MALACAÑANG on Thursday, December 20, welcomed the World Economic Forum (WEF) report showing that the Philippines moved up two notches in gender equality ranking.

The Philippines ranked eighth (0.799) in WEF Global Gender Gap Report, higher by two notches from 10th place (0.790) in 2017.

The report also showed that the Philippines is the the most gender-equal country in Asia.

Iceland (0.858) remains the most gender neutral country in the world, followed by Norway (0.835), Sweden (0.822), Finland (0.821), Nicaragua (0.809), Rwanda (0.804), New Zealand (0.801), Ireland (0.796), and Namibia (0.789).

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the WEF report merely proved that the Duterte government is promoting "substantive equality" among men and women in the country.

"The Palace welcomes the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Gender Gap Index placing the Philippines as the most gender equal nation in Asia," he said.

"The Philippines continues to aspire for inclusive development where there is equality and genuine collaboration between men and women, and we are honored that our efforts have been given global recognition," Panelo added.

The 2018 Global Gender Gap report evaluates 149 nations on their progress in gender parity through economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.

The Philippines ranked first in terms of educational attainment, registering a perfect score of 1.

On the other hand, it ranked 13th (0.416) in political empowerment, 14th (0.801) in economic participation and opportunity, and 42nd (0.979) in health and survival.

The WEF also noted that the Philippines was near to closing 80 percent of its overall gender gap, the "highest value for the country ever recorded by the index."

Panelo said the WEF's findings emphasized the Duterte administration's commitment to give Filipino women the recognition that they properly deserve, particularly their contributions in the home, in the workplace, in the community, and in nation building.

"The President and this Administration have always believed in the competence and capability of women, and we commit to further promote substantive equality in our society as we maintain to uphold the rights and dignity of women," he said. (SunStar Philippines)