Just in time for the stunning victory of 2018 Miss Universe Catriona Gray, the World Economic Forum (WEF) released its Global Gender Gap Report 2018.
Out of 149 countries, the Philippines ranked eighth, making it the most gender-equal country in Asia.
According to the report published by the WEF, the country got a score of 0.799, its highest score yet. This means that the gaps between Filipino men and women are almost 80 percent closed. The group considers a score of 1.00 as the perfect score in measuring gender parity.
A perfect score in educational attainment
Similar to last year, the country got a perfect grade of 1.00 in terms of educational attainment, which means that literacy and access to primary, secondary, and tertiary education are available to everyone in the country.
Meanwhile, the Philippines saw a huge improvement in terms of economic participation and opportunity for all sexes.
From 2017’s 76.4 percent, the gap between men and women in terms of financial and economic participation is now 80.1 percent closed. One of the main reasons for the leap in the score is the full gender parity is the rise of women in positions like “legislators, senior officials, and managers.”
Still a gap in healthcare and political empowerment
Although the score remains the same for the health and survival section, the country dropped from last year’s 36th place to this year’s 42nd.
According to the WEF, one of the key factors why the gender gap in healthcare still can’t be closed in the country is the prohibition of “abortion to preserve a woman’s physical health.”
Despite the advances in terms of achieving equality in the Philippines, the country still remains a backwater in terms of political empowerment for women.
“Political Empowerment is where the gender gap remains the widest: only 23% of the political gap—unchanged since last year—has been closed, and no country has yet fully closed political empowerment gaps,” the report said.
“The global Political Empowerment gender gap reflects the low representation of women in all political roles and a particularly sporadic presence of women among heads of state,” the report furthered.
Currently, the Philippines has a score of 41.6 percent. Some of the key indicators include the number of women in key governmental positions like the Congress, the Senate, and the Cabinet. No country has ever fully addressed this inequality as of the moment.
The Global Gender Gap Report was first published by the WEF in 2006 as a means to measure the inequality between men and women across various sectors. As of this year, the most gender-equal country in the world is Iceland, with its gender gap closed by over 85 percent. The said Nordic country is followed by Norway (0.835), Sweden (0.822), Finland (0.821), Nicaragua (0.809), Rwanda (0.804), New Zealand (0.801), Philippines (0.799), Ireland (0.796), and Namibia (0.789).
The 2018 global gender gap is currently at 68 percent.