Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio is pushing for more protection mechanisms for women to narrow the gender gap in digital accessibility the country and provide more opportunities to women.
Duterte-Carpio also said that all Filipinos should advocate for inclusive digital education for women and girls for them to overcome any inequality affecting their development and involvement in the community.
“Meanwhile, as we narrow the gender gap to digital accessibility, let us not forget to strengthen our protection mechanisms for Filipinas, including girls, from all kinds of violence committed against them at home, in their workplaces, and in online communities,” Duterte-Carpio said.
The non-profit organization “Save the Children” defines gender inequality as discrimination on the basis of sex or gender causing one sex or gender to be routinely privileged or prioritized over another. Gender equality is a fundamental human right, and that right is violated by gender-based discrimination, the group said.
Duterte-Carpio added that It is her earnest desire that the nationwide rollout of protection mechanism will help stimulate entrepreneurial activities, create employment, and contribute to the Philippines’ post-pandemic recovery.
Duterte-Carpio said that the pursuit of gender equality is not solely a women’s issue. “Filipino men are encouraged and have been advocating for gender equality, too,” Duterte-Carpio added.
Education non-profit organization Human Rights Careers (HRC) listed these factors in the Philippines’ gender gap: Uneven access to education, Lack of employment equality, Job segregation, Lack of legal protections, Lack of bodily autonomy, Poor medical care, Poor medical care, Lack of political representation, Racism, and Societal mindsets.
Uneven access to education and lack of employment equality reflects in the World Bank (WB) report in April 202. WB said that the current status of women in the Philippines is both a cause for optimism and a reason to accelerate efforts for promoting better access to jobs for all women.
The WB that the Philippines is one of the best performers when it comes to gender equality in the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region and even globally. In the latest Global Gender Gap report, the Philippines occupies the 17th place, with 78.4% of its overall gender gap closed to date.
WB attributes this success to the passing of the Philippine Magna Carta for Women, which seeks to eliminate discrimination against women.
But in the same report, the WB said that it is striking that women’s labor force participation remains persistently low. “At just 49%, the Philippines’ female labor force participation in 2019 was one of the lowest in the EAP region (the regional average rate is 59%). In contrast, 76% of Filipino men were in the labor force, creating a massive gender gap,” WB said.
“Women’s low labor force participation represents a missed opportunity for economic growth and increased prosperity in the Philippines. An increase of women’s labor supply by a mere 0.5 percentage points per year would increase gross domestic product (GDP) per capita by about6% by 2040 and almost 10% by 2050,” the WB reports said.
“By helping women access economic opportunities, for example, we empower them to be financially independent, improve the standard of living of their families, and are better able to ensure their children’s good health and education,” Duterte-Carpio said.
Duterte-Carpio added that the Marcos administration’s Philippine Development Plan for 2023 to 2028 is clear in its commitment to increase social protection programs and strengthen the implementation of laws protecting women in low-income households.
“It is my hope that by working hand in hand with this pursuit, we can provide more digital opportunities for socio-economic growth and gender empowerment and thereby enable women to rise above any form of online violence affecting their mental and physical well-being, ”Duterte-Carpio added.