THE so-called inclusive growth has not trickled down to the majority of Filipinos but has only provided a steady stream of profit for the rich, said the Center for Women’s Resources (CWR), a research and training institution for women.
The group said in a report contrary to government claims, poverty incidence in the country remains high at 24.2 percent, while the richest 50 Filipinos enjoy 25 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Government figures show GDP grew 7.2 percent in 2013.
“It is more of a blind spot rather than a bright spot,” said Cham Perez, CWR’s research coordinator, referring to the statement by President Benigno Aquino 3rd that the Philippines is “Asia’s bright spot” because of the country’s emerging economy.
The President made the remark as he welcomed delegates to the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia on Wednesday.
The forum ended on Friday. Filipino women being consistently in WEF’s top 10 Global Gender Gap report since 2006 and ranking fifth in 2013 does not mean better conditions for them, Perez said.
The Gender Gap Report considers four fundamental categories in rating the countries namely, economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.
“Although these categories are taken into consideration, the report only measures outcome variables and gender equality rather than the internal bases of making women empowered,” Perez said.
“If we examine closely the impact of the country’s economy, availability of education, access to healthcare, and political participation, the results would be different,” she added.
The study refutes the government’s claim of high economic growth as it has not trickled down to benefit women. Based on the CWR study, more than 5.3 million women are unemployed, underemployed or unpaid family workers. More than 2.7 million work as seasonal or casual workers and on a short-term basis, receive wages below the minimum rate.
“Such condition is the effect of the Aquino government’s adherence to the neoliberal framework of development that favors the local and foreign business over people’s interests,” she said.