Saturday, April 20, 2013

Philippines among most gender equal nations

The World Bank identified the Philippines as a world leader in gender equality, particularly in the fields of legislation, management and government.

In its World Development Indicators report released on Thursday, the international organization cited latest data showing that 55 percent of Filipino lawmakers, senior officials and managers are female.

The number, taken from 2007 to 2011 statistics, is the highest in the World Bank report with data from 88 countries.

The Philippines is among the two only countries in the world with more women than men in the said professions, using the International Labour Organization's standard classification of occupations.

Although the report said that gender inequality is most prevalent in developing countries, the Philippines, a lower middle income nation, is one exception.

"The share of women in high-skilled occupations ... indicates women's status and role in the labor force and society at large," the report explained.

Following the Philippines' lead is The Bahamas, a chain of island in the Caribbean, with 52 percent of leaders who are female.

Barbados, another island country in the Caribbean, is in relatively far third with 47 percent.

Ranking fourth is Latvia with women landing in 45 percent of top occupations, while the Cayman Islands are fifth with 44 percent.

The United States, the largest economy in the world, is tied with Latin American country Puerto Rico with 43 percent.

Indonesia, one of the Philippines' peer in Southeast Asis for one, only records 22 percent of high government and business positions given to women.

The world's most gender unequal nations in the world include those that have a dominant Muslim population, the lowest being Pakistan with women occupying only 3 percent of seats in legislation, governance and management.

Also at the bottom of the scale are Azerbaijan (7 percent), Lebanon (8 percent) and Saudi Arabia (8 percent).

"These patterns of inequality begin at an early age, with boys routinely receiving a larger share of education and health spending than girls, for example," World Bank said in the report.

The study, World Bank said, is a compilation of "relevant, high-quality and internationally comparable statistics about global development."

Other indicators cited in the report under people development are prevalence of malnutrition, HIV, unemployment and underemployment, as well as maternal mortality, adolescent fertility and under-five mortality.-The Philippine Star (April 20, 2013)

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