21 December, 2018
Manila ranked 8th in this year's Global Gender Gap report, higher by 2 notches from last year's ranking. This is largely due to a narrower income gap between men and women, which stands at almost 51 per cent in 2018, and the number of women in leadership roles, which stands at 34 per cent globally.
It will take the Middle East and North Africa economies "153 years to close the gender gap at the current rate of change", the report stated.
Iceland took the top spot for the 10th year in a row, closing more than 85 percent of its overall gender gap, followed by Norway with 0.835 and Sweden with 0.822.
However, the report points out that there are only a limited number of women in leadership roles in the political and economic fields.
The rise reflected narrower wage gaps and an increase in women's labor participation rate.
Last year, WEF said women would achieve economic equality in 217 years, the widest gap in nearly a decade.
Iceland, for the tenth year in a row, held the top spot across all indicators that measured gender equality including social, economic and health, according to the WEF report.
No country has closed the pay gap yet, WEF said, using data from institutions such as the International Labour Organization, United Nations Development Programme and World Health Organization. It also studied the phenomenon of "missing women" in countries, including the Philippines, where families prefer to have sons over daughters. "It has closed 73 per cent of its gender gap".
India ranks 108th in WEF gender gap index 2018
According to the report, four Muslim countries - Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Pakistan - are the four worst-performers in the world where the number of women holding managerial positions is the lowest.
Progress in political empowerment in the West has been slightly reduced, with the gap of women in Parliament in 22 Western countries being 41%.
On political empowerment, one country - Bangladesh - reached a level of gender parity of more than 50pc, while India had closed almost 40pc of its gender gap on this sub-index.
But at the same time, the report showed that there are now proportionately fewer women than men participating in the workforce, suggesting that automation is having a disproportionate impact on jobs traditionally performed by women.
"The economies that will succeed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be those that are best able to harness all their available talent", said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of WEF.
Even though Jordan dropped three ranks since past year, its ranking has improved in two of the four categories, climbing up six spots in the "Educational Attainment" index to achieve a rank among the top 50 countries worldwide at 42nd.
The world is finally back on track to narrowing the global gender gap this year.
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