Gender equality: Philippines out of Top 10
The report found that the political empowerment gap in the country has widened considerably over the past two years, which caused its ranking to drop from 13th to 29th.
The STAR/Michael de Guzman, File
Gender equality: Philippines out of Top 10
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - December 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines —With fewer women in key government positions, the Philippines has dropped out of the top 10 most gender-equal countries for the first time.

The report found that the political empowerment gap in the country has widened considerably over the past two years, which caused its ranking to drop from 13th to 29th.

“This downgrade is almost entirely attributable to lower female representation in the Cabinet, which declined from 25 percent to 10 percent between 2017 and 2019,” the World Economic Forum (WEF) said. 

WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020 showed the country fell eight spots to rank 16th out of 153 economies, from last year’s eighth spot out of 149 countries.

This is the first time that the Philippines ranked lower than 10th in the Global Gender Gap Index.

The country’s lowest rank in the index prior to this year’s outcome was when it placed 10th in 2017. It achieved its highest rank in 2013 when it held fifth spot. 

“The Philippines has closed 78 percent of its overall gender gap. Once a member of the top 10 on the Global Gender Gap Index, the country now ranks 16th as a result of a small decline in its score,” the WEF report said.

The Philippines’ overall score of 0.781 ranks second best in East Asia and the Pacific next to New Zealand and is the highest in Asia.

Despite slipping in this year’s ranking, WEF said the Philippines’ performance was strong across three of four dimensions of the index – economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.

The country closed 80 percent of the economic participation and opportunity gender gap, with women outnumbering men in senior and leadership roles, as well as in professional and technical professions – only one of four countries to achieve such a feat. It has also closed both its educational attainment and health and survival gender gaps.

WEF said women in the Philippines could expect to live in good health five years longer than men. A significantly larger share of women is also enrolled in secondary education and tertiary education compared with men.

“Female representation in the parliament was also slightly down and stood at 28 percent at the beginning of 2019,” it added.

Overall, Iceland remained the world’s most gender-equal country, followed by Norway, Finland, Sweden and Nicaragua. Completing the top 10 in this year’s index were New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, Rwanda and Germany.

The Global Gender Gap Index was first introduced by the WEF in 2006 as a framework for capturing the magnitude of gender-based disparities and tracking their progress over time. It benchmarks national gender gaps on economic, education, health and political criteria.

GENDER GENDER EQUALITY SEXUAL ORIENTATION GENDER IDENTITY EXPRESSION SOGIE SOGIE BILL
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