Philippines drops to No. 16 in Gender Gap Report 2020
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has dropped 8 notches in the latest Global Gender Gap report, falling out of the top 10 most gender equal countries to 16th place.
The Philippines, which ranked 8th last year, remained as the most gender equal country in Asia, according to the report, released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Tuesday, December 17.
The report ranked 153 countries based on 4 categories: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.
While the Philippines maintained its position as the most gender equal country in Asia, having closed 78% of its overall gender gap though this is 2 percentage points lower than last year's 80%.
The WEF said that the Philippines significantly closed its gaps in economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, and health and survival.
The Philippines closed 80% of the labor force gap in 2019, as women outnumbered men in senior and leadership roles, and in professional and technical fields.
The country also closed its health and survival gaps, and educational attainment.
"Women can expect to live in good health 5 years longer than men," said WEF.
More women are also enrolled in secondary (71% of women compared to 60% of men) and tertiary education (57% of women compared to 43% of men). Even so, WEF pointed out that "literacy is universal in the Philippines," with literacy rates above 98% for both sexes. (READ: Do Southeast Asia, PH have gender equality in education?)
Wider political empowerment gap
The WEF, however, noted a considerable widening of the political empowerment gap, with the country dropping to 29th place in 2019 from 13th in 2018. The WEF attributed this to the significantly lower female representation in the Duterte Cabinet, dropping from 25% in 2017 to 10% in 2019.
Female representation in Congress also stood at a low 28% in early 2019, the WEF said.
This year's report found that the economic opportunity gap generally worsened across the globe. The projection in 2018 was that the economic opportunity gap would be closed in 202 years; in 2019, this projection was bumped up to 257 years.
The WEF pointed out, though, that improvements in political representation in many countries helped close the overall gender gap.
"It’s also possible that a 'role-model effect' could start to have an impact, as improvements in political representation in some countries have occurred simultaneously with improvements in senior roles in [labor]," the report said.
"Looking ahead, policymakers need to take action to better equip younger generations – particularly in developing nations – with the skills to succeed in the world of future jobs," recommended WEF. It also reiterated the importance of increasing formal education attaintment to close the overall gender gap.
Here are the Top 20 countries and their Gender Gap indices: