Empowering Filipino women through education

Women in important positions are not new or even unusual in the Philippines. Filipino women have been appointed to high government posts as Cabinet members, Supreme Court and lower courts justices, ambassadors, educators, administrators, and heads of business and industrial companies. They have been elected as members of congress, as city and municipal mayors, vice mayors, and councilors, and as officials of local, national, and international organizations.

Education is one of the areas where Filipino women have taken the biggest strides. More women are earning college degrees in the Philippines, resulting in more women professionals in both the public and private sectors.

The National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB), citing data from the National Statistics Office and the 2012 Labor Force Survey, reported on March 20, 2013, that 24.9 percent of Filipino women are completing college, compared to only 21.2 percent of Filipino men. The most common field of study for women is business administration while more men prefer information technology, according to the Commission on Higher Education.

Philippine culture and tradition attach great importance to education as the great equalizer. A survey cited the Philippines as the only country in Asia offering women "expansive rights and the best quality of life," placing it in the top 20 of countries scoring highest in the areas of education, economics, and justice. Filipino women continue to enjoy greater equality than women in other parts of Southeast Asia.

We congratulate the Commission on Higher Education, headed by Chairperson Dr. Patricia B. Licuanan, and the Philippine Commission on Women, led by Chairperson Remedios I. Rikken, in their leading advocacies for women empowerment and gender equality. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!