While bar charts, line graphs and simple numbers are hardly capable of providing the defining answer to many economic, social and political questions, they are certainly a good way of obtaining a general overview of any particular subject.
Each month the Business Supplement will look into a brace of statistical information and provide readers with what we consider to be the central elements of these figures.
Gender Gap still wider than it should be
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2018, covering surveys conducted in 149 countries, showed the world has a long way to go before women are truly at a point of economic, educational, health and political parity with men.
The rankings in the global index use the United States as the benchmark and when looking at the Asia-Pacific region throw up some wildly disparate numbers. For example, while the United States ranks 51st on the global index overall, it is the Philippines which ranks as easily the highest of the Southeast Asia nations, coming in at eighth. Thailand ranks 73, behind Laos at 26 and Singapore at 67.
Digging deeper into the data shows that the main reason Laos rates so well is because it ranks first in economic participation. In other words, most females work in Laos, primarily because the country is so poor they simply have to participate.
Thailand rates highly as well for economic participation, coming in at 22, behind the Philippines (14) but ahead of Singapore (24), Brunei (26), Vietnam (33) and Cambodia (45).
Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines all rank number one for educational attainment whereas Thailand comes in at 81, still clear of regional neighbours Singapore (88), Vietnam (101), Indonesia (107) and Cambodia (119).
When it comes to health, Thailand comes in at 56 compared to the Philippines 42. This is better than Myanmar (61), Cambodia (75) and Indonesia (79).
Not surprisingly given the current state of politics in the country, Thailand ranks a very lowly 130 for female participation and yet the Philippines stands in 13th place. The United States sits at an ordinary 98th spot. Brunei, at 145, is the worst of the Southeast Asian nations while Indonesia (60) scores well.
Sex and all that
Durex’s Global Sex Survey was last conducted in 2015. The next is due to take place in 2020. When it comes to the most sexually active and sexually satisfied countries in the world it might be a little surprising to believe that Thailand doesn’t make the top 10 in either category.
Indeed, the only Southeast Asian country to rank in the top 10 was Malaysia, coming in seventh in the active category. The country ranked number one for activity was Greece, ahead of Brazil and Russia (well, it is cold much of the year there) while in the satisfaction stakes the winning country was Nigeria ahead of Mexico and India.