• Hail to thee, women of the world

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    Last March 8 was International Women’s Day but here in the Philippines, it is a whole month of celebrations led by the Philippine Commission on Women. And since I take pride in being a woman, I cannot let the month end without this column putting in a few.

    Some fast facts taken from an article: (http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231981)

    In 1950, only one in three women joined the workforce. Today, 41% of women were the primary breadwinners in their families.

    In 1972, 96% of businesses were owned by men and only 4% by women. Today, one in three businesses in the U.S. is owned by a woman and there are 23 women CEOs in the top Fortune 500.

    In the 1900’s, only 23 PhDs were awarded to women. Today, 67% of college graduates are women and 51% of PhDs in the U.S. are women.

    I was looking at our own statistics at the website of the National Commission on Women and it seems like data is outdated and lacking. Only a few bright spots.

    As of July 2010, the %age of licensed professional women was higher at 63.7 % than licensed professional men at 36.3 % (1,860,901 vs. 1,060,404). Of the total 1,860,901 professional women, teachers accounted for the highest %age at 44 % (819,377), followed by nurses at 27 % (504,902). Among the women – dominated professions, midwives top the list followed by nutri-Dietitians, social workers, pharmacists, librarians, guidance counselors, dental hygienists, interior designers, teachers, and nurses.

    In the school year 2008-2009, data revealed that 89.58 % of the public elementary school teachers are female; only 10.42 % are male teachers. In the public secondary schools, 77.06 % are female; only 22.94 % are male teachers.The 2007 Census of Population also shows that about 3 out of 5 persons (63.3 %) in the household population 5 to 24 years old had attended school at anytime during the School Year 2007 to 2008. School attendance was higher among females (64.0 % of all females aged 5 to 24 years) than among males (62.7 % of all males aged 5 to 24 years) during the said school year.

    Other census findings are that, among those with academic degrees, there were more females (56.2 %) than males (43.8 %). Similarly, among those with post baccalaureate courses, females (56.3 %) outnumbered males (43.7 %).

    Meantime, in the 2010 Labor Force Survey, female unemployment rate for the same period was relatively lower at 6.7% which is equivalent to 1.03 million compared to the male unemployment rate at 7.4% which is estimated at 1.8 million.

    The October 2010 LFS shows that employed males who completed high school or elementary are estimated at 26.7 % and 15.9 % respectively, higher than that of employed females at 25.2 % and 14.4 % respectively. Among employed females, 21.5 % finished college which is higher compared with employed males at 10.6 %.

    The October 2010 LFS estimated a total of 5 million women laborers and unskilled workers and 6.7 million of their male counterpart. Women farmers, forestry workers, and fisherfolks were estimated at 839 thousand compared to 5.1 million men in the same occupation group. Likewise, women government officials, corporate executives, managing proprietors, managers and supervisors were estimated at 2.5 million while men in the same group were estimated at 2.4 million.

    Of the total 14.2 million employed women in October 2010, around 7.5 million (53.0%) were wage and salary workers; 3.9 million (27.7%) were self employed without any paid employee; and around 327 thousand (2.3%) were employer in own family-operated farm or business. As to the 22.3 million employed men, 12.3 million (55.0%) were wage and salary workers; 7.1 million (31.8%) were self employed without any paid employee; and

    1.1 million (4.8%) were employer in own family-operated farm or business.

    Contrary to the standard, not all employed women and men were paid. There is, in fact, a considerable number of unpaid family workers. In October 2010, unpaid family workers in own family-operated farm or business were estimated at 4.3 million. Of the total figures, 2.4 million (56.7%) were women while only 1.8 million (43.3%) were men.

    From these data alone, it would be hard to make an analysis of whether government interventions are working or not. There may also be questions if all data captured are complete to give a whole accurate picture. To this end, the DTI through the Philippines business name registration for single proprietorship has will be disaggregating gender data to find out how many women entrepreneurs there are to date. But what is clear at this point is a lot of work remains to be done to uplift the standards of living of our women.

    God is Great!

    thelmadm@yahoo.com

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