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Education differentials

The education level of females is undoubtedly the best in Asia, and is higher than most of the emerging market economies. However, the enrollment ratio varies among academic fields. In science and technology female students account for about 35 percent; whereas, they account for about 79 percent in the health sciences.

94.3 %  of adult females are literate.
99.9 % males are enrolled in primary school.
78.5 % of females are enrolled in secondary school.
► 62.0 % of tertiary students are female.

Source: UNESCO - Statistical Yearbook 1999, UNDP HD Report.


Internet usage

As of 2000, there were 2 million Internet users in the Philippines, and 1 million of them were women (Hafkin and Taggart 2001). At the same time, parts of the country had no telephone lines. According to Cecile Reyes, Assistant Secretary for ICT, Department of Transportation and Communications, the government has established telecenters for Internet education and for access by rural people. The telecenters are equipped with telephone, facsimile machines, and computers equipped with CD-ROMs that provide basic information about using computers and the Internet.

Accessibility for women

In the parts of the Philippines that lack telephone lines, "going online" seems far away according to Cecile Reyes. Most females in these remote areas have little contact with the new technologies, however, Reyes believes this situation will change after the government implements new legislation.

In Philippines the majority of the 500,000 teachers are women.[1] Carrie Yau, Secretary for Hong Kong's Information Technology and Broadcasting Bureau believes that the students are, in fact, more proficient in ICTs than the teachers, who often lack Internet skills. Yau suggests that the introduction of knowledge-development programs has become a necessity for Philippine schools.[2]

Labor-market participation by women

Women constitute 39 percent of the total labor force in the country. They are ahead of men in some occupations, such as professional and technical (64 percent), clerical (57 percent), sales (67 percent), and services (56 percent). About 47 percent of research and development personnel, 53 percent of scientists and engineers, 23 percent of technicians, and 40 percent of auxiliary personnel are women. Overall, women enjoy a considerable share in areas such as medical sciences, biotechnology, and natural and social sciences; whereas, men are in the majority in technology-related areas. In administrative, executive, and management jobs, women hold about 32 percent of the positions.

Labor-market participation by women in the ICT sector

Women account for 65 percent of the total professional and technical workers in the Philippines. They play a significant role in the service industries including information processing, banking, insurance, printing, and publishing, where the skill required are often superior to those in manufacturing. The new ICT sector offers employment for women mainly in information processing, especially data entry. The largest number of women are employed in remote data entry. No further information on women's participation in the sector was available.[3]

Wage differentials

The hourly rate for data entry in the Philippines was US$4 before 2002; whereas, in Jamaica the rate was as low as US$1. No gender-disaggregated information was available on wage differentials in the Philippines.

Government policy on ICTs

Government policies are encouraging the growth of the telecommunications industry by improving access and inviting increased foreign investment in the domestic market. Significant measures are also being taken to support ICT education and skills development. The government has collaborated with Cisco, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, and others to develop ICT training centers. Today the Philippines has one of the best training infrastructures for ICTs in Asia.

The Schools of the Future program was established in 1997 under the same agenda of promoting ICTs for better teaching, learning, and educational management in basic education. The Science and Technology Intervention Program for the Poor, Vulnerable, and Disabled is an initiative to use technology to fulfill the basic needs of the poor by providing technology-based interventions to promote microenterprises for the underprivileged, establishing a network of organizations to support technology for the poor, and creating an exclusive technology program for the physically challenged.

In July 2000 a Government Information System Plan was put in place to promote e-government. The plan appears to be gender-blind and devoid of any attempt to address gender gaps in education, government service, and political process. In fact during interviews, most government agencies questioned if gender had anything to do with e-government projects (Taggart, 2002).[4]

Government policy on gender
There are a number of policies that promote women's participation in economics and politics in the Philippines. For example, there are laws giving women equal chances in military school education; laws against sexual harassment at places of employment, education, or training; and a Women's Studies Consortium for higher education.[5]

Sociocultural factors
Besides constituting a majority among Internet users, Philippine women are ahead of other Asian women in their involvement in the ICT sector. They have a good share in professional and technical jobs. The country's gender-related development index (GDI) rank is 65 among 174 countries, indicating that women are better off than in most other developing countries (Hafkin and Taggart, 2001).[6] According to Cisco sources, networking remains one area where men are still considered more suitable employees. The conventionally set roles for men and women are largely responsible in deciding their careers; therefore, men tend to join the ICT workforce, and women are more likely to work in the education sector.

[3] Gender, IT and Developing Countries, By Nancy Hafkin & Nanacy Taggart, AED for USAID, June 2001
[4] Ramillo Chat, National ICT policies and gender equality regional perspectives: Asia

[5] Source:
[6] Gender, IT and Developing Countries, By Nancy Hafkin & Nanacy Taggart, AED for USAID, June 2001Other sources:, Gender, ICT and Developing Countries, By Nancy Hafkin & Nanacy Taggart, AED for USAID, June 2001

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