East Asia and the Pacific

The Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Regional Report for East Asia and the Pacific offers an in-depth analysis of the region’s progress towards gender equality.  As the third best performer in the 2014 edition of the SIGI, the region is characterised by comprehensive legislative frameworks protecting women’s rights. New and amended laws and policies have been introduced, for example, that enshrine gender equality in national legal frameworks, promote women’s access to justice and financial services or offer comprehensive legal protection against domestic violence. However, conflict between customary, religious and civil laws and weak institutional structures continue to hold back progress. Overall, moves toward gender equality remain slow or patchy, particularly regarding civil liberties, secure access to land, and violence against women.


The East Asia and Pacific Report draws from SIGI’s 14 variables that measure gender-based discrimination in social norms, practices and laws. By using a social norms lens to analyse the situation of women and girls in the region, the Report provides a deeper understanding of the root causes of gender-based discrimination in East Asia and the Pacific and suggests new approaches to achieving gender equality. The report is divided into three sections: a regional overview of progress and remaining challenges to achieving gender equality; an in-depth analysis of the region’s performance in the five SIGI sub-indices: discriminatory family code, restricted physical integrity, son bias, restricted resources and assets and restricted civil liberties; and an economic analysis of the development cost of discriminatory social institutions for the region.