Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)


For seven straight years since 2006, the Philippines ranked among the top ten countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index that rates countries based on their ability to close the gender gap in four fundamental categories, to wit: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. At eighth place, the country leads the rest of Asia and proudly shares the top spot in educational attainment and health and survival while managing to land in the top twenty in terms of economic participation and opportunity and political empowerment. While these rankings warm the heart, to say the least, it also prompts a deeper analysis of what lies behind such stellar performance. For while it flatters on the surface, it may not necessarily look the same from an insider’s perspective.

Genuine gender equality remains elusive in the Philippine workplace, and the purpose of this paper is to examine this small, unsavory slice of the otherwise sweet pie. It shall start from the premise that an attitude of romantic paternalism burdens the country’s labor policies and this can be traced back to a long history of colonization that deeply embedded such attitude in the country’s culture and traditions and, consequently, its societal institutions. The objective is to recommend sound statutory and political reforms that will remove this barrier to gender equality. To achieve this goal, this paper will examine three models of equality and analyze how these are applied in four jurisdictions: the United States, Canada, France and Sweden. The paper will gather the best practices that can be adopted from these settings and transported to the Philippines, taking into consideration the peculiarities of its past history, present struggles, and future aspirations.