Press Release
January 24, 2014

Nancy seeks gender-sensitive Family Code
Mothers on equal footing with their husbands over marital consent

Senator Nancy Binay believes that the marital consent of a mother should be considered as important as that of a father in allowing children aged 18 to 21 to be wed.

Authored by the lady senator, Senate Bill No. 2072 or "An act strengthening gender equality by amending Article 14 of Executive Order No. 209, otherwise known as the Family Code of the Philippines, and for other purposes" seeks to amend the Family Code, particularly Article 14 which shows preference to the consent of the father to the marriage of a child between the age of 18 and 21 over that of the mother.

Article 14 states that "in case either or both of the contracting parties, not having been emancipated by a previous marriage, are between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one, they shall, in addition to the requirements of the preceding articles, exhibit to the local civil registrar, the consent to their marriage of their father, mother, surviving parent or guardian, or persons having legal charge of them, in the order mentioned."

SB No. 2072 seeks to replace the phrase "their father, mother, surviving parent" with "either parent", stating that "there is no rational explanation for the preference for paternal marital consent over marital consent."

The proposed legislation seeks to eliminate "gender insensitive provisions" of the Family Code and place the mother and the father in equal footing in terms of deciding on the future of their children.

"The Family Code itself recognizes that, save for certain instances, men and women, as regards their children, are partners of equal status and thus exercise joint parental authority," the bill adds.

Binay, whose advocacy primarily revolves around the welfare of women, children, and the elderly, believes that mothers should be considered equally capable of making rational and wise decisions, including providing marital consent to their children.

"Women are as capable of making sound judgment as men but it is the mother's unwavering concern for her child which places her in the best position to handle important decisions on matters which will affect the future of her children," Binay said.

As a mother to four children, the lady senator said "any mother would want the best for their children. Alam kong wala nang hihigit pa sa pagmamahal ng isang ina sa kanyang anak mga dahil sa lahat ng pagkakataon, mas uunahin ng isang ina ang kanilang kapakanan at kinabukasan kaysa sa kanyang sarili."

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