An article published in the May 18-19, 2018 issue of Business World entitled “PHL leads Asia Pacific on gender equality in work” shows the results of a study done by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), the research arm of McKinsey & Co. The MGI report says that an equal chance for Filipino women in the workplace and in society could translate into a 7% increase in the country’s economic growth or $40 billion a year by 2025. MGI calculated the Gender Parity Score (GPS) for all Asia Pacific countries based on 15 identified indicators. Ten out of the 15 indicators fall under the category of gender equality in society, namely: unmet need for family planning; maternal mortality; education level; financial inclusion; digital inclusion; legal protection index; political representation; sex ratio at birth; child marriage; and violence against women. The remaining five gender equality indicators under the work category are: labor-force participation; professional and technical jobs; perceived wage gap for similar work; leadership positions; and unpaid care work. The Philippines is the region’s leader when it comes to gender equality in work, having a GPS of 0.73 while the regional average is 0.44. This is a reflection of women’s participation in professional and technical jobs (F/M ratio of 1.42), and in leadership positions (F/M ratio of 0.96) in the country. The Philippines is also said to be the best in Asia-Pacific in terms of education and financial inclusion, having an F/M ratio of 1.00 on both indicators, and near best in the region on sex ratio at birth (1.06 M/F ratio) and child marriage (2% of girls and young women).

The MGI report also states that there are regional variations on gender inequality within the country, which partly reflect a decentralized policy. Labor force participation rate is highest in Central Visayas with an F/M ratio of 0.74 and lowest in ARMM with an F/M ratio of 0.41. In terms of professional and technical jobs Western Visayas has the highest F/M ratio with 2.19 while the lowest in the country is National Capital Region with F/M ratio of 1.13. Socio-economic status is said to affect the experience of women in the Philippines, with lower-income women confronting considerable gender gaps and less opportunity. Also, education is said to be a strength for women in the country as there is scope for higher representation and equal pay in professional and technical field.

SOURCE: McKinsey Global Institute analysis

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