gender equality
In this Feb. 14, 2018 photo, St. Scholastica's College students dance in unison during the "One Billion Rising" global movement as part of their advocacy against all forms of discrimination and violence against women and children.
The STAR/Michael de Guzman, File

Philippines loses Top 10 slot in latest gender equality ranking, falls 8 spots

Ian Nicolas Cigaral ( - December 17, 2019 - 8:06pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines lost its spot in the top 10 in the new gender equality ranking by the World Economic Forum, which flagged a widening political empowerment gap in the Southeast Asian country.

According to a report by the WEF published Tuesday, the Philippines fell eight notches to 16th place after its score dropped 1.8 percentage points to 78.1.

Despite the decline, the Philippines managed to remain the highest-placed Asian nation and secured the 2nd place regionally.

The Geneva-based organization's annual report tracks disparities between the sexes in 153 countries across four areas: education, health, economic opportunity and political empowerment.

According to the WEF, the Philippines’ performance was "strong" across three of the four dimensions of the index.

The WEF said the Philippines closed 80% of the gender gap in terms of economic opportunity, with women outnumbering men in senior and leadership roles and receiving the compensation that they deserve. The Philippines is one of the four countries to achieve this feat.

Filipino women can also expect to live in good health five years longer than men. The WEF added that more women in the Philippines are enrolled in secondary and tertiary education than men.

But the WEF said that in the Philippines, female representation in the cabinet declined to 10% this year from 25% in 2017, while representation in the parliament slipped to 28% at the beginning of 2019.

Overall, the Nordic countries once again dominated the top of the table: men and women were most equal in Iceland, followed by Norway, Finland and Sweden.

In its report, the WEF said that while women around the world appear to be gradually closing the gender gap in areas such as politics, health and education, workplace inequality is not expected to be erased until the year 2276.

The organization, which gathers the global elite in the plush Swiss ski resort of Davos each year, said that the worldwide gender gap in the workplace had widened further since last year, when parity appeared to be only 202 years off. 

General parity "will take more than a lifetime to achieve," WEF acknowledged in a statement. — with AFP

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