The country passed the international political correctness test in terms of gender equality recently with flying colors.
This is not surprising at all because it has been historically a champion of parity between the sexes.
Pre-Hispanic record shows that female rulers held court in the many tribes and communities in a society where males dominated all aspects of life.
In more recent times, we put two women in the highest office in the land—the late President Corazon Aquino and Gloria Arroyo.
And now we have the first lady Supreme Court Chief Justice in the person of Ma. Lourdes Sereno.
While still outnumbered by men, women hold key positions in the Cabinet, the Senate, and the lower House ofRrepresentatives.
Women also occupy high position in banking business, industry, and academe.
Thus, a new report giving the country high marks in terms of narrowing the gender gap is most welcome.
And so we share the sentiments of Senator Loren Legarda in commending the country's consistent high ranking in the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report.
The WEF's Global Gender Gap Report 2016 showed the Philippines closing nearly 79% of its gender gap, ranking first in Asia and seventh worldwide among 144 countries.
"The country's high gender gap ranking is proof of the significant efforts being undertaken by the government to address gender discrimination and inequality," said Legarda, principal author of laws on women's rights protection--such as the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act, the Magna Carta of Women, and the Anti-Trafficking Persons Act and its expanded version.
The lady lawmaker added, "We have proven once again that our laws are effective if we know how to make them work. We just have to sustain our gains by ensuring strict implementation of our laws."
The Global Gender Gap Index ranks 144 countries on the gap between women and men on health, education, economic and political indicators. The highest possible score is 1 (equality) and the lowest possible score is 0 (inequality).
For the Philippines' score card this year, it scored a perfect 1 in terms of educational attainment and the health and survival indicators. It scored 0.78 in the economic participation and opportunity indicator and only 0.386 in the political empowerment indicator.
"I hope that our status will not lull us into a false sense of complacency. We should narrow the gender gap in most types of political and economic participation through public awareness campaigns and continuous coordination and collaboration with key stakeholders," Legarda stressed.
The Global Gender Gap Index aims to understand whether countries are distributing their resources and opportunities equitably between women and men, irrespective of their overall income levels. Globally, Iceland remained on top of the Index, followed by Finland, Norway, Sweden, Rwanda and Ireland.