International Working Women’s Day 2020: Filipino women workers worse off under Duterte – IBON

March 8, 2020

by IBON Foundation

Research group IBON said that the situation of Filipino women workers is getting worse under the Duterte administration. The group said that the number of employed Filipino women has fallen even as those working continue to receive measly wages. Women workers are among the worst affected by the government’s neoliberal and anti-worker policies, said IBON.

The number of employed women in the country fell from some 16 million in 2016 to 15.7 million in 2018, the latest year for which data is available. This means 300,000 less jobs for Filipino women workers since the start of the Duterte administration.

For those women able to find employment, work conditions are hardly improving. The percentage share of employed women in precarious work is virtually unchanged from 15.6% in 2016 to 15.4% in 2018. Over one in four women employed work excessive hours, or over 48 hours per week. This is beyond international labor standards of eight hours a day or 40 hours a week. The share of women employed working excessive hours in all jobs was 27.1% in 2016 and falling only slightly to 26% in 2018. 

IBON also noted low wages for Filipino women workers. The average real daily basic pay (ADBP) of women barely increased from Php382 in 2016 to Php389 in 2018, or by just a measly 1.8 percent. The ADBP of women in short-term, seasonal or casual work rose by 6% in the same period but this remained very low at just P257 in 2018.

The wage gap between women and men also still remains wide. The latest available data on ADBP shows that women working in agriculture made 12% less than men in 2016. This wage gap decreased slightly to 11% in 2017, with women having an ADBP of Php201 compared to Php225 for men.

Meanwhile, the wage gap between women and men employed in manufacturing increased from 7.4% in 2016 to 7.8% in 2017, with women having an ADBP of Php374 versus Php406 for men. The wage gap is smallest in services which narrowed even further from 7.3% to 5.9% over that same period, with women earning Php452 versus Php480 for men.

IBON said that Filipino women’s continuing plight is just another result of the Duterte administration’s market-driven pro-big business policies that disregard women and workers’ rights. The group said that that job prospects and conditions for women will not significantly improve unless these policies are changed. ###

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