse here in Maldives is high. What is the point if men protect their sisters and then goes and harass other women. That is reality and even in Maldives. Sexual abuse is mostly at home not outside. The only solution is empowered women and liberal men who can support women to be strong.
    W4e do not need to look at other countries and make comparisons. In all countries it is the same. Perpetrators will beat up any man that touches their women, while they do not think twice about taking another man's sister

  17. first of all, i agree with Nash Rafeeq. There is not much difference between children who have a stay at home parent and those whose parents go to work.

    @Rasheed, maybe your family had other factors at play like intelligence and diligence. Both my parents worked while my aunt stayed home taking care of her kids. Me and my siblings got much better grades and I can honestly say that we have a better relationship with our parents than our cousins have with their parents. In fact, my cousins have a better relationship with my parents than they do with their own.

    @ahmed. aren't you aware that Maldivian women are sexually harassed even currently? yes, they are harassed at work, whether it be in civil service or private offices, and in their own homes, very often by people in positions of trust. I'm sure that more than 90% of these cases go unreported for various reasons, mainly the social stigma regarding sexual abuse.

  18. I'm amazed to see what you secularised maldivian people are doing. One time you make fun of us maldivians, criticize islam and when we muslims show you the proof why our sisters have to play their role in the society as a good mother to their children, a good wife to her husband, a woman who is a respectful person to the society. So you people turn 360 degrees and say no we don't want to follow america, they are a bunch of idiots.

  19. Is it so hard to beleive these statistics. A woman has be much more intelligent, competitive, efficient and better educated to get the same job/position/status as a man. And majority mothers who work outside the house have to do double the work as once they come back home they are expected without question to look after the home, husband and children. While husband and children once they are home from school or work will be taken care of by mother/wife who worked as long and hard the whole day. Is that equal opportunity?

  20. Where is the WHO report that said Gay and Child abusing community wide spread in Male' among previous and current Maldivian politicians is of high risk of blasting HIV?? We all see some of ex Ministers, current Ministers, State Ministers enjoying in their darked cars with under aged and barely 18 year old girls brought from Islands for a small pay ...where are the Secular/atheist humanrights advocates?? Where is Mariya?? oh yes..she calls these activities frrrrreeeedom!! What a joker!

  21. the discrimination between men and women are more subtle in maldives than one can imagine
    @zaina i am begining to see why they say women are their own worst enemies. what you said to hani's mother proves it and is unfair on the mother. doesn't a man also have role in inculcating good religion in their children? there is no hope with women like you


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