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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, 2021

Release Date : Wednesday 17, November 2021 1200

The overall level of gender equality improved by recording an equality score of 71.4 per cent in 2020


Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) has released Statistics on Women Empowerment in Selected Domains, Malaysia, 2021 with the overall gender equality improved to 71.4 per cent in 2020. This report presents statistics relating to gender in Malaysia for the years 2018 to 2020 focusing on the core set of gender indicators covering eleven main domains. The statistics were prepared based on updated data from DOSM and various agencies. 

Malaysia Gender Gap Index (MGGI) identifies the gap between women and men across four sub-indices encompassing Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival and Political Empowerment. A score with a value of 1.0 (100%) indicates the equality of women and men has been achieved.

Commenting on the report, Dato’ Sri Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin, Chief Statistician Malaysia, said "Malaysia Gender Gap Index (MGGI) scored 0.714, or 71.4 per cent in 2020. Achievement of women has surpassed men in the Educational Attainment sub-index with a score of 1.059. Health and Survival sub-index recorded a score of 0.956, followed by Economic Participation and Opportunity (score 0.738). Labour force participation rate (LFPR) for women was still low at 55.3 per cent in 2020 as compared to other South-East Asia countries such as Singapore (69.7%) and Thailand (66.8%). Generally, women’s LFPR for developed nation exceed 60 per cent. Political empowerment recorded the lowest at 10.0 per cent (score 0.100) that shows women were still lagging behind men in the Ministerial position and Parliament."

Dato’ Sri Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin also said, "Based on the MGGI 2020 score, we were ranked 74th from 156 countries in the world. Simultaneously, within East Asia and the Pacific, Malaysia remained at the eighth position as in 2020 where we were ahead of Thailand, Viet Nam, Indonesia, China and Brunei Darussalam. However, we were still behind New Zealand, Philippines, Australia and Singapore".

Meanwhile, he also shared some interesting facts and statistics about women. He commented, "It is estimated that 15.8 million Malaysia’s population are women out of a total of 32.6 million in 2020. In terms of live births, baby girls recorded 226,578 births out of a total of 470,195 live births. Women as the head of households were estimated to spend RM3,666 a month and the expenditure on food and non-alcoholic beverages is RM690 or 18.8 per cent of the total expenditure in 2019."

DOSM also presented MGGI by state for 2020 in this publication. He remarked, "The top three states that recorded the highest scores in 2020 were W.P. Kuala Lumpur, W.P. Putrajaya and Perlis. W.P. Kuala Lumpur recorded the highest score in 2020 at 0.853, followed by W.P. Putrajaya (score 0.793) and Perlis recorded a score of 0.782."

Recognising the significant role of women, Malaysia is committed in achieving gender equality and promoting the rights of women and girls. The government’s continuous efforts and commitments towards achieving gender equality are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and Twelfth Malaysia Plan (RMK-12).

Table 1: Malaysia Gender Gap Index (MGGI) score, 2018 - 2020

Sub-index 2018 2019 2020
  Economic participation and opportunity 0.727 0.717 0.738
  Educational attainment 1.054 1.053 1.059
  Health and survival 0.958 0.958 0.956
  Political empowerment 0.106 0.108 0.100
MGGI score 0.711 0.709 0.714

Chart 1: Malaysia Gender Gap Index (MGGI) score, 2018 - 2020

Chart 2: Malaysia Gender Gap Index (MGGI) 2020 by state, 2020


Chart 3: MGGI 2020 score for economic participation and opportunity by state, 2020

Chart 4: MGGI 2020 score for educational attainment by state, 2020


Chart 5: MGGI 2020 score for health and survival by state, 2020

Chart 6: MGGI 2020 score for political empowerment by state, 2020


The full publication of the Statistics on Women empowerment in Selected Domains, Malaysia, 2021, can be downloaded through eStatistik portal.


Released By:

 DrUzir_Mahidin    Dr_Uzir

17 November 2021


Contact person:

Mohd Yusrizal Ab Razak 
Public Relation Officer
Strategic Communication and International Division
Department of Statistics, Malaysia
Tel : +603-8885 7942
Fax : +603-8888 9248
Email : yusrizal.razak[at]dosm.gov.my

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