Press Release
March 8, 2013

International Women's Day 2013
Sen. Pia: We have made progress, but much work
remains to push women's agenda

Making a pitch for March 8, International Women's Day, Senator Pia S. Cayetano today said the Philippines has made significant progress with the recent passage of laws advancing the interest of women, but she acknowledges that much work needs to be done to push the women's agenda throughout the country.

Citing the occasion's theme this year, 'The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum,' Cayetano noted that the 15th Congress has passed pro-women laws such as the landmark Reproductive Health Act (Republic Act 10354) and the repeal of an antiquated Labor Code provision prohibiting night work for women (Republic Act 10151).

"Still, we have a number of existing laws discriminatory to women that Congress needs to revisit to either amend or repeal," added Cayetano, Chair of the Senate Committee on Youth, Women and Family Relations. "To be holistic and truly responsive to the needs of all citizens, our laws must have a gender-perspective."

At the same time, the senator stressed the importance of continuous education on gender issues for both men and women in all sectors and at all levels of society.

"Discussions on gender sensitivity awareness in all sectors, whether public or private, and at all levels, must be encouraged to ensure that women's concerns are considered in every decision or policy adopted by a community, institution, school or workplace," she explained.

"The media and internet also play a big role in influencing people's values and attitudes on gender issues, especially among the youth. Media practitioners, and practically everyone else in this age of social media, must be responsible and conscious of gender issues."

Cayetano looks forward to continuing the review and revision of gender-biased laws with the help of pro-women legislators in the 16th Congress. Earlier, she called on voters to support candidates with a pro-women agenda for both national and local posts in the coming May 13 polls.

"We have a long way to go because awareness on gender issues among Filipinos must still be improved. It takes time to address tradition and practices that are anti-women. So we must take advantage of every opportunity to educate our people on the importance of bridging the gender gap in every aspect of our lives."

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