Philippine labor

Better online market will create jobs for women – DOLE official

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Executive Director Ahmma Charisma Lobrin-Satumba says correct policy mix and better data will help address the gaps in the online job market

Women will have more work opportunities if the online labor market is improved.

During a webinar organized by think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), a Philippine labor official said that the online labor market, or the so-called platform economy, has a huge potential to create job opportunities for women.

However, there are major challenges to hurdle.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Institute for Labor Studies Executive Director Ahmma Charisma Lobrin-Satumba said that unlike traditional or offline employment, online work does not require many eligibility requirements. This provides alternative employment opportunities even to those with limited educational and professional experience.

She added that the flexibility and work-from-home option will allow women to do paid work while attending to family responsibilities.

“This makes the platform economy a viable solution to lingering constraints to women’s participation in the paid labor market,” the PIDS quoted Satumba as saying in a press release dated Friday, June 11.

Gaps

However, Satumba also pointed out that online work was not wholly covered by the existing labor regulations and social protection systems. Though online work provides an opportunity, sans labor regulations and social protection, it also poses inequalities in the labor force.

“Although there are reasons to believe that the platform economy offers immense prospects for women, evidence-based [studies], including [that of PIDS], revealed that the same structural barriers to women’s inclusion, which are pervasive in the traditional labor market, are also present in work mediated by digital platforms,” Satumba said.

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Satumba also noted that the low labor force participation of women proves that gender gaps in the labor market in the Philippines have persisted, despite being one of the first countries in Asia to support women through ratifying several international conventions, enacting gender-specific legislation, and formulating policies that promote gender equality.

Solutions

To address the gaps, Satumba said it was important to have the right policy mix that would address the work constraints posed by the platform economy, and at the same time underscore the potential of the online market to create more jobs for women.

She also called on the Philippine Statistics Authority to improve its data gathering for its labor force survey, in order to accurately capture the online employment scenario in the country. – Rappler.com

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