The Philippines Is the Eighth Most Gender-Equal Country in 2018

But we all know there's a lot more work that needs to be done.

ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) The World Economic Forum released its annual Global Gender Gap Report on December 18, and according to the report, the Philippines closed its gender gap even further in 2018, demonstrating improvement in various indicators compared to 2017. Given its performance, the Philippines remains the most gender-equal country in Asia and eighth in the world, up two spots from its 2017 ranking.

The country has consistently been at the top of the rankings for several years, placing seventh in 2015 and 2016. According to the report, the Philippines is one of only five countries that have achieved full parity in political and economic leadership. Increases in wage equality and women’s estimated earned income mean the country has also narrowed its economic participation and opportunity gender gap. Moreover, the gender gap in educational attainment in the Philippines remains close, with both men and women having the same literacy and enrollment rates.

Still, a considerable gap in political empowerment remains. This means that fewer women than men hold key positions at the highest level of political decision making (we think Gloria Arroyo might disagree).

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The findings of the report may be some cause for celebration (or at least some approving applause), but we all know that, even though the report’s indicators seem to suggest that equality between men and women in the country is growing, attitudes that penalize women persist; women continue to be blamed for violence wrought against them, for example, and they are still expected to bear much of the load of parenting, housework, and emotional labor. Clearly, Philippine society still needs to do better.

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