Magna Carta to enhance women’s economic rights

The Magna Carta of Women, which was signed by President Macapagal-Arroyo on August 14, 2009, will promote the economic rights and well-being of women, especially those in the marginalized sectors.

Chairperson Myrna T. Yao of the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW), said that the law will ensure that Filipino women will be given equal rights in food security and resources for food production that include the titling of land and issuance of stewardship contracts and patents.

Chair Yao said that under the law, women will also be given equal opportunities for employment, livelihood, credit, capital and technology as well as in skills training and scholarships including those for women migrant workers.

According to Chair Yao, since she assumed the presidency, President Arroyo’s priority was always to promote the economic empowerment of women so that they could become productive members of society.

The administration’s massive poverty alleviation program, Chair Yao said, is basically aimed at improving the lives of Filipinos, including women, especially those in the marginalized sectors.

The law defines marginalized sectors as those who belong to the disadvantaged or vulnerable groups who live in poverty and have no access to basic social and economic services such as health care, education, water and sanitation, employment, housing, physical infrastructure and the justice system.

According to Chair Yao, the law now mandates government financing and credit agencies to step up their micro-finance programs so that they can lend more money to women, especially those in the rural areas, who want to go into small businesses or livelihood projects.

Yao said that the NCRFW, which will be renamed as the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), is now coordinating with the Commission on Human Rights and other concerned departments and agencies, non-government organizations, civil society groups and representatives from both houses of Congress in formulating the MCW’s implementing rules and regulations.