Representatives of national government agencies attended a training on September 3-5 to enhance their understanding on the Magna Carta of Women (MCW, R.A 9710) so that they will be more confident and better equipped to become resource persons on the MCW. The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), with support from the Office of Senator Pia S. Cayetano, spearheaded the event.
The three-day training, dubbed as “MCW Speakers’ Pool Training for Partners,” included discussions on the fundamental concepts of the human rights of women, their rights and empowerment, institutional mechanisms for implementing the law, and communicating the MCW.
Atty. Elizabeth Pangalangan and Atty. Rowena Morales of the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law, Atty. Claire Lucson of the Women’s Legal Education, Advocacy and Defense Foundation, Inc., (Women LEAD), and Ms. Nharleen Santos-Millar of PCW served as resource persons. They shared tips and legal advice in handling scenarios that have implications on the exercise of women’s rights.
Pangalangan’s discussion focused on the crafting of the law where she said attention to detail and wordings are critical to avoid misinterpretations. Lucson explained the rights of women in the marginalized sector. Institutional mechanisms such as the establishment of gender and development focal point systems (GFPS) in all government agencies and the effective use of the gender and development (GAD) budget were covered by Millar while Morales centered on the methods of communicating MCW messages to the public.
In her message, Rikken asked the participants to always carry the advocacies of gender equality and women’s empowerment wherever they go. “We need to get this country going. We need people like you to make that happen,” she said. The participants, who were capacitated to form part of the speakers’ pool for the MCW, are set to help the PCW educate other people about women’s rights and advocate for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.
The MCW, passed in 2009, is a comprehensive women’s human rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination against women by recognizing, protecting, fulfilling and promoting the rights of Filipino women, especially those in the marginalized sectors.
Attendees of the workshop are representatives from the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), Civil Service Commission (CSC), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Commission on Audit (COA), Philippine National Police (PNP), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), Philippine Broadcast Services-Bureau of Broadcast Services (PBS-BBS), Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Bureau of Communication Services (BCS), Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), and Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI).