Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Women on Top

The Philippines ranks sixth in a list of 155 economies where the gender divide is less evident when it comes to opportunities in work, politics, education and health care. Sweden, Norway and Finland topped the list, with the United States settling for 22nd (primarily due to their lack of women in executive positions in government). China is way behind at 63, while France strangely charts at 70.

The survey was conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) based in Geneva, Switzerland.

"It would be hard to say the Philippines is necessarily a better place for women to live than the U.S., but you can see that the gap between men and women and in many developing countries is more equal partly out of economic necessity,'' Margareta Drzeniek, a senior economist at the WEF, said in an interview. "Because women have to work, there's more acceptance'' of them in positions of authority.

The survey results were released today. What's interesting is that the Philippines is the only Asian country in the Top 10. The rest are European countries.

Quite oddly, the PDF file containing the full list offers different information, placing us at 9th place overall. Hopefully they'd have cleared the inconsistency by the time you access it.

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Speaking of equality, but on the gay side, Israel's High Court of Justice recently allowed married same-sex couples to register their status as such. While this is major news to the global gay community, it's icing on the cake for homosexual couples in Israel. These couples have been enjoying benefits under common law marriages statutes since 1994, recognizing them as legal units for tax, real estate, and financial purposes.

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