Magna Carta of Women strengthens protection of women against all forms of violence

Women will soon be further protected from all forms of violence once the Philippine government signs into law the proposed Magna Carta of Women (MCW).

The National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW), the government’s machinery for women’s advancement, is strongly advocating for the enactment of the MCW to help boost protection for females who are at a more disadvantaged position on certain issues such as internal displacement due to armed conflict, sexual assault and harassment and proper treatment in the criminal justice system.

NCRFW Chair Myrna T. Yao said that violence is a form of discrimination that seriously inhibits women’s ability to enjoy rights and freedoms on a basis of equality with men.

“Women are more prone to violence that is directed against them or affects them disproportionately. It includes acts that inflict physical, mental or sexual harm or suffering, threats of such acts, coercion and other deprivations of liberty. The Magna Carta of Women addresses these threats and calls for the protection of women from all forms of violence,” Chair Yao said.

The Philippine Senate already approved on plenary the bicameral conference committee report of the bill. However, the House of Representatives has yet to discuss the measure.

“We are hoping that our leaders from the House of Representatives will be able to ratify the bill soonest,” Chair Yao added.

Under the proposed bill, agencies of government shall give priority to the defense and protection of women against gender-based offenses and help women attain justice and healing.

It likewise proposes for measures to prosecute and reform offenders. There are also provisions for the incremental increase in the recruitment and training of women in fields that provide services for women victims of gender-related offenses, and protection and security in situations of armed conflict and militarization.

The bill also calls for mandatory human rights and gender-sensitivity training for all government personnel involved in the protection and defense of women against gender-based violence. All local government units will also have to establish a Violence Against Women’s Desk in every barangay to ensure that these case are fully addressed.