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Old 10th December 2009, 09:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Still, careers for sons, spouses for daughters

Still, careers for sons, spouses for daughters



By Tambyah Siok Kuan & Tan Soo Jiuan


IN ITS latest gender gap index, the World Economic Forum found Singapore to have improved marginally on its previous score to reach 0.666, where '1' indicates full equality between men and women. But the Republic dropped a spot from last year, and was ranked 85 out of the 134 countries surveyed.

This was an overall measure of the gender divide here. Specific indices provided more information about where the gaps were.

Singapore appears to be heading in the right direction when it comes to the proportion of women compared to men in professional and technical occupations, with a score of 0.82. However, it did not fare well when it came to comparisons of earned income (0.52), the ratio of women to men among legislators, senior officials and managers (0.44) and political empowerment (0.1).

One possible reason for these gender differences is the way in which sons and daughters are brought up at home and the values that are imparted to them. In a recently published book that we wrote, The Well-Being Of Singaporeans, we analysed the survey responses of over 8,000 people in China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Singapore.

One matter we investigated was what people wished for their sons or daughters. The two tables here summarise the findings for sons and daughters, respectively.

While Singaporean parents would like their daughters as well as sons to be loving and charitable, and to care for the family, there were differences in their wishes for the careers and academic qualifications of their daughters compared with their sons.

The desire of parents for their sons to be more successful in their professions than they themselves, generated the third-highest score. This was not so when it came to their daughters. Instead, the concern that emerged as the third most important for daughters was their finding a good spouse. Almost three times as many parents wished good spouses for their daughters (32.3 per cent) as for their sons (11.7 per cent).

This appears to be a common phenomenon in the Asian countries that we studied: Daughters finding a good husband was seen as more important than whether they became professionally proficient or were respected by others.

When it came to academic achievements, Singaporean parents pinned higher hopes on sons than on their daughters. Almost one in four (24.5 per cent) wanted their sons to be great scholars, while less than one in five (18.7 per cent) expressed the same hope for their daughters.

Singapore's score of 0.1 for the political empowerment of women was also supported by our findings. The number of parents who would like to see their daughters become political leaders was only half that of those who would like to see their sons in such roles.

Our findings suggest that parents may have subconsciously reinforced the mindset that sons and daughters are different and should have different life aspirations. But we are heartened to see that compared with some Asian countries, parents here appear to be more supportive of their daughters when it comes to their education and their professional careers. Perhaps as parents become more enlightened, Singapore's gender gap index will improve.



Source: http://www.asiaone.com/News/Educatio...07-184482.html

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Old 10th December 2009, 09:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Still, careers for sons, spouses for daughters

the age old tradition saying still stands till this day.

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