by Asher Ayeras
The Philippines has once again secured the title of being the country with the closest gender gap in Asia.
According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2020 of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the country has already closed 78.1% of its overall gender gap, though this figure suffered a 1.8% decline compared to 2018.
This places the Philippines in the 16th spot globally. Though the country dropped by eight notches compared in 2018, it remains to be way ahead of other developed nations like the United Kingdom (21st), the United States (53rd), South Korea (108th), and Japan (121st).
The country is also the sole Asian nation to make it in the top 40, with the second one, Laos, ranking at 43.
Women are more likely to be boss in PH
According to a separate 2019 data by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Philippines is among the five nations where females are holding more managerial roles than males (the other four being Jordan, Saint Lucia, Botswana, and Honduras).
The report notes that women tend to work on sectors at the backbone of Philippine businesses and economy: human resources, administration, finance, and public relations.
Women, men are near-equal in education, health
The Philippines also excelled in two other subindices of the WEF Report.
In fact, the county got a near-perfect score in Educational Attainment and Health & Survival, which are 99.9% and 97.9%, respectively.
The report emphasized that women are expected to healthily live five years longer than men, and more women are receiving essential education than men.
Women in politics dropped
The only subindex which the Philippines slumped is in women’s involvement in politics, where the country suffered a 6.3% drop.
While the number of female senators in the 18th Congress increased, the number of local female politicians plunged.
It did not also help that in recent years, President Rodrigo Duterte preferred to appoint retired police and military generals, mostly men, to top cabinet posts.
However, this situation is poised to improve as three out of seven potential frontrunners in the 2022 Presidential Elections are women. They are Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, Senator Grace Poe, and Vice President Leni Robredo.
PH committed to promoting gender parity
Philippine Council for Women (PCW) Chairperson Rhodora Bucoy declared that the country would continue its crusade for equal opportunities, regardless of sex.
“The Philippines’ ranking may have dropped but this will not discourage but rather motivate us even more to work on breaking gender-based stereotypes and misogyny so that women are given equal opportunities with men,” Bucoy said.
In the spirit of National Women’s Month, President Duterte himself agreed that women are essential in the growth of society.
“The government recognizes the role of women in nation-building and upholding the fundamental equality before the law of both genders,” he said.
However, this taped speech of Duterte is in stark contrast to his impromptu address weeks earlier where he claimed that ‘the presidency is not for women’ because “the emotional setup of a woman and a man are different.”
Gender parity, far from achieved?
The same WEF report predicts that gender parity will not be achieved until 2120 — or almost 100 years later.
Fortunately, recent strides in closing this gap have paid off, especially in Latin America and Northern Europe. Meanwhile, the WEF highlights that male-centric culture persists in most of Africa and Asia (with the Philippines noted as “an obvious outlier”). The Global Gender Gap Report, which was first introduced in 2006, is an independent assessment of global parity measurement aimed at creating awareness for equal opportunities between