Monday, July 13, 2009

Filipino women abroad outnumber men

Filipino women abroad outnumber men

More and more female OFWs from the provinces
Only Bataan, Pampanga and Zambales had more male land-based overseas workers than females.

Editor's Note: The following is an article prepared by the Institute for Migration and Development Issues in the Philippines.

On the national aggregate, females who worked and settled overseas have outnumbered males.

The same gender trend is true when looking at the provinces of origin of overseas Filipinos, as local development in the countryside has an overseas Filipina's face.

Philippine Overseas Employment administration data on overseas workers from 2004 to 2007 shows that 33 provinces have more female land- and sea-based migrant workers than male counterparts, compared to 18 provinces that had more male migrant workers than females, says a policy brief by a nonprofit organization.

These include all the provinces belonging to the Ilocos region and in the Cordillera Administrative Region, writes a policy brief on overseas Filipinos by gender in the provinces released by the Institute for Migration and Development Issues (IMDI).

Some 21 other provinces, meanwhile, had years that there were more female migrant workers than males and vice versa-with no clear trend which gender has more migrant workers over the four-year period, says the policy brief (which can be downloaded at

An overwhelming 76 of 78 provinces with data had more female than male emigrants and permanent residents, reveals a 27-year dataset on this group of migrants coming from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.

Only Aklan and Tawi-Tawi had more male than female permanent residents and emigrants, reveals IMDI's policy brief (written by Dawn Naisa Majaducon).

The provinces that had more female than male overseas workers and permanent residents come from provinces with high and low poverty incidence levels.

Government data segregates overseas Filipinos as land- and sea-based (the latter is included because the Philippines is the world's leading supplier of merchant marine fleet).

But looking at total land-based workers per province alone by gender, 73 of 76 provinces with data show that females outnumber male land-based workers.

Only Bataan, Pampanga and Zambales had more male land-based overseas workers than females.

IMDI wrote that women overseas Filipinos have contributed “a lot of resources quietly yet visibly, and have helped improve their birth provinces' quality of life.”

On the other hand, the institute said these contributions by overseas Filipinas are “not without a cost” since females are vulnerable to human rights abuses”.

IMDI's policy brief on overseas Filipinos in the provinces by gender can be downloaded in this link:


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