A House leader has assured women political leaders from around the world that the Philippines
continues to promote gender equality, and has scored well in international gender equality measures.
House deputy speaker and Bulacan Representative Linabelle Ruth Villarica stressed that gender
equality is quite advanced in the Philippines, during her opening statement at the Women Political
Leaders (WPL) Annual Global Summit 2017 session on “Women, Business and the Law” held at the Harpa
Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Villarica said that in the 2016 Global Gender Gap Index of the World Economic Forum, the
Philippines ranked 7th overall in terms of economic participation and opportunity, educational
attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.
According to Villarica, the Philippines also has kept its spot as the world’s gender-equal
society among 144 economies and remained the highest ranked country in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Gender equality is quite advanced in our country. Currently, there are 68 women
parliamentarians or 28.6 percent of the total 238 district representatives of the House of
Representatives. This represents a marked increase from 12 years ago when there were only 32
or 15.2 percent of the total 211 House Members,” Villarica said.
She added that there are 59 party-list House members -- 19 of whom are women -- representing
various marginalized sectors including women and the youth.
“Overall, women representation in Philippine Congress was much higher
than the global average for women in parliament at 22 percent and the Asian average of 18 percent in
2015,” she said.
Villarica proudly presented 14 lady legislators from the Philippines who were present at the
Villarica said the 2015 International Labor Organization’s Women in Business and Management
Report stated that investing in women is one of the most effective means of increasing equality and
promoting inclusive and sustainable growth.