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For Women’s Month in 2020, gender equality still a pressing concern for CHR

/ 11:03 AM March 02, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Gender equality remains to be a huge concern and a rallying call for the celebration of this year’s Women’s Month, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said on Monday.

According to a statement from CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia, the theme for this year’s celebrations focuses on equal rights for both sexes — as there are still facets of society where men are treated more favorably than women.

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“The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is one with all the women everywhere in the world in the celebration of Women’s Month with the theme ‘Generation equality: the vision we work for women and girls’ alongside the #EachforEqual theme for the International Women’s Day,” De Guia said.

“Equality is the focus of this year’s call for women’s rights. There are still various areas where gender parity is not met. Subordination and discrimination against women remain prevalent. As Gender Ombud, the Commission calls for equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, and equal participation in political life and in decision-making in all areas of life,” she added.

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While CHR admitted that there is progress in the way society treats women, and in how communities champion them, there is still a lot of work to do.

“Women’s Month celebration wouldn’t be complete without celebrating the many achievements and contributions of women in many fields as well as in the development of our society. Visibility is key to fighting the obscuring of women’s labor,” De Guia claimed.

“To achieve genuine equality, the roots of patriarchy and misogyny must also be addressed so we can put an end to sexual harassment and violence against women and girls. Health care services that respond to women’s needs must also be provided to truly champion their ownership of their body,” she added.

The National Women’s Month is celebrated every March.  Prior to the month-long celebration, the Philippines joined the international community in celebrating it every March 8.

Although the country is never short of women icons, whether be it in politics, in the arts, or in beauty pageants, various women still experience domestic abuse, sexual attacks, and discrimination.

Despite the country’s 16th rank in the world gender gap index ranking by the World Economic Forum, several crimes and stories of women being relegated to lesser roles are still rampant.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority in 2017 showed that one in four married women aged 15 to 49 years old experience any form of physical, sexual or emotional violence from their current or most recent husband or partner.

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No less than the country’s second-highest official, Vice President Leni Robredo, has admitted being on the receiving end of malicious attacks because of her being a woman, saying that it is not the same to what men experience.

READ: Robredo: My being a woman has paved way for malicious criticisms

“They call this year stresses the significance of each individual effort that can collectively help in achieving an equal and enabled world. #EachforEqual campaign is about collective individualism because each person forms part of a whole. Individual efforts, behaviors, and utterances can have an impact on the culture of society,” De Guia said.

“Equality is not just a women’s issue; it is everybody’s business. For development to be sustained and for the economy to thrive, gender equality is vital. Upholding women’s rights redounds to their families, communities, and the larger society,” she added.

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TAGS: CHR, Commission on Human Rights, gender equality, Gender Gap, gender inequality, International Women's Day, Jacqueline de Guia, march, March 8, Philippine news updates, Women Empowerment, Women Rights, women's month
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