15 June 2012

Socio-Economic Standing of Women is Improving

Power Women
Last March, everyone celebrated the Women's Month. From the data provided by many countries, it appears that the fight to give women equal rights is slowly gaining ground after several years of struggle. There are still some isolated cases and hard-to-reach areas where data are sketchy, but overall, the initiative to treat everyone equally is moving forward. One good indicator for this can be measured using the socio-economic standing between male and female.

In the Philippines, the socioeconomic standings of both gender has significantly narrowed. According to the MasterCard report, the country scored 86.15 in their 2010 worldwide Index of Women's Advancement, which is better than 72.04 last year. The improvement was better than the slight jump recorded across 14 Asia-Pacific countries — 85.57 versus 84.47 last year, said the report, which combined both hard data and opinion surveys.

The index is based on four male-to-female ratios — labor force participation, enrollment in tertiary education, employment in managerial positions, and the number of those earning above median income.

The first two indicators were culled from official data, while the rest were determined through surveys of 3,306 women and 3,316 men in Australia, Chile, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

The sample size for the Philippines was not specified.

Survey respondents reckoned that more Filipinas were being assigned to leadership roles at work, with the score for this indicator at a much improved 88.82 from 64.85 in 2009.

Respondents also believed that a larger share of females were earning above average salaries — 75.71 versus 41.78 in 2009.

These opinions offset the flattening in women’s advancement recorded by official data on females' labor force participation rate and tertiary education enrolment rate.

A separate survey released alongside the index noted Filipinas’ saving intentions for the next six months.

More than half of those surveyed (55.6 percent) planned to save more, while roughly a third said they would be saving at the same rate. The rest said they would be setting aside less of their earnings.

Children's education came out as the top spending priority of women in the Philippines.