The Philippines is Asia’s best performing country in closing the gender gap. It is the only country in Asia-Pacific that has fully closed gender disparity in education and health, garnering 0.781 points, according to the Global Gender Gap 2014 report of World Economy Forum (WEF), released on October 29, 2014.
November 11, 2014
The Philippines is Asia’s best performing country in closing the gender gap. It is the only country in Asia-Pacific that has fully closed gender disparity in education and health, garnering 0.781 points, according to the Global Gender Gap 2014 report of World Economy Forum (WEF), released on October 29, 2014. At 9th place out of 142 surveyed countries, the Philippines was best placed in Southeast Asia, followed by Singapore (59), Thailand (61), Vietnam (76), Indonesia (97), and Brunei (98). In the top 10 of most gender-equal countries, along with the Philippines, are: Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Ireland, and Belgium. Since WEF began the report in 2006, the Philippines has been in top 10 list.
The report, now on its 9th year, assessed 142 countries on how well they divide resources and opportunities between their male and female populations. It tracked the strong correlation between a country’s gender gap and its national competitiveness. As women account for one-half of a country’s potential talent base, a nation’s competitiveness depends significantly on whether and how it educates and utilizes its women, it said.
The report measured gender inequality in four areas – Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Political Empowerment, and Health and Survival. The Philippines was second to Norway on the ability of women to rise to positions of leadership and enterprise, and has the highest percentage of firms with female participation in the ownership.
Overall, the report said, gender equality was improving worldwide, with 105 countries becoming more equal since 2006 and health and education access being the most egalitarian globally. The report showed most improvements were in women’s participation in politics; much of progress on gender equality over the last 10 years has come from more women entering politics and the workforce. Achieving gender equality is important for economic reasons, the WEF said, noting that only those economies who have full access to all their talent will remain competitive and will prosper.
The Philippine Commission on Women, the lead agency for promoting women’s empowerment, human rights, and gender equality, welcomed the report, saying that the coalesced efforts of government, nongovernment organizations, civil society groups, and academe have been putting the Philippines in the top 10 list. There must be no room for complacency; there’s a lot of work to be done particularly in fulfillment of women’s participation and of representation in all spheres of society, it said.