Younger women in HK grappling with more stress, poorer mind health

Study reveals gender disparity in the mental wellbeing department

Younger women in HK grappling with more stress, poorer mind health

Life & Health

By Kenneth Araullo

AXA Hong Kong and Macau have unveiled the third phase of their yearly AXA Study of Mind Health and Wellbeing 2023, with the latest findings highlight a concerning disparity with only 19% of female respondents in Hong Kong feeling they are flourishing in mental health, in contrast to 23% of men surveyed.

Of note is the younger female demographic, aged 40 and below, where merely 12% feel that they are flourishing, compared to 24% of those aged above 40. These findings underscore a higher prevalence of mental stress among younger women, with 64% reporting experiencing moderate to extreme stress over the last year, compared to 46% of female respondents overall.

Another discovery from the study is that nearly two-thirds of women agree that all genders are treated equally in the workplace. However, despite this perception of equality, a gender equality gap persists as almost half of female respondents in Hong Kong mentioned that their abilities have been questioned or undervalued due to their gender, and 25% have encountered unwelcome gender-related comments.

Concerns around financial security for the future

The study also highlights financial concerns among women, with 36% expressing significant stress due to their current financial situation. This anxiety is notably high among female senior executives, with 42% reporting significant financial stress despite their higher income levels. This stress is likely linked to the pressure of maintaining a higher standard of living and meeting societal expectations of success.

Looking ahead to their financial future, only 32% of female respondents in Hong Kong feel secure, a considerable dip compared to the 42% of male respondents.

The study also sheds light on the struggle of women to engage in regular physical activity due to their multitude of responsibilities. When asked about their top wish, 34% expressed a desire to improve their physical health, a crucial aspect contributing to mental wellbeing.

Only 24% of women reported engaging in over 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week, in contrast to 32% of male respondents. This underscores the need for initiatives promoting an active lifestyle in the city, acknowledging the time constraints resulting from the multiple roles and responsibilities that women often shoulder, including work and caregiving.

“Women tend to face a unique set of challenges having to balance multiple roles and responsibilities stemming from the workplace and at home. At AXA, we believe that being a woman shouldn’t be a risk and are determined to support them with innovative products and services that better protect women’s health and wellness,” AXA HK and Macau chief marketing and customer officer Andrea Wong said.

“We also believe that it is essential to create avenues for women to prioritise their physical health to achieve better mind health. We do so through organising our annual signature events such as AXA Better Me Weekend and Green Power Hike to create a brighter and healthier future not only for just women but the general public as a whole,” Wong said.

Recently, the global insurer unveiled its “We Care” program, crafted to extend support to the global insurer’s employees through various life stages and crucial junctures.

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