Manila – The Philippines’s rank is second best in terms of girls’ leadership, this is according to the 2020 Asia Girls’ Report conducted by Plan International, which is a girls’ rights organization.
Despite ranking second overall, the Philippines ranks only 12th and the second lowest in ASEAN in the health domain. The Index attributes this to its very high adolescent birth rate (ranking 16th out of 19 countries) and low rate of family-planning needs met through modern methods (11th of 18). The study reveals that while the Philippines ranks first in laws and policies domain, it is lagging behind with respect to girls’ health— and this is seen to have a long-term impact on its ability to make progress on the sustainable development agenda. The high incidence of adolescent pregnancy is said to account for the inaccessibility of education and economic opportunities for girls, and a significant proportion of maternal and child mortality.
However, the overall rankings still place Philippines in the top 3, next to Singapore (1st) and ahead of Vietnam (3rd).
The 2020 Asia Girls’ Report urges all countries in the region to develop and adopt adolescent girl development frameworks modeled on the ground-breaking work of Lao PDR.
Further, the study claims that despite remarkable progress across the region, targets on gender equality and women empowerment would not be met if urgent investments are not made in all domains contributing to girls’ leadership. Findings show that although some countries are faring better than the others on certain domains, no country is excelling across all domains. Singapore, although ranking highest overall, is behind most of the ASEAN countries when it comes to laws and policies that guarantee girls’ rights.
“With only ten years before time runs out on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in 2030, Plan International is calling on all countries in Asia to invest in girls now. That is why we are sharing a ground-breaking tool that highlights the specific needs of girls across the region. We invite national governments and multi-lateral bodies to use this tool to take action,” says Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO of Plan International.
Analysing 19 South and Southeast Asian countries’ achievements in girls’ education, economic opportunity, protection, health, political voice, and legal standing, the 2020 Asia Girls Report and Girls’ Leadership Index, launched by Plan International on March 2, is the first of its kind to consolidate regional data highlighting important investment areas for girls across the region.
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