Press Release
July 17, 2008


Senator Edgardo J. Angara today called for the promotion of gender equality in the country as a vital element to ensure the protection of the rights of women.

"Filipino women are already part and parcel of our economic development. They have been joining the labor force for decades now. Thus, their concern is the concern of the country," said Senator Angara, who also authored the Breastfeeding Law in 1992.

"Despite being a signatory to numerous international commitments protecting and fulfilling women's rights, Filipino women continue to suffer from various forms of inequalities and discrimination, stemming from the economic, political and social divide," he added.

Even though female representation in the labor force can be considered high, there are still wide gaps between females and males.

According to the National Statistics Office, female labor force participation rate (LFPR) consistently lags behind the male LFPR in the past ten years. Across 1995 to 2005, female LFPR invariably registered only 50% while male LFPR was steadily above 80%, except in 2005 where it was slightly lower at 79.8%. The highest female LFPR was in 2001 with 82.3%, while the lowest was in 2000 with 80.3%.

Moreover, the Civil Service Commission also reported that few women candidates who ran for public office succeeded in securing public posts. Despite the high success rate in elections, Filipino women still have dismal participation as decision-makers in the public sector. In 2004, the average proportion of women in key elected posts was no more than 17%. In fact, the dismal performance of women in the 2004 elections registered a sharp drop after an increasing trend beginning 1995.

To remedy the situation, Angara sponsored the Magna Carta of Women which will serve as the 'women's bill of rights,' as it contains a ban on all forms of discrimination and recommends special measures to achieve equality between men and women.

Under the Magna Carta of Women bill, the fulfillment of the rights of women provided for in other treaties and national laws are ensured. Among the many rights incorporated in the bill are: equal access to and elimination of discrimination in education, scholarships and training and participation and representation in all spheres of society, especially policy- and decision-making in private and government entities.

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