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In 2021, Male: 16.8 million ; Female: 15.9 million
In 2021, Malaysia Population to reach 32.7 million

Statistics On Women Empowerment In Selected Domains, Malaysia, 2017

Release Date : Wednesday 06, December 2017 1200


The Malaysia Gender Gap Index (MGGI) examined the gap between men and women in four fundamental categories (sub-indexes): Economic Participation & Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health & Survival and Political Empowerment. MGGI was produced according to the methodology of the Global Gender Gap Index (GGI) published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) using the latest data available at the Department of Statistics, Malaysia (DOSM). 

Malaysia Gender Gap Index

The average score of all four sub-indexes for Malaysia in 2016 was 0.692. This indicated that the equality gap between men and women was 69.2 per cent (taking into account the weighted by population). The score of 1.00 (100.0%) is defined as no gap between men and women in these four sub-indexes.

Table 1: Malaysia Gender Gap Index (MGGI), 2016

Based on this score, Malaysia's ranking expected at the 75th out of 144 countries listed in the Global Gender Gap Index, 2016 Report by WEF. Malaysia’s ranking also expected at the 9th position among East Asia and the Pacific nations, ahead of Indonesia, China and Brunei Darussalam.

Table 2: Rankings by East Asia and the Pacific by World Economic Forum, 2016

Economic Participation and Opportunity

Indicators  included under this sub-index are women over men labour force participation; wage equality between women and men for similar occupation; women  over men's estimated earned income; women over men as legislators, senior officials and managers; and  women over men as professional and technical workers. Malaysia’s score for this sub-index was 0.659.

Educational Attainment

This sub-index captures the gap between women’s and men’s access to education through ratios of women to men in primary, secondary and tertiary education. A long term assessment on the country’s ability to educate women and men in equal numbers is captured through the ratio of the female literacy rate to the male literacy rate. Overall, Malaysia’s score in this sub-index was 1.092.

Health and Survival

This sub-index provides an overview of the differences between women’s and men’s health through the use of two indicators. The first is the sex ratio at birth, which aims specifically to capture the phenomenon of “missing women”, prevalent in many countries where there are preference for a son.

The second indicator is the gap between women’s and men’s life expectancy. This measure provides the average remaining age (years) for a person is expected to live at the beginning of the certain age. Malaysia’s standing in this sub-index was 0.957.

Political Empowerment

This sub-index measures the gap between men and women at the highest level of political decision making through the ratio of women to men in ministerial level positions and the ratio of women to men in parliamentary positions. In addition, we include the ratio of women to men in terms of years in executive office (Prime Minister or President) for the last 50 years. Malaysia’s score for this sub-index is at 0.061.

Chart 1: Score for Gender Gap Index by sub-indexes, Malaysia, 2016


Comparison with Selected Countries

The labour force participation rate for Malaysian women in 2016 was 54.3 per cent and it was relatively low as compared to other countries. Nevertheless, the literacy rate for women in Malaysia of 96.3 per cent (2016) was higher as compared against to the ASEAN countries. Malaysia also recorded the highest percentage of births attended by trained personnel (99.5%) and at par with other developed countries.

Table 3: Comparison between Malaysia with selected countries (ASEAN and developed countries) for selected gender indicators, 2016


1 Total population for citizen 28.7 million (2017)
2 Sex ratio for citizen 1.02 (2017)
Data are quoted from the Global Gender Gap Index Reports, 2016 (World Economic Forum) except Malaysia
n.a.- not available



Released By:

6 December 2017

Contact person:

Ho Mei Kei
Public Relation Officer
Corporate and User Services Division
Department of Statistics, Malaysia
Tel : +603-8885 7942
Fax : +603-8888 9248
Email : mkho[at]stats.gov.my