Philippines tops gender equality in Asia, improves global ranking

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com
Philippines tops gender equality in Asia, improves global ranking
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

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines remains as the country with the narrowest gender gap in Asia, according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2018 of the World Economic Forum (WEF) released Tuesday.

The Philippines also improved three notches in its world ranking from 10th place last year (0.790) to seventh place this year (0.799).

The Global Gender Gap Report evaluates 149 countries on their progress in gender parity through economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival and politicial empowerment.

The best score for each indicator was one while the worst score was zero.

The Philippines scored the highest in educational attainment with a perfect score of 1 and ranking 1st, fully closing the gender gap in this key pillar.

For political empowerment, the country ranked 13th with a score of 0.416, 14th in economic participation and opportunity with 0.801 and 42nd in health and survival with 0.979.

Iceland remains the most gender neutral country in the world with 0.858, followed by Norway (0.835), Sweden (0.822), Finland (0.821), Nicaragua (0.809), Rwanda (0.804) and New Zealand (0.801).

Ranking 9th and 10th are Ireland (0.796) and Namibia (0.789), respectively.

In the East Asia and the Pacific region, New Zealand and the Philippines scored the highest. Southeast Asian countries that entered the region's top 10 are Lao PDR (26th, 0.748), Singapore (67th, 0.707), Thailand (73rd, 0.702), Vietnam (77th, 0.698), Indonesia (85th, 0.691) and Myanmar (88th, 0.690).

"Home of two of the overall Index’s top 10 performers, and with an average remaining gender gap of 31.7 percent, East Asia and the Pacific scores in the middle of the range," the report read.

Among the G20 group of developing countries, France scored the highest with 0.779, ranking 12th worldwide. Other powers scored poorly — China (103rd, 0.673), India (108th, 0.665), Japan (110th, 0.662) and South Korea (115th, 0.657).

The WEF noted that only four countries in the East Asia and Pacific region have fully closed their education attainment gender gap while more than half of the other countries have closed the gap for professional and technical workers. This means that tertiary-educated, higher-skilled women have been integrated into the labor force.

The world has closed about 68 percent of its gender gap as measured from the four key pillars of the WEF report.

"At the current rate of change, the data suggest that it will take 108 years to close the overall gender gap and 202 years to bring about parity in the workplace," the WEF said.

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