Philippines Top In Women’s Advancement

The Philippines ranks third in women's socioeconomic standing, next to New Zealand and Australia, in the Worldwide Index of Women's Advancement released by global financial firm MasterCard on March 7, 2013. The index measures the women's socioeconomic standing in 14 Asia-Pacific countries. The Philippines has an overall gender parity score of 70.5 points this means there are 70.5 females for every 100 males in both government and private sector. New Zealand has 77.8 points, and Australia 76 points.

The Philippines overall score is higher than those of its neighbors in Southeast Asia - Singapore, 67.5 points; Vietnam, 64.4; Thailand, 61.3; Indonesia, 56.5; and Malaysia, 54.3. Other scores were Taiwan, 64.7; Hong Kong, 63.3; China, 61.5; Korea, 49.7; Japan, 48.1; and India, 38.

The annual index compares the socioeconomic level of women to men in education, employment, and leadership. A perfect score of 100 indicates gender equality between men and women, less than 100 is in favor of men, and over 100 is in favor of women. Access to education is the area where the Philippines had the highest score: 107.5 for secondary education and 128.4 in tertiary education. Education continues the banner indicator for gender equality, indicating that opportunity and achievement are equal or may even be better for Filipino women.

The Philippines also scored high in women's workforce participation (63) and regular employment (93.4). Filipino women get better employment opportunities, higher education, and equal representation in business and government than most in Asia-Pacific. The country ranked fourth in terms of overall employment with 76.7 score, behind New Zealand, Australia and Taiwan. The index showed there are still fewer women leaders in business and government. Except for New Zealand, the rest had fewer than 50 women leaders for every 100 male leaders. Only Australia (49.7) and the Philippines (45.6) came close to gender parity.

We congratulate the Philippine Commission on Women, headed by Chairperson Remedios I. Rikken and Executive Director Emmeline L. Verzosa, and other Officers, in their programs and policies that ensure Filipino women's full integration in socioeconomic and cultural development in the Republic of the Philippines. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!