Laws are powerful medium by which women can be empowered. An examination of Philippine laws on the status of women reveals that substantive gains have been achieved to recognize, protect, fulfill and promote the rights of Filipino women.
But in spite of the significant steps taken in the past years, discriminatory provisions still remain on the statute books. It is therefore essential to reexamine our laws and participate in the legislative process in order to pursue the interest of women. The Magna Carta of Women (R.A. 9710) specifically provides that the State shall take steps to review and, when necessary, amend and/or repeal existing laws that are discriminatory to women within three (3) years from its effectivity. It’s implementing rules and regulations called on the different branches and agencies of the government to act on the said provision.
Although the status of women is not solely determined by law, it is clear that legislation or lack of it can obstruct or accelerate the achievement of full equality of women with men. The Women’s Priority Legislative Agenda (WPLA) seeks to amend or repeal the discriminatory provisions of existing laws and moves for the formulation and adoption of new legislations that promote women’s empowerment and gender equality. It is primarily anchored on the Magna Carta of Women and the Philippine Plan for Gender-Responsive Development (PPGD).