Philippines crowned Asia’s most gender-equal in WEF report
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Philippines crowned Asia’s most gender-equal in WEF report

THE Philippines has topped the list of countries in Asia for gender parity, according to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) latest Global Gender Gap Report.

At eighth spot in the top 10 of 149 countries assessed, the Philippines rose two spots from last year closing just under 80 of its overall gender gap, the highest value for the country ever recorded by the Index.

“It manages to narrow its Economic Participation and Opportunity gender gap due to increases in wage equality for similar work and women’s estimated earned income,” the report released on Tuesday said.

“The country’s Health and Survival gender gap remains open for a second year, although its Educational Attainment gender gap remains fully closed.”

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When it came to political leadership, the report pointed out that globally, there were just 17 countries in the world that currently have women as heads of state, while, on average, just 18 percent of ministers and 24 percent of parliamentarians globally are women.

Similarly, it said women hold just 34 percent of managerial positions across the countries where data is available, and less than 7 percent in the four worst-performing countries; Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Pakistan).

However, the Philippines was identified as among the bright spots where “significant progress” has been achieved.

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Filipino women cast their votes at a polling center in Manila on May 9, 2016 during the presidential and vice presidential elections. Source: AFP

Apart from the Philippines, full parity on this indicator is already a reality in Bahamas, Colombia, Jamaica, Lao PDR, and in another 19 countries there are at least 40 percent of women in managerial positions, the WEF said.

Iceland was identified as the most gender-equal country, after closing over 85 percent of its overall gender gap, followed by Norway (83.5 percent), Sweden and Finland (82.2 percent).

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East Asia and the Pacific

The region scored in the middle of the range of the Global Gender Gap Index with an average remaining gender gap of 31.7 percent.

The report noted that differences in gender gap size between the highest-ranked and lowest-ranked countries in the region is about 6.5 percent for ‘Educational Attainment’ and 6.5 percent for ‘Health and Survival’.

To date, only four out of 18 countries in the region have fully closed their Education Attainment gender gap, but more than half of the countries in the region have closed the gender gap for professional and technical workers, indicating a “relatively successful integration of tertiary educated, higher-skilled women into the labour force.”

“In general, the East Asia and the Pacific region is characterized by relatively high female labour force participation, which translates into a comparatively high regional average on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex.”

 

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