RP's gender gap ranking highest in Asia — WEF survey

October 13, 2010 7:16 am 

MANILA, Oct. 12 — The Philippines' ranking in a survey that measures the gap between men and women remained the highest country from Asia, according to a World Economic Forum (WEF) report released Tuesday.

The Philippines ranked ninth with a score of 0.7654 in the Switzerland-based group’s Global Gender Gap Index, which measures economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, political empowerment, health and survival of women in 134 countries.

Last year, the country's ranking fell to 9th place from its 6th position for the years 2008, 2007 and 2006

The Index is designed to measure gender-based gaps in access to resources and opportunities in individual countries rather than the actual levels of the available resources and opportunities in those countries.

The Philippines remains the highest ranking country from Asia in the survey. The Philippines ranks 1st on both education and health and is also a very strong performer on economic participation (13th) and political empowerment (17th).

"The Philippines is the only country in Asia this year to have closed the gender gap on both education and health, and is among only eight countries in the world to have done so," WEF said.

WEF said New Zealand, ranking fifth and the Philippines lead the way in the region and are the only two countries from the region to hold places in the top 10 of the global rankings.

Other countries in Southeast Asia like Singapore ranked 56th; Thailand, 57th; Vietnam, 72nd; Indonesia, 87th and Malaysia, 98th.

Nordic countries Iceland ranked first followed by Norway, Finland and Sweden.

WEF said no country in the world has achieved gender equality.

The four highest-ranking countries -— Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden -— have closed a little over 80 percent of their gender gaps.

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of WEF, said low gender gaps are directly correlated with high economic competitiveness.

"Women and girls must be treated equally if a country is to grow and prosper. We still need a true gender equality revolution, not only to mobilize a major pool of talent both in terms of volume and quality, but also to create a more compassionate value system within all our institutions,” Schwab said.

The Global Gender Gap Index was developed in 2006 partially to address the need for a consistent and comprehensive measure for gender equality that can track a country’s progress over time.

The fifth edition of The Global Gender Gap Report reveals the trends observed in the data over the past five years and seeks to call attention to the need for more rapid progress in closing gender gaps.

Out of the 114 countries covered in 2006 to 2010, 98 countries have improved their performance, while 16 of them have widening gaps.

The World Economic Forum is a Geneva-based non-profit foundation, composed of top business leaders, international political leaders, selected intellectuals and journalists. (PNA)

DCT/DGA/utb

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