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Brief Published: 20 Aug 2015

Asian Girl Power

China has the highest rate of working women in Asia

Asian women are challenging and redefining their roles in society, thanks to new career opportunities, better education and changing traditions, according to a June 2015 report from global advertising agency JWT.

The report examines women's attitudes toward finances, career, dating, family roles and beauty norms, and is based on the views of 1,500 women aged 20 to 45 in China, India and Indonesia. Highlights include:

  • China: China has the highest rate of working women in Asia. While there is a belief that beauty is vital to succeed in the workplace, only 13% want to look beautiful in order to attract men. Women are also expected to have children and care for ageing parents, and the majority think that getting on with their in-laws is the key to a happy marriage.
  • Indonesia: Over half of Indonesian women want to open their own business, more than anywhere else, and social media platforms are making this easier. Many are succeeding in non-traditional fields, from business to sport, including World Bank chief operating officer Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Alexandra Asmasoebrata, the country's first female F1 driver.
  • India: Fewer Indian women are working now than 10 years ago. This is partly because more women are studying longer: 91% believe that being educated is the most important factor for defining success. Those who have a career are redefining traditional gender roles: 64% feel their opinion is valued at home and work.

For more insights into the attitudes of Asian consumers, see SXSWi 2015: Dissolving Demographics, China's Consumer Tribes and Meet the Yums: India's Young Urban Males.