Gender equality in work has been a very disputatious topic throughout history. Ever since the issue was first brought up in 1942, the gender pay gap has narrowed but remained relatively stable over the past decade. As to why this is happening, economists state that it is due to a number of reasons namely: differences in occupation between men and women, motherhood and sadly even discrimination. Although experts are unable to pinpoint the main reason, what’s certain is that leveling the gender pay gap will have multiple economic benefits. Reducing the pay gap is one of the most sizeable economic opportunities for any country and the Philippines is no different. According to MGI (2018), with the best-in-region scenario, achieving gender parity in the Philippines could translate into a 7% or $40 billion increase in annual GDP by 2025.
Gender Equality in the Philippines
Unlike in neighboring countries wherein the roles of women in their society were household chores and child rearing, the equal status of women in the Philippine archipelago was very evident. Before Spanish colonization, the indigenous people of the region showed great reverence for women and they were able to own or inherit family property, engage in trade, fight as warriors and even hold positions as religious leaders. This perspective however, was challenged due to the Spanish colonization that brought largely patriarchal ideals and institutions. However, after centuries under colonial rule, the country’s matriarchal roots remained largely intact.
The Filipino society’s ideology on the specific roles each family member plays also contributes to the gender equality of the country. In the family, the mother is often seen as the one who plays the dominant role in running the household. Also it is evident that parents have higher expectations for their daughters in terms of becoming successful in the future. The constant presence of family members and domestic helpers is also considered another factor as to why women are able to balance both their career and family life.
According to MGI (2018), the Philippines is the most gender equal work place in Asia. Scoring a 0.73 on the gender equality in work scale, the South-East Asian country has equalled the Global best rating and is very far in comparison to the Asia Pacific average rating of only 0.44.
Effect of Gender Parity on the Economy
Decreased Voluntary Unemployment
Reliance on OFW’s for income
Increasing wages of women will motivate more people to go out and look for jobs
Talk about how a lot of people voluntarily decide not to work due to low pay and not enough opportunities as male.
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