Philippines Ranks 8th in Gender Equality

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With Filipino women and men enjoying the same access to education, the Philippines ranks eighth this year among 135 countries with the least gender gap, according to the 2011 Global Gender Gap rankings by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum.

From ninth place last year, the Philippines , with a score of 0.768, remains in the top 10 countries. The world rankings are aimed at increasing the awareness of countries on the importance of closing the gender gap, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The annual survey shows that four Nordic countries—Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden—lead the world again in promoting equality of the sexes. Other countries in the top 10 are Ireland (5th), New Zealand (6th), Denmark (7th), Lesotho (9th) and Switzerland (10th).

Countries in the bottom 10 are Nepal (126th), Oman (127th), Benin (128th), Morocco (129th), Cote d’Ivoire (130th), Saudi Arabia (131st), Mali (132nd), Pakistan (133rd), Chad (134th) and Yemen (135th).

The Philippines performed favorably in the four categories that determine gender gap. These are (1) educational attainment, (2) health and survival, (3) economic participation and opportunity, and (4) political empowerment. It got the perfect score of 1, thus grabbing the first rank, for the first two categories. For the first category, the Philippines shares the top rank with 21 other countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Australia.

The Philippines’ favorable performance in the first category comes amid official reports that the number of females who attend primary, secondary and tertiary education is about the same as that of males. (In certain levels, females outnumber males.)

The United States ranked 19th out of 134 countries. It tied for first with 21 other countries that received a perfect score in the educational attainment category. It ranked sixth in economic participation and opportunity. But it ranked low in health and survival (38th) and political empowerment (40th). The health and survival category looks at the gaps between life expectancies and sex ratios. The political empowerment category measures female representation in government and other decision-making structures.