The Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Index 2023 has just released its fourth edition report. It is a collaborative effort between the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security (GIWPS) and the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) to assess the status of women in 177 countries and economies. The index showcases a nation's dedication to fulfilling their commitments to promote women's rights and opportunities.
The WPS Index measures 13 indicators to assess the status of women, categorized under three dimensions: women’s inclusion, justice, and security. This study garnered data from highly esteemed sources, including UN agencies, the World Bank, the Gallup World Poll, and others.
A notable finding reveals a positive correlation between a country’s strong performance in equality for women and its high levels of peace, democracy, prosperity, and resilience to the impacts of climate change —a stronger correlation than with GDP.
Denmark, Switzerland, and other Scandinavian countries, such as Sweden, Finland, and Iceland, are the world’s top 5 in the WPS Index 2023, reflecting the aforementioned high positive correlation. How do Southeast Asian countries rank?
For two years in a row, Singapore has maintained its position at 15th place globally and at the top in the Southeast Asia region. Thailand has made significant progress in the global rankings, moving up an impressive 21 spots from the previous year to secure 52nd position, just behind Singapore in the region.
Malaysia’s ranking soared to 64th place, experiencing the most skyrocketing surge in the region at 39. The country has also recorded the world’s best country score for maternal mortality (deaths per 100,000 live births) in the region.
Viet Nam headed up to the fourth position regionally, securing the 78th podium worldwide after climbing 29 ranks from the previous figure. However, the nation held the widest rank disparity across three dimensions. Laos is following closely in the 79th spot, having dropped five positions from the 2021 index.
Indonesia has shown an uptick of 18 ranks to secure the 82nd position globally, placing it in the sixth position regionally. Timor-Leste has consistently held its position at 100th worldwide.
Three countries at the lowest rank in the region suffered a decline. These include Cambodia, which dropped 17 ranks to the 110th rank, the Philippines which drastically fell 61 spots to the 121st rank, and Myanmar, which dropped 31 ranks to the 165th.