MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines ranked the highest among Asian nations and 17th out of 156 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index 2021 report released on Tuesday by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The country garnered a score of 78.4% in the annual gender gap index. It dropped one place from its previous position last year and is second-best in the East Asia and Pacific region behind 7th placer New Zealand.
The WEF lauded the Philippines for closing its gaps on Educational Attainment and Health and Survival categories. The country got a score of 99.9% and 97.9%, respectively, in these standards.
The WEF also reported that the Philippines is among the 18 countries in the world which have closed at least 79.5% of the Economic Participation and Opportunity gaps.
“This result is due in part to the fact that the Philippines is one of the few countries that has closed at the same time its gender gap in senior roles, and in professional and technical roles,” the WEF said in its report.
The international economic group pointed out that less than half of Filipino women, or 49.1% to be exact, are in the job market. Wage and income gaps are yet to be closed in the Philippines, according to the report.
“Women should be incentivized to participate more in the broader labor force,” the report reads.
Political empowerment in the Philippines has not yet been bridged with a 36. 2% gap rating, despite the country having two female heads of state for the past 50 years. Only 28% of women hold parliamentary positions in the country and some 13% as ministers.
In its global report, the WEF estimated that attaining global gender parity will take nearly 136 years, up from its previous estimate of almost 100 years.
Women have lost jobs at higher rates than men during the pandemic, and they’re being rehired at a slower rate than men as the economy bounces back. When schools and other care facilities closed, women “disproportionately” took on childcare, housework, and the care of elders.
“Progress towards gender parity is stalling in several large economies and industries,” the WEF warned. “This is partly due to women being more frequently employed in sectors hardest hit by lockdowns combined with the additional pressures of providing care at home.”
The COVID-19 pandemic is also speeding up the adoption of automation and digitization. Women are underrepresented in sectors that are protected against this shift, like cloud computing, engineering, and artificial intelligence.
SOURCE: CNN Philippines