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#WeAreWomen: How Gender Equal Is The Philippines Compared To The Rest Of The World?

Being a woman in the Philippines is a downright pain in the behind. The never-ending cat calls, the universal kababae mong tao line, and the still increasing sexual harassment cases display how women are still so much less powerful and inferior to men (or so many think).

But surprisingly, the Philippines ranks in the top 10 countries all over the world who has managed to close the gender gap in the health, academic, economic, and political landscapes.

According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2017 by the World Economic Forum, out of the 144 countries surveyed and studied, the Philippines made it as the top 10 most gender-equal country in the whole world. It is also the only Southeast Asian country who has made it in to the top 10 list.

While this looks like a cause for celebration (Hoorah, we're actually doing pretty good at something!), It should be noted that the 2017 ranking is 3 spots down from the previous year. In 2016, Philippines ranked 7th in WEF's Gender Gap index, consistently moving in between tops 5 to 9 since 2006. When compared with the previous years, 2017 is actually the Philippines's worst yet in more than 10 years.

One of the biggest culprits in this slide lies in the workplace. According to the report, the wage gap between men and women for the same kind of work done worsened significantly in 2017, dropping from 7th to 21st. This means that there is still significant bias towards men in the workplace, leading to higher compensation and rewards.

Political empowerment has also stayed lowed, as more men still run and make it to key government positions.

An area of particular citation, however, is women’s educational attainment in the Philippines. In fact, the Philippines has managed to stay on top of the list when it comes to the equality of academic opportunities between men and women for more than 10 years! According to WEF’s data, women have even fared well against men when it comes to literacy rate and the number of enrolled women in primary, secondary, and tertiary education.


On a global scale, the gender gap is still quite a ways from getting closed. The average remaining distance to gender parity still stands at 32 percent, which is worse than 2016’s 31.7 percent. According to the data that has been accumulated by the WEF for years, the rate of the gender gap development is still too slow that if it continues at this pace, the gap can’t be closed for another 217 years.

While several countries are making strides to bringing gender equality in different sectors of our lives, the efforts are still not enough. There is definitely no excuse for the kind of inequality and harassment women still suffer from everyday, may it come from tradition, religion, or whatever global trend.