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PH is 8th worldwide in gender equality, says study


The Philippines improved its ranking in gender equality, placing 8th worldwide and number one in Asia, according to an international study.

The World Economic Forum ranked 135 countries based on their national gender gaps on economic, political, education- and health-based criteria.

According to its Global Gender Gap 2011 report, on a scale of 0 as inequality and 1 as equality, the country got a perfect score of 1 in educational attainment and health and survival.

Lauding the Philippines’ high position, Senator Edgardo Angara, chair of the Senate committee on education, pointed out that females even outnumber males enrolled in college.

Gender gap not completely closed

Meanwhile, the country got an almost passing grade of 0.763 in economic participation and opportunity but failed in political empowerment with a score of 0.331.

“We have not completely closed the gender gap, however. In the workplace, for example, there are still more men in positions of authority, while a lot of women are hired as informal employees with no benefits,” said Angara in a statement Friday.

The Philippines has improved its ranking from number 9 last year.

“This gradual but continuous improvement in the country’s gender equality indicators is a big step towards accomplishing the third Millennium Development Goal by 2015,” Angara said.

The third goal is to eliminate gender disparity in education as well as to provide equal opportunities in employment.

Best and worst countries

According to the World Economic Forum, the Global Gender Gap Index is a framework for capturing the magnitude and scope of gender-based disparities and tracking their progress.

European countries dominated the top of the list with Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Ireland in the Top 5.

U.K. and the U.S. ranked 16th and 17th, respectively, lower than South Africa at number 14.

Countries in the Asia and Pacific region following the Philippines include Sri Lanka (31), Australia (23), Singapore (57), Thailand (60) and China (61).

Uzbekistan, in Central Asia, is at the bottom of the gender equality list.

The international organization added that “the rankings are designed to create greater awareness among a global audience of the challenges posed by gender gaps and the opportunities created by reducing them.”

In September, the Philippines was also labeled the best country in Asia for women by an international magazine (Yahoo! Southeast Asia NewsroomBy Shielo Mendoza)

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