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PIA Press Release

RP joins circle of 12 countries to have closed gender gap

9th where women are least discriminated in the world

Tacloban City (October 29) -- The Philippines is among only 12 nations in the world that has closed the gender gap on both education and health, the result of the latest World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Index, showed.

The Philippines placed ninth in the top 10 ranking of countries where women face the least discrimination and is the only Asian country in the top ten.

The WEF's Global Gender Gap Index measures economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, political empowerment, health and survival of women in 134 countries.

It was observed that the ranking of the Philippines was pulled down because of the political participation component where it scored 19. It will have a chance to increase the score next year because of the 2010 elections. But only if more women will be elected into various positions in governance.

Among Asian countries, Sri Lanka was the next best performer, ranking 16th due to its "privileged position having the best performance in the region regarding political empowerment".

Two southern African states—South Africa and Lesotho—have leapt into the list. South Africa sprang from 22 to number six, while Lesotho climbed from 16 to number 10 in the WEF's Global Gender Gap Index.

The WEF reported that "the latest data reveal that South Africa made significant improvements in female labor force participation in addition to gains for women in parliament and in ministerial positions in the new government."

Lesotho also climbed into the top 10 "driven by large gains in the labor force participation of women and narrowing wage gaps", it added.

Overall, Nordic countries continue to offer women the most equal treatment compared to men, with Iceland ranking number one, followed by Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

At the other end of the scale was Yemen, while Chad and Pakistan were ranked second and third worst in terms of equal opportunities for women. (PIA 8) [top]

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