PIA Focuses on Women’s Right

LAOAG CITY, March 11 – The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) will hold a series of radio forums to mark the celebration of National Women’s Month focusing on Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta for Women to promote public awareness on women’s rights and provide an avenue for discussion on the issues confronting women.

Among those invited as resource speakers are Lilian Rin of the Provincial Social Welfare Office; PO3 Edna Ulep, head of the City Philippine National Police’s Women’s Desk; and Atty. Roxanne Lee Castro of the private law firm Castro and Ulep Law Offices.

Rin will discuss gender equality and women empowerment while Ulep will present incidents of domestic violence and other forms of violence against women. Castro, on the other hand, will be discussing the laws on Magna Carta for Women and the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children.

The Magna Carta, signed into law in 2009, has been considered landmark legislation for women as it prohibits discrimination against women and, in the process, recognizes and protects their rights.

One of the provisions of the law is a directive to all local government units (LGUs) to put up a desk in every barangay to address cases of violence against women.

The law also ensures the mandatory training on human rights and gender sensitivity by all government personnel who are involved in the protection and defense of women against gender-based violence.

With the law in place, the Philippines has been following a national framework for the implementation of the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Form of Discrimination Against Women, considered as the national bill of rights for women.

Other provisions included in the new law are: the mandatory increasing within the next five years the number of women in third-level position in government to achieve 50-50 gender balance; the granting of a two-month leave benefit for employed women who undergo surgeries caused by gynecological disorders; and the non-discriminatory and non-derogatory portrayal of women in media and film.

The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), which is the new name of the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women, is tasked to monitor and oversee the implementation of the law. (Cristina Arzadon)