Gender gap further narrows as more female OFWs remit

Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - March 12, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The gender gap for sending digital money transfers to the Philippines has rapidly closed by almost 20 percent in five years amid a huge uptake in online money transfer service among Filipino women abroad, a study conducted by WorldRemit showed.

To mark International Women’s Day, the leading online money transfer service provider said the gender gap of customers sending to the Philippines has narrowed to 30 percent in 2018 from 50 percent in 2014.

WorldRemit said the proportion of females sending digital money transfers to the Philippines increased to 35 percent in 2018 from 25 percent in 2014.

“The proportion of females sending digital money transfers to the Philippines via WorldRemit has grown by 10 percent, compared to the global average of seven percent,” the company said.

Michael Liu, managing director for Asia-Pacific at WorldRemit, said women play an increasingly vital role in the development of the Philippines by sending money home to support education, cover healthcare costs, make investments, and more.

“Ensuring digital inclusion for financial services for Filipino women living at home and abroad is critically important, as we know that when women thrive, families, businesses and local economies thrive too,” Liu said.

Despite the global gender gap, female overseas workers from the Philippines send a greater share of remittances compared to their male counterparts, and they rank education as the most important reason for sending remittances.

Of the 10 million Filipinos currently working abroad, approximately 55 percent are now women with many living in countries such as the US, Australia and New Zealand.

Filipinos living abroad sent home a record $33 billion in 2018, making the Philippines the third largest remittance receiving country in the globe. This makes up about 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, the highest share in the region.

“Money sent from mothers, sisters and aunts living abroad helps millions of families in the Philippines pay for essential needs such as healthcare and education,” WorldRemit said. 

Globally, women represent approximately half of all remittance senders and tend to send a higher proportion of their income despite earning less than men.

Evidence suggests that, although female migrants tend to earn less than their male counterparts, they send a higher proportion of their income home more frequently.

WorldRemit customers complete over 1.3 million transfers every month from over 50 countries to over 145 destinations including the Philippines.

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