Legarda: PHL Can Lead Global Fight to Achieve Gender Equality

March 8, 2016

In observance of International Women’s Day, Senator Loren Legarda today said that the Philippines can lead the global effort to achieve gender equality and women empowerment.


Legarda, who authored several of the country’s laws on the protection of women’s rights, said that the Philippines has been consistently at the top tier in the gender equality index, noting that in the Global Gender Gap Report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Philippines ranks first in Asia, and always at the top ten countries globally.


“We have crafted effective laws on gender equality and women empowerment, and the implementation of these policies are improving through the years. We know that there are still challenges and there are many Filipino women who are still victims of abuse and discrimination. But we are doing well compared to other nations, thus, we must build on our gains and continue to provide equal support to men and women,” said Legarda.


Noting the 2016 theme for International Women’s Day, “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”, Legarda said that the Philippines can lead efforts to achieve the goals under the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal No. 5 on gender equality, by the year 2030.


“We can share with other countries our best practices on women empowerment as well as our laws which can be used as guide by other nations in crafting policies on gender equality,” she explained.


The Philippines has a multitude of laws on the protection of women’s rights, such as the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act, the Anti-Discrimination Against Women Act, the Women in Development and Nation Building Act, the Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act, and the Magna Carta of Women.


The Magna Carta of Women, which Legarda co-authored, ensures women are protected from violence and other crisis situations, represented and given role in community decision-making, given equal access to education and employment, and provided with access to comprehensive health services, among other provisions.


The Senator also said that women should be engaged in disaster resilience and climate adaptation efforts as these are among the world’s most pressing concerns today.


“We must invest in women, make them part of decision-making, as their development role is crucial in adapting to climate change and building community resilience to disasters. From the quiet but steady work they perform at their communities, women should move into the frontlines of delivering decisive action towards a sustainable and resilient planet,” Legarda concluded.