By Samuel P. Medenilla, November 29 2018; Business Mirror


Image Credit to International Labor Organization

THE Philippines is currently one of the countries with the most women-friendly workplaces in the world, according to latest report of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

In its Global Wage Report 2018/2019, the Geneva-based labor arm of the United Nations said the average pay of women in the Philippines is higher than that of their male counterparts.

“There are wide variations among countries, with the mean hourly gender pay gap ranging from 34 percent in Pakistan to −10.3 percent in the Philippines, meaning that in this country, women earn on average 10.3 percent more than men,” the ILO said.

According to the 2016 data of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the average daily basic pay of wage and salary for female workers is P414.29, compared to the P392.82 received by their male counterparts.

The ILO also noted that the Philippines is among the few countries together with Armenia, Australia, Mongolia, Russian Federation, and Ukraine, which has a labor market where the participation of women “bounced back.”

In an analysis of the July 2018 round of the PSA’s Labor Force Survey, the Institute of Labor Studies (ILS) said there was an improvement in the participation of women in the work force.

During the period, ILS said 46.2 percent of the 40.6 million employed workers were female—0.7 percent higher than the previous year’s 45.5 percent. “Correspondingly, gains in the number of female new entrants in the labor force that are employed were observed. Of those employed, 274,000 were new entrants,” the ILS said.

The research arm of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said this may be attributed to the drop in the number of workers. The ILS said most of the 473,000 who went jobless were mostly women. The women cited household family duties as a reason for being economically inactive.

Still, the ILS said the government must “speed up” the rollout of its programs, which will encourage more women to join the work force, so it could meet its 49.7-percent labor force participation rate of women for 2018.

The ILO’s Global Wage Report 2018/2019 contained data on gender pay gap in 80 countries, including the Philippines.

The 172-page report showed efforts of high-income economies to address the prevailing gender pay gap trailing behind the efforts of their middle low- and middle-income country counterparts.

In a statement, ILO Director General Guy Ryder stressed the importance of addressing gender pay gap.

“The gender pay gap represents one of today’s greatest manifestations of social injustice, and all countries should try to better understand what lies behind them and accelerate progress towards gender equality,” Ryder said.

To address this, the ILO recommended on addressing the undervaluation of women’s work, addressing stereotypes and discrimination against mothers, and equitable sharing of family duties between men and women.