Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz expressed elation over the 2015 Global Gender Gap Index Report showing that the Philippines has climbed two notches in gender equality, given the country’s improvement in terms of economic participation and opportunity.
The Philippines rose to No. 7 among 145 countries globally and remains the highest-ranked country in the Asia-Pacific region.
“This is surprise good news ushering in the New Year. The Philippines jumped to seventh place from last year’s ninth in this year’s Global Gender Gap Index. The Philippines and New Zealand are the only Asia-Pacific countries [that]made it to the Top 10,” Baldoz said.
Since 2006, the Philippines has been consistent in making the Top 10 global ranking in the Global Gender Gap Index of the World Economic Forum (WEF), a report that studies the gap between women and men based on four main indicators: health and survival, educational attainment, economic participation and political empowerment.
The 2015 Global Gender Gap Index ranks 145 economies according to how well they are leveraging their female talent pool, revealing a pattern of change around the world relative to the 109 continuously covered countries’ own past performance and in relation to each other.
Under the economic participation and opportunity pillar, the Philippines ranked first among countries with more professional and technical workers, with 63 females to 37 males ratio.
It also placed 10th in wage equality for same work indicator, scoring 0.80 percent.
“The Philippines is now the third highest ranked Asian nation, behind Singapore and Lao PDR under the said pillar,” the report said.
The country, however, lags behind the labor force participation indicator with a rank of 107th and scoring 0.65, or a ratio of 53 females to 81 males in the country’s labor force.
The WEF report pointed out that the share of women in wage employment in the country’s non-agricultural sector is only 41 percent, while that in the informal economy is only 45 percent.
The report also stated that the Philippines had shown significant improvement in the political empowerment area, citing a higher number of women officials in government.
It pointed out that while the country’s health and survival gender gap was closed, educational attainment gender gap has expanded slightly.
The WEF report said the Philippines has closed 79 of its gender gaps, by far the highest in any Asian country.
Iceland remained the most gender-equal country in this year’s list, followed by Norway, Finland, Sweden and Ireland.
Rwanda ranked sixth, followed by the Philippines at seventh, with Switzerland, Slovenia and New Zealand completing the Top 10 worldwide.
In Asia and the Pacific, the countries that made it to the Top 10 aside from the Philippines and New Zealand were Australia, Lao PDR, Singapore, Mongolia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.
These other Asia Pacific countries, however, ranked 30th place and below in the global index.