Press Release
May 17, 2006


The Senate is set to pass a resolution recognizing the achievement of Senator Pia S. Cayetano at the recent conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

Cayetano was elected First Vice President of the Coordinating Committee of Women Parliamentarians at the IPU's 114 th held in Nairobi, Kenya from May 4-12.

The motion to pass the resolution was made by Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. at the opening of the chamber's session this week.

Cayetano took over from Jordanian Senator Salwa Damen-Masri as First VP of the Coordinating Committee of Women Parliamentarians, considered as among the IPU's key standing committees.

Cayetano was elected along with Sen. Monica Xavier of Uruguay, who takes over from Canadian Senator Joan Fraser as President of the Committee.

"It is an honor and a privilege to be recognized by my fellow women parliamentarians and be given the opportunity to work for the advancement of women's issues," said Cayetano, even as she hoped that her election would open opportunities for local women's concerns to be taken up at the multilateral body, and for other nations to learn from the experiences of women in the Philippines.

She added that "the post carries with it the responsibility of bringing women's concerns to the mainstream of international politics, and this should cover not only issues from the Philippines, but also from Asia and developing countries as a whole."

Among the issues tackled at the Kenya conference were: strengthening women's role in governance; putting an end to violence against women and children; labor migration; checking the spread of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which causes AIDS; and expanding the role of women in environmental protection.

"The good thing about the IPU is that women from different parts of the world are able to openly share experiences and problems and work together on common solutions," said Cayetano, who chaired the committee's discussions on gender issues and the environment.

"The Philippines has a lot to contribute to the world. Some countries, for instance, still do not have laws on violence against women and children. We passed ours (Republic Act 9262) in 2004 and we need to increase awareness of these rights."

She said that the next conference will tackle the Millennium Development Goals and women's contributions to development.

Cayetano's involvement with the IPU began last year when she was elected chairperson of the meeting of women parliamentarians when the Philippines hosted the 112th assembly in 2005.

The Coordinating Committee of Women Parliamentarians was established as a permanent structure under the IPU in 1990 with the aim of developing a sustained program on women's issues, centered particularly on increasing women's political participation and representation in parliament.

Established in 1889 and with its headquarters in Geneva, the IPU is the oldest multilateral political organization with 143 affiliated national parliaments and seven associated regional assemblies. The 114 th assembly was attended by legislators and members of parliament from 117 nations.

News Latest News Feed