The Philippines, which has been among the top 10 most gender equal countries since the World Economic Forum report was launched in 2006, only got better this year, as it improved two notches at eighth place.
The country, which placed 10th overall in 2017, made the considerable leap due to its “strong efforts to close the gender gap in political empowerment.”
In a report which was released December, the WEF ranked 149 countries based on 4 categories: labor force participation, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.
The WEF report noted the country has managed to close about 80 percent of the total gender gap, which it said was the “highest value ever recorded” for the Philippines.
It added that the Philippines remained in the top 10 “on the back of strong scores on closing the Political Empowerment gender gap, in particular.”
But at the same time, the WEF said the Philippines still needs to extend more efforts on health and survival category, where there remained a gap for the second consecutive year.
In measuring the health and survival indicator, the WEF studied the differences between women’s and men’s health based on life expectancy. It also studied the phenomenon of “missing women” in countries, including the Philippines, where families prefer to have sons over daughters.
The Philippines actually slid considerably in the health and survival category, when it ranked first 12 years ago in the first year of the report among 115 countries, and now at 42nd out of 149 countries.
The WEF also recorded the countr’s performance in terms of economic participation and opportunity, as wages increased for women’s estimated income and equal pay for similar work.
This year, the Philippines ranked 14th out of 149 countries, per the WEF report,
The report added that the gender gap in equality in terms of educational attainment in the Philippines remained sealed.
In the East Asia and Pacific region, New Zealand holds the top spot as the most gender equal country, placing 7th overall among the top 10 countries in the report.
European countries, meanwhile, took half of the top 10 spots, with Iceland keeping top spot for the 10th consecutive year, followed by Norway, Sweden and Finland.
Nicaragua was ranked fifth, Rwanda sixth, and New Zealand seventh. respectively. Ireland is at 9th place, after the Philippines, while Namibia completed the top 10.