KNOWLEDGE BASE Women In Singapore

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Demographics For Women In Singapore


While Singaporean women are closing the gap with their male counterparts in some areas, the country still ranks only 54th out of 156 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report for 2021. The report evaluated gender gaps in four main areas: 'economic participation and opportunity', 'educational attainment', 'health and survival', and 'political empowerment'. A score of 0.00 equals inequality, and a score of 1.00 equals equality. 

  • In all four areas, women in Singapore lagged behind men

  • The smallest gap was for Educational Attainment with a score of 0.990

    • Economic Participation and Opportunity score = 0.782

    • Health and Survival score = 0.965

    • Politcal Empowerment score = 0.159

  • There is much to be desired when it comes to achieving gender parity in political representation and leadership positions

  • Women have almost caught up with men in literacy and enrollment in primary, secondary and tertiary education

  • Women can  expect to outlive men as, on average, they have a longer life expectancy


Women in Singapore struggle with balancing their work responsibilities with those at home caring for children and elders, and inflexible work schedules and lack of good care options make it difficult to balance both fronts. While there is an understanding that women are held back in their opportunities, things are slow to change and women in Singapore still struggle with support and pay issues.

Lee Kuan Yew understood the importance that women play in the advancement of the Singapore economy and some 25 years ago, made a profound statement about women.  And while he understood where the country needs to go, in Singapore as in many countries, there is still some work to do.


"It is not possible to have a man continue to treat his marriage as if a wife's role is the same as that in his mother's generation... Wives cannot alone carry the burdens of managing the home and bringing up the children."

Lee Kuan Yew




Resources icon

World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report for 2021

Additional Census Information from the Department of Statistics Singapore


KNOWLEDGE BASE Women In Singapore