More women in HS, college than men in PH, says report
MANILA, Philippines — Filipino women are enrolled in high school and college at significantly higher rates than men, according to an annual report that measures gender equality in 153 countries.
The 2020 Global Gender Gap Report of the World Economic Forum (WEF) found that 71.3 percent of women are enrolled in secoÂ¬ndary education and 40.4 percent in college, compared to only 60.2 percent and 40.4 percent, respectively, among men.
It also observed that enrollment rates in primary education were roughly identical, with 93.7 percent of girls and 93.9 percent of boys enrolled.
The numbers were strong enough for the Philippines to rank 37th in the category of educational attainment, where its score of 0.999 is virtually unchanged from its perfect score of 1 when the annual report debuted in 2006.
Drop in ranking
The Philippines was actually No. 1 then in the category, although the drop in its ranking is likely more a function of generally low enrollment rates overall as barriers to access have persisted for poorer children.In Australia, which was top of the list in terms of gender parity in education, 96.7 percent of girls are enrolled in elementary and 92.7 percent in high school, both higher rates than men. Thirty-five countries achieved the highest score of 1 in the category.
But the Philippinesâ€™ score was still good enough for the WEF to note that it had â€œclosed both its educational attainment and health and survival gender gaps.â€
â€œLiteracy is universal, with rates above 98 percent for both sexes,â€ the report noted.
Educational attainment and health and survival are two of four categories measured by the yearly report, the other two being economic participation and opportunity and political empowerment. The Philippines ranked 16th overall with a total score of 0.781.
This was a drop from eighth place in the 2019 report, but it remained the highest-ranking country in Asia, with second-place Laos lagging far behind at 43rd.Not only are girls enrolled at a higher rate, there are also data that appear to suggest they are outperforming boys in school.
The results of the 2018 Program for International Student Assessment, which measures 15-year-olds in 79 countries in reading, mathematics and science, found that female test-takers in the Philippines scored 14 points higher on average than male students.
The rosy statistics, however, masked certain obstacles in schools that still disproportionately affect girls.
According to statistics from the 2017 Annual Poverty Indicator Survey, 57 percent of female out-of-school youth were forced to drop out due to â€œfamily matters,â€ of which the biggest components are teenage pregnancy and early marriage.
Family matters trounced even the cost of education, or financial concerns, as the biggest cause of school dropouts. This came in only secondâ€”cited by a considerably lower 14.3 percent of female dropouts.
These dropout rates affect not just education but economic opportunities available to women, with Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia estimating that the lifetime earnings women lose to early childbearing are between P24 billion and P42 billion.
The WEF report coincided with this estimation, showing that only 47.7 percent of Filipino women were part of the labor force, compared to 76.2 percent of men.
The report also noted that a higher percent of women than men were enrolled in courses such as health and welfare; natural science, mathematics and statistics; and social sciences, including journalism. INQ
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