Press Release
March 8, 2021

Senate celebrates women's contributions in battle against COVID-19

The Senate in its plenary session held on International Women's Day, adopted a resolution to commemorate the occasion and the role of women in nation building and to celebrate women's indispensable contributions to the Filipino home and in the workforce, particularly in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proposed Senate Resolution No. 673, sponsored by Sen. Joel Villanueva, stressed that this year's celebration of International Women's Day with the theme "Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world," celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"... while recognizing that across the world women are facing increased domestic violence, unpaid care duties, unemployment and poverty, and despite women making up a majority of front-line workers, there is disproportionate and inadequate representation of women in national and global COVID-19 policy spaces," the resolution further read.

Also according to the resolution, "In order to uphold women's rights and fully leverage the potential of women's leadership in pandemic preparedness and response, this year's celebration also recognizes that the perspectives of women and girls in all of their diversity must be integrated in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes in all spheres and at all stages of pandemic response and recovery."

The resolution also cited that "the Philippines has always recognized the role of women in nation-building and the need to ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men, as enshrined in Article II, Section 14 of the Constitution."

"Pursuant to this state policy, Republic Act No. 9710, or the Magna Carta for Women, tasked the Philippine Commission on Women to act as a catalyst for gender mainstreaming, as well as the authority on women's concerns and lead advocate of women's empowerment, gender equity, and gender equality," the resolution said.

Pursuant to its mandate, the Philippine Commission on Women has organized a series of activities for International Women's Day designed to highlight women's participation in battling the pandemic and discuss gender issues exacerbated by the pandemic.

"With more than 53 million women in the country, almost 50 percent of whom form part of the workforce, including health care workers and other front-liners, ensuring women's effective participation in policy and decision-making processes is an ongoing yet indispensable effort requiring the full support of all sectors of society. At the same time, celebrating women's unique and essential contributions in the home and in the workforce serves as a timely reminder of both the progress the Philippines has achieved, as well as the work still needed to secure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men," the resolution said.

In 1975, the United Nations began celebrating March 8 as International Women's Day, and in 1977, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions

In 1988, President Corazon C. Aquino proclaimed March 8 as Women's Rights and International Peace Day, and in 1990, Republic Act No. 6949 established the eighth day of March every year as a working special holiday to be known as National Women's Day.

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