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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

PHL keeps rating in Women, Business, Law index

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THE Philippines’s rating remains unchanged in the Women, Business and the Law Index 2023,according to the World Bank.

Data from the report showed the Philippines scored an average of 78.8 out of 100, the same rating it had since last year.

The country’s rating, however, remained above the global average of 77.1 out of 100. This indicates that women, on average, enjoy 77 percent of the legal rights that men do.

Women, Business and the Law 2023 measures laws and regulations across 190 countries in eight areas impacting women’s economic participation—mobility, workplace, pay, marriage, parenthood, entrepreneurship, assets and pensions.

In the Philippines, the country’s average rating for marriage, parenthood, and assets received the rating of 60 out of 100.

In terms of marriage, there are legal constraints related to marriage and divorce. In fact, the Philippines does not allow divorce so women could not obtain divorce in the country and women do not have the same rights to remarry as men.

Meanwhile, the country’s score was at 75 out of 100 in terms of mobility and pension. In terms of mobility, a woman still cannot apply for a passport in the same way as a man in the country while in terms of pension, periods of absence due to childcare are not accounted for in pension benefits.

The areas where the country received a perfect score of 100 were workplace, pay and entrepreneurship. These indicators take into consideration legal and implementation gaps in financial inclusion; guarantee protection and privacy for women who have made a complaint of violence; gender-sensitive occupational health and safety; and wage transparency, among others.

The World Bank said five reforms were introduced by three of the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region’s 25 economies last year.

For one, China introduced paid paternal leave. The World Bank noted that this reform increased China’s score under Parenthood from 75 in 2022 to 100 this year (2023).

Mongolia implemented a reform by introducing a paid paternity leave. The World Bank said it also acknowledged equal remuneration for work of equal value. This reform, the World Bank noted, increased Mongolia’s score under Pay from 75 in 2022 to 100 this year (2023).

Meanwhile, Indonesia enacted legislation protecting women from sexual harassment in employment, including both criminal penalties and civil remedies for such conduct. This reform allowed Indonesia to double its score under Workplace from 50 in 2022 to 100 this year (2023), the World Bank noted.

Globally, nearly 2.4 billion women of working age still do not have the same rights as men. Closing the gender employment gap could raise long-term GDP per capita by nearly 20 percent on average across countries, the World Bank said.

Moreover, the World Bank noted that studies estimate global economic gains of $5 trillion to $6 trillion if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as men do.

“In 2022, only 34 gender-related legal reforms were recorded across 18 countries—the lowest number since 2001. Most reforms focused on increasing paid leave for parents and fathers, removing restrictions to women’s work, and mandating equal pay,” the World Bank said.

The World Bank also noted it will take another 1,549 reforms to reach “substantial” legal gender equality everywhere in the areas measured by the report. At the current pace, the report notes, it would take at least 50 years on average to reach that target.

“Although great achievements have been made over the last five decades, more needs to be done worldwide to ensure that good intentions are accompanied by tangible results—that is, equal opportunity under the law for women. Women cannot afford to wait any longer to reach gender equality. Neither can the global economy,” the World Bank said.

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