Philippines ranks 6th in World Bank on gender equalityPosted on July 27th, 2012 under The Good Balita
The Philippines ranks sixth out of 129 countries in gender equality, a World Bank (WB) study showed.
But WB country director Motoo Konishi said there are a lot of challenges remain despite the country’s advancement in gender equality.
“The maternal mortality rate is still very disturbing, cultural differences among the indigenous people still discriminate against women and of course, the prevailing poor economic conditions threatened by increasing natural disasters,” Konishi said at the formal launching last Thursday of the study entitled “Toward Gender Equality in East Asia and the Pacific.”
Konishi added that economic growth would not be sustainable unless the Philippine government puts in place more policies that encourage gender equality.
The WB report said worker productivity in the Philippines and the rest of the East Asia and the Pacific region has the potential of expanding by 18 percent if women are given wider space.
WB lead economist and principal author of the report Andrew Mason said East Asia and the Pacific region is vast and diverse, with large differences in economic and social progress, including toward gender equality.
“In some ways, women in the region are better positioned today than ever before to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from development. But much more needs to be done,” Mason said.
The report noted that Filipino women only get 76 percent of what men earn. Also, women in the Philippines and the rest of the region are more likely to work in small firms, the informal sector and lower-paid sectors.
“Healthier, better educated mothers have healthier, better educated children. So if we can make the right decisions and allocate the right resource now, we are also investing in the next generation of Filipinos,” the report said.
Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman, for her part, said much remains to be done even though the Philippines has achieved much in encouraging gender equality.
“If human beings were discriminated according to gender, then development is incomplete,” Soliman said.
She said of the 7.4 million underemployed in the country, 32.4 percent or 2.4 million are women, while 67.6 percent or 5 million are men.
Soliman also noted that a woman heads one in every five families and has more income compared to a male-headed family.
“In addition, these female heads are more highly educated than the male-led families,” she said.
Soliman said majority of micro-borrowers are women, as they are considered more credit-worthy than their male counterparts.
She said the Philippines is also known globally for having two female heads of state.
“However, men continue to dominate majority of the senior posts in electoral positions where women account for only 23.2 percent,” she said.
(Story courtesy of Ted Torres of the Philippine Star)