Country Profile: Philippines



Although it once boasted one of the region's best-performing economies, the Philippines is saddled with a large national debt and tens of millions of people live in poverty. The economy is heavily dependent on the billions of dollars sent home each year by the huge Filipino overseas workforce.

Political History

The Philippines is a Spanish colony for more than three centuries and named after a 16th century Spanish king - was taken over by the US in the early 20th century after a protracted rebellion against rule from Madrid. Spanish and US influences remain strong, especially in terms of language, religion and government.

Women Current Situation

Philippines are one of the top world leaders in gender equality. On educational gains, there are more women enrolled in colleges and universities. Filipino women have gained equal status in professions dominated by men in the past such as law, medicine, accounting, engineering, and journalism. They have the right to vote and there are already elected two woman presidents. There are also as many women holding chief executive officer (CEO) positions as men in the country’s top private corporations. Overseas Filipino workers—around nine million of them—have women as a majority. The OFWs yearly remittances equal 10% of the country’s gross domestic product, according to the World Bank. On matters of health, Filipino women have a longer lifespan than the men, according to the World Health Organization.