The Magna Carta of Women

The Declaration of Policy states that Recognizing the economic, political, and sociocultural realities affect women’s current condition, the State affirms the role of women in nation building and ensures the substantive equality of women and men. It shall promote empowerment of women and pursue equal opportunities for women and men and ensure equal access to resources and to development results and outcome. Further, the State realizes that equality of men and women entails the abolition of the unequal structures and practices that perpetuate discrimination and inequality.

To realize this, the State shall endeavor to develop plans, policies, programs, measures, and mechanisms to address discrimination and inequality in the economic, political, social, and cultural life of women and men. The State condemns discrimination against women in all its forms and pursues by all appropriate means and without delay the policy of eliminating discrimination against women in keeping with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and other international instruments consistent with Philippine law.

The State shall accord women the rights, protection, and opportunities available to every member of society. The State affirms women’s rights as human rights and shall intensify its efforts to fulfill its duties under international and domestic law to recognize, respect, protect, fulfill, and promote all human rights and fundamental freedoms of women, especially marginalized women, in the economic, social, political, cultural, and other fields without distinction or discrimination on account of class, age, sex, gender, language, ethnicity, religion, ideology, disability, education, and status.

The State shall provide the necessary mechanisms to enforce women’s rights and adopt and undertake all legal measures necessary to foster and promote the equal opportunity for women to participate in and contribute to the development of the political, economic, social, and cultural realms. The State, in ensuring the full integration of women’s concerns in the mainstream of development, shall provide ample opportunities to enhance and develop their skills, acquire productive employment and contribute to their families and communities to the fullest of their capabilities.

In pursuance of this policy, the State reaffirms the right of women in all sectors to participate in policy formulation. planning, organization, implementation, management, monitoring, and evaluation of all programs, projects, and services. It shall support policies, researches, technology, and training programs and other support services such as financing, production, and marketing to encourage active participation of women in national development. Human rights are universal and inalienable. All people in the world are entitled to them.

The universality of human rights is encompassed in the words of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that all human beings are free and equal in dignity and rights. Human rights are indivisible. Human rights are inherent to the dignity of every human being whether they relate to civil, cultural, economic, political, or social issues. Human rights are interdependent and interrelated. The fulfillment of one right often depends, wholly or in part, upon the fulfillment of others.

All individuals are equal as human beings by virtue of the inherent dignity of each human person. No one, therefore, should suffer discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, gender, age, language, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, political, or other opinion, national, social, or geographical origin, disability, property, birth, or other status as established by human rights standards. All people have the right to participate in and access information relating to the decision making processes that affect their lives and well-being.

Rights-based approaches require a high degree of participation by communities, civil society, minorities, women, young people, indigenous peoples, and other identified groups. “Women Empowerment” refers to the provision, availability, and accessibility of opportunities, services, and observance of human rights which enable women to actively participate and contribute to the political, economic, social, and cultural development of the nation as well as those which shall provide them equal access to ownership, management, and control of production, and of material and informational resources and benefits in the family, community, and society. Discrimination Against Women” refers to any gender-based distinction, exclusion, or restriction which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment, or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status. on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil, or any other field.

It includes any act or mission, including by law; policy, administrative measure, or practice, that directly or indirectly excludes or restricts women in the recognition and promotion of their rights and their access to and enjoyment of opportunities, benefits, or privileges.

A measure or practice of general application is discrimination against women if it fails to provide for mechanisms to offset or address sex or gender-based disadvantages or limitations of women, as a result of which women are denied or restricted in the recognition and protection of their rights and in their access to and enjoyment of opportunities, benefits, or privileges; or women, more than men, are shown to have suffered the greater adverse effects of those measures or practices.

Discrimination compounded by or intersecting with other grounds, status, or condition, such as ethnicity, age, poverty, or religion shall be considered discrimination against women. “Marginalization” refers to a condition where a whole category of people is excluded from useful and meaningful participation in political, economic, social, and cultural life. Marginalized” refers to the basic, disadvantaged, or vulnerable persons or groups who are mostly living in poverty and have little or no access to land and other resources, basic social and economic services such as health care, education, water and sanitation, employment and livelihood opportunities, housing, social security, physical infrastructure; and the justice system.

Workers in the Informal Economy” refers to self-employed, occasionally or personally hired, subcontracted, paid and unpaid family workers in household incorporated and unincorporated enterprises, including home workers, micro-entrepreneurs and producers, and operators of sari-sari stores and all other categories who suffer from violation of workers’ rights: “Indigenous Peoples” refers to a group of people or homogenous societies identified by self-ascription and ascription by other, who have continuously lived as organized community on communally bounded and defined territory, and who have, under claims of ownership since time immemorial, occupied; possessed customs, tradition, and other distinctive cultural traits, or who have, through resistance to political, social, and cultural inroads of colonization, non-indigenous religions and culture, became historically differentiated from the majority of Filipinos.

They shall likewise include peoples who are regarded as indigenous on account of their descent from the populations which inhabited the country, at the dime of conquest or colonization, or at the time of inroads of non-indigenous religions and cultures, or the establishment of present state boundaries, who retain some or all of their own social. Economic, cultural, and political institutions, but who may have been displaced from their traditional domains or who may have resettled outside their ancestral domains. Gender Equality” refers to the principle asserting the equality of men and women and their right to enjoy equal conditions realizing their full human potentials to contribute to and benefit from the results of development, and with the State recognizing that all human beings are free and equal in dignity and rights.

“Gender Equity” refers to the policies, instruments, programs, services, and actions that address the disadvantaged position of women in society by providing preferential treatment and affirmative action. Such temporary special measures aimed at accelerating de facto equality between men and women shall not be considered discriminatory but shall in no way entail as a consequence the maintenance of unequal or separate standards. These measures shall be discontinued when the objectives of equality of opportunity and treatment have been achieved. Gender Mainstreaming” refers to the strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of policies and programs in all political, economic, and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. It is the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies, or programs in all areas and at all levels. “Violence Against Women” refers to any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion, or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.

It shall be understood to encompass, but not limited to, the following: (1) Physical, sexual, psychological, and economic violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence, marital rape, and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence, and violence related to exploitation; (2) Physical, sexual, and psychological violence occurring within the general community, including rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and intimidation at work, in educational institutions and elsewhere, trafficking in women, and prostitution. DUTIES RELATED TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF WOMEN

The State, private sector, society in general and all individuals shall contribute to the recognition, respect, and promotion of the rights of women like as follows: (a) Refrain from discriminating against women and violating their rights; (b) Protect women against discrimination and from violation of their rights by private corporations, entities, and individuals; and (c) Promote and fulfill the rights of women in all spheres, including their rights to substantive equality and non-discrimination. RIGHTS AND EMPOWERMENT Human Rights of Women. – All rights in the Constitution and those rights recognized under international instruments duly signed and ratified by the Philippines, in consonance with Philippine law, shall be rights of women under this Act to be enjoyed without discrimination. Protection from Violence. – The State shall ensure that all women shall be protected from all forms of violence as provided for in existing laws. Agencies of government shall give priority to the defense and protection of women against gender-based offenses and help women attain justice and healing.

Women shall have the right to protection and security in situations of armed conflict and militarization. Towards this end, they shall be protected from all forms of gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, and all forms of violence in situations of armed conflict. The State shall observe international standards for the protection of civilian population in circumstances of emergency and armed conflict. It shall not force women, especially indigenous peoples. to abandon their lands, territories, and means of subsistence, or relocate them in special centers for military purposes under any discriminatory condition. Women’s Right to Health. – Comprehensive Health Services. The State shall, at all times, provide for a comprehensive, culture-sensitive, and gender-responsive health services and programs covering all stages of a woman’s life cycle and which addresses the major causes of women’s mortality and morbidity: Provided, That in the provision for comprehensive health services, due respect shall be accorded to women’s religious convictions, the rights of the spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions, and the demands of responsible parenthood, and the right of women to protection from hazardous drugs, devices, interventions, and substances to access the following services: * Promotion of breastfeeding Responsible, ethical, legal, safe, and effective methods of family planning

* Family and State collaboration in youth sexuality education and health services without prejudice to the primary right and duty of parents to educate their children * Prevention and management of reproductive tract infections, including sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, and AIDS * Prevention and management of reproductive tract cancers like breast and cervical cancers, and other gynecological conditions and disorders * Prevention of abortion and management of pregnancy-related complications * In cases of violence against women and children, women and children victims and survivors shall be provided with comprehensive health services that include psychosocial, therapeutic, medical, and legal interventions and assistance towards healing, recovery, and empowerment * Prevention and management of infertility and sexual dysfunction pursuant to ethical norms and medical standards * Care of the elderly women beyond their child-bearing years; and * Management, treatment, and intervention of mental health problems of women and girls.

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