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S. Korea's women's empowerment ranked among world's worst

All Headlines 23:00 November 08, 2007

GENEVA, Nov. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korean women are among the least empowered in the world, despite high access to education and a long life expectancy, according to a report released Thursday.

The empowerment ranking of South Korean women stood at 97th out of 128 countries, lagging behind other major Asian economies, the Gender Gap Report, published by the The World Economic Forum, said.

China was placed 73rd, followed by Singapore in 77th place, while Japan was 91st. The Philippines took 6th place.

The study by the WEF, an independent nonprofit organization, measured the extent to which women have achieved full equality with men in the four areas of economic participation and equality, educational attainment, political empowerment and health and survival.

On a scale of zero, which means complete inequality between men and women, to one, meaning complete equality, South Korea received a score of 0.641 this year. It scored 0.616 last year.

South Korea ranked 1st both in terms of life expectancy and access to secondary education. It was placed 8th in terms of equality of salaries and 32nd for the longevity in government posts.

However, it ranked 120th for the sexual ratio in childbirth, 110th for the number of high-ranking female government officials and 104th for female representation in decision-making structures.

Northern European countries held the top rankings. Sweden topped the list, followed by Norway, Finland and Iceland, with New Zealand taking fifth place.

Yemen came last, while India and Iran were in the 114th and 118th places respectively.

ygkim@yna.co.kr

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