Emmeline L. Verzosa
Ms. Verzosa has been a staunch advocate of women's rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women. Her major achievements are in policy advocacy and capacity development. As a nutritionist, she championed breast-feeding by working for the passage of the Milk Code which regulates the marketing of breastfeeding substitutes. One result of her masteral thesis was her idea to enact the Rooming-in and Breastfeeding Act of 1992, which fulfils the infants's right to be breastfed and every mother's right to feed her baby the best milk.
While at the Philippine Commission on Women, Ms. Verzosa shepherded the passage of three landmark pieces of legislation: the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004, and the Magna Carta of Women (MCW) of 2009. The MCW embodies the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Violence Against Women.
As a gender and development specialist, she was one of the pioneers in conducting training on gender mainstreaming in government, NGOs and international organizations way back in the early nineties.
The Philippines now has one of the more successful implementations of gender mainstreaming strategy in the region such that neighboring Asian countries often make study visits on the Philippine Commission on Women.