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Philippines No. 1 in gender equality in Asia; 7th in world

The World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Gender Gap Report 2016 showed the Philippines closing nearly 79 percent of its gender gap.

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines kept its spot as the world’s seventh most gender-equal society among 144 economies and remained the highest-ranked country in the Asia-Pacific region.

The World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Gender Gap Report 2016 showed the Philippines closing nearly 79 percent of its gender gap.

“Impressively, this year it has re-closed its educational gender gap which opened up again for the first time in 2015. It is also ranked first worldwide for having fully closed its health and survival gap, as well as for the number of professional and technical workers in our economic pillar,” the WEF said.

The country, however, saw its gender gap widen among its legislators, senior officials and managers.

“It has slipped back over the past 12 months in our measurement. This was closed entirely in 2015 but reopened this year,” the WEF said.

“Also, progress since 2006 when we first started measuring the gender gap has been slow. Philippines has closed just three percent of its gap in this time, and has actually fallen one place in our Global Gender Gap Index ranking (from 2006),” it added.

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The Global Gender Gap Index ranks 144 countries on the gap between women and men on health, education, economic and political indicators.

It aims to understand whether countries are distributing their resources and opportunities equitably between women and men, irrespective of their overall income levels.

For the Philippines’ score card this year, it ranked first globally in terms of educational attainment and the health and survival indicators.

However, it ranked 17th in the political empowerment indicator and 21st in the economic participation and opportunity indicator.

Globally, Iceland remained on top of the Gender Gap Index, followed by Finland, Norway, Sweden and Rwanda.

In East Asia and the Pacific, only the Philippines and New Zealand (9th) made it to the top 10. Economic heavyweights in the region such as China, Japan and Korea ranked 99th, 111th and 116th, respectively.

The WEF said economic parity between the sexes globally could take 170 years, given the dramatic slowdown in progress.

“The world is facing an acute misuse of talent by not acting faster to tackle gender inequality, which could put economic growth at risk and deprive economies of the opportunity to develop,” it said.

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