Gender Equality and the MDGS

Manila Bulletin, September 6, 2011 | Go to article overview

Gender Equality and the MDGS


MANILA, Philippines - We have four years to go before the final accounting of our performance in achieving the targets for the Millennium Development Goals. The assessment thus far shows that we are on track - in reducing child mortality, combating HIV/Aids, malaria, and other diseases, achieving gender equality, and ensuring access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

However, there is need to accelerate efforts to meet universal primary education and maternal health goals.

And we can crow about our most remarkable achievement which is having placed No.1 in gender equality in health and survival, and No. 8 among countries in the world that had closed the gender gap in health. The 2010 Global Gender Gap Index produced by the World Economic Forum pitted the Philippines against 133 countries on the issue of how resources and opportunities are divided among male and female populations.

Cess Celestino, citing the 2010 National Statistics Office update, however, notes disparities in the labor force where 61.2 percent, of those employed were male and only 38.8 percent, female. The business and industry sector is likewise dominated by males, with the exception of manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade.

But females rated higher in private education, health, and social work. The NSO Gender Quickstat failed to report on vital development concerns such as political participation, violence against women, and human rights. Neither did it address reproductive health care and trafficking of women, although shortly after, the government carried out a successful anti-trafficking project.

Another noteworthy milestone is the landmark legislation, RA 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women which is now being replicated in other countries.

When UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon announced that we must now endeavor to initiate drastic corrections in the MDG strategy, he perhaps meant that each country must build on its unique success in a specific goal to speed up progress in the others. …

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