MANILA - While Philippine politics is still dominated by men, majority of persons employed as professionals in the Philippines are women, data from the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) revealed.
In his column "Gender Equality in the Philippines...what's the real score?", NSCB Secretary-General Ramon G. Albert noted that the participation of women in the labor force has noticeably been increasing over the years.
"However, a wide gap between women and men still persists in the labor force participation rate. This could be due to gender biases as well as constraints in the household, such as domestic responsibilities (which itself is a gender issue)," he added.
Albert said that in 2011, labor participation rate for women was at 50.4%, which is lower than the 79% labor participation rate of men.
However, in terms of employment rate, the latest data show that women enjoy a higher employment rate at 93.3% than their male counterparts at 92.7%.
NSCB data showed that in 2011, there was a larger proportion of women professionals (68.3%) than men (31.7%). Also, the proportion of women government officials, corporate executives and managers was slightly higher (52.1%) compared to that of men (47.9%).
"Data also shows that there were as many women technicians and associate professionals (51.3%) as men (48.7%). But still, most of the plant and machine operators and assemblers, farmers, forestry workers and fishermen, and trades and related workers were men and most of the professionals and clerks were women," Albert said.
Fewer women in elective posts
The NSCB official noted that in Philippine politics, women have traditionally not been the holders of power although some inroads have been made in the past. He noted that the country has had 2 women presidents while the current Chief Justice is also a woman.
Albert said men have continued to keep a firm hold on electoral positions in the Senate and the House of Representatives. In 2010, only 48 out of the 222 positions or 21.6 percent of the total seats in the House of Representatives was handled by a woman. This is an improvement from the 45 seats in 2007.
Currently, there are only women senators in office namely Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, Sen. Loren Legarda and Sen. Pia Cayetano.
In 2010, women occupied 3,049 out of a total of 16,547 elected positions from the president to councilors all over the country. This represents only 18.4 percent of the total elected positions showing male dominance in Philippine politics, a slight increase of 1.0 percentage point as compared to the 17.4 percent share in 2007. Women’s participation in politics increased from 3,034 elected positions in 2007 to 3,049 positions in 2010.
Rise in female judges
Albert said the number of women judges in the Philippines is slowly rising. This is even before President Aquino appointed Maria Lourdes Sereno as the first female Chief Justice of the country in 2012.
For the period 2006-2009, the number of women judges had been increasing. In 2006, there were 460 women judges in the Philippines and in a span of 3 years, the number of women judges in the Philippines increased by 24.7% to 574 in 2009.
Similarly, the proportion of women in the judicial branch of the government also increased from 28.2% in 2006 to 32.8% in 2009.
Men, however, continue to dominate the Philippine judiciary, with two male judges for every female judge.
The NSCB official said the trend shows there is a road for the attainment of equality of women and men in judiciary involvement "but this journey, however, is far from over."
"Examining the regional, municipal and Shari’a courts in the regions, it can be seen that there are regions in which courts are dominated by men and there are also some in which there is almost an equal number of men and women judges," he said.
A total of 70% of court judges in regions CAR, II, IV–B, V, IX, XII, Caraga and ARMM are men. On the other hand, there are also regions in which the equality of men and women in judiciary involvement is almost attained.
Region IV–A took the lead across the regions with 49.1% of the total judges in the region being women and 50.9% were men. Similarly, Region III has 48.8% women and 51.2% men judges.
More women in career positions
The NSCB data also showed more women occupying career positions in government compared to men.
In 2010, about 61.2 percent in the career service were women compared to 38.8 percent of men.
Men employees exceeded women in the non-career positions occupying 62.8 percent of the seats in the government with women consisted of 37.2 percent.
Based on the 2010 Inventory of Government Personnel conducted by the Civil Service Commission, there were a total of 1,409,660 government personnel in the country. About 58.7 percent were women, way above the 48.7 percent share noted in 2008.
The highest percentage of women government personnel was noted in Region V at 67.8 percent while the lowest was posted in the ARMM at 31.6 percent.
In 2008, women composed 50.8 percent of the government personnel in the National Government Agencies. Men outnumbered women as employees in the Local Government Units and Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations.