PH among top Aspac performers in gender parity
The Philippines remained the top performer in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of bridging the gap between men and women, according to the latest Global Gender Gap report.
Worldwide, the Philippines improved its standing in the top-10 circle, rising two notches to rank seventh out of the 145 economies assessed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) this year in terms of gender parity.
Iceland again topped the survey followed by Norway, Finland, Sweden, Ireland and Rwanda. Rounding up the top 10 countries after the Philippines were Switzerland, Slovenia and New Zealand.
In 2014, the Philippines placed ninth in the gender gap index, which evaluated economies based on four main indicators: health and survival, educational attainment, economic participation and political empowerment.
“The Philippines has made progress from last year and continues to rank among the top 10 on the overall index and (remains) first in the region with 79 percent of its gender gap closed,” the report said.
In terms of health and survival, the Philippines’ gender gap remains “fully closed,” giving the country the first slot worldwide.
The Philippines also scored high in the economic participation and opportunity indicator due to the large number of Filipino women in the public and private sectors as managers, professionals and technical workers. The country rose eight notches to place 16th overall in this subindex.
“Improvements have also been made on the political empowerment subindex, due to more women in ministerial positions. The country ranked 17th in this regard.
But the educational attainment gap, which had been fully closed since 2006, reopened. The Philippines took a big slide from first place in last year’s index to 34th place due to an equally huge drop in the enrolment of girls in primary education.
In sum, “the country has progressed across all categories except educational attainment, where it has regressed,” the report further stated.
The Global Gender Gap Index aims to assess whether or not the countries were distributing their resources and opportunities equitably between women and men, irrespective of their overall income levels.
Data over the past 10 years revealed that the region with the largest absolute improvement was Latin America, followed by Asia and the Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa and North America.
WEF said that the direction of change has been largely positive, but not universally so. Of the 109 countries that have been continuously covered in the report over the last 10 years, 103 have narrowed their gender gaps, but another six have seen prospects for women deteriorate. These six countries are spread across regions: in Asia, it is Sri Lanka; in Africa, Mali; in Europe, Croatia and Slovak Republic; and in the Middle East, Jordan and Iran.
While the Nordic nations continue to act as role models in terms of their ability to achieve gender parity, some of the biggest absolute and relative improvements of the past 10 years have come from countries lower in the rankings, WEF added.