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Gender gap in remittance senders narrows

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THE GENDER GAP among senders of remittances to the Philippines narrowed in the last four years, even as female overseas Filipino workers (OFW) tend to earn less than males, a study commissioned by WorldRemit showed.

A survey of 1,000 Filipino customers of the digital remittance company showed that the number of female OFWs who sent money home made up 35% of WorldRemit’s clients in 2018, up from just a 25% share in 2014.


In contrast, the share male OFW customers of WorldRemit shrank to 65% last year from 75% in 2014, narrowing the gender gap to 30% in 2018 from the 50% tallied in 2014.

The study also showed that despite males outnumbering females in terms of customer count, female OFWs remitted a larger amount of their income compared to their male counterparts, citing education as the most important reason for sending remittances.

However, WorldRemit did not disclose the breakdown of remittances by female workers vis-à-vis male OFWs.

“Evidence suggests that, although female migrants tend to earn less than their male counterparts, they send a higher proportion of their income home more frequently,” WorldRemit said in a statement on Tuesday.

Michael Liu, WorldRemit managing director for Asia-Pacific, said ensuring digital inclusion for financial services for Filipino women is “critically important” as families, businesses and local economies thrive when women thrive as well.

“Our data show that women play an increasingly vital role in development of The Philippines by sending money home to support education, cover healthcare costs, make investments, and more,” Mr. Liu was quoted as saying in the statement.

Of the 10 million OFWs, 55% are female, with many of them living in countries such as the United States, Australia and New Zealand, WorldRemit said.

Central bank data showed that money sent home by Filipinos reached a record $2.849 billion in December, up 3.9% from the inflows recorded in the same month in 2017. This brought 2018’s total inflows to $28.943 billion, up 3.1% year-on-year.

Remittances from OFWs make up about 10% of the country’s gross domestic product.

In 2018, the US, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Japan, the United Kingdom, Qatar, Canada, Germany, and Hong Kong accounted for 79% of total flows.

WorldRemit offers digital remittance services to Filipinos located in over 50 countries, allowing customers to send funds home through its mobile application or website. It processes over 1.3 million transactions monthly to over 145 destinations, including the Philippines. — KANV