Memorandum Circular No. 2014-06: Promoting the Use of Gender-Sensitive Language in the Drafting and Review of Legislative Measures

Date19 December 2014
ToAll Heads of Government Departments, Agencies, Bureaus, Offices, State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs)and All Other Instrumentalities of Government, and Chairpersons of their Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Point Systems
SubjectPromoting the Use of Gender-Sensitive Language in the Drafting and Review of Legislative Measures

Pursuant to Section 14, Article II of the 1987 Constitution, the “State recognizes the role of women in nation-building, and shall ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men.” This State Policy is affirmed in the President’s Social Contract with the Filipino People as pursued through Executive Order No. 43 s. 2011, which includes Gender Equality in its sixteen-point agenda and commits to transform the government “from a lack of concern for gender disparities and shortfalls, to the promotion of equal gender opportunity in all spheres of public policies and programs.1″

Recognizing that the use of gender-fair language is the first benchmark of gender-sensitivity, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) issued Memorandum Circular No. 12, series of 2005, attached herein, which encourages the use of non-sexist language in all official documents, communications and issuances. Republic Act 9710, otherwise known as the “Magna Carta of Women,” reinforces the use of gender-sensitive language at all times.

While there has been growing observance on the use of gender-sensitive language in government documents, it has been observed that sexist language and terms are still used in existing laws and in some proposed legislative measures.

Language shapes thoughts, perceptions and attitudes and, thus, plays a very crucial role in promoting gender awareness and consciousness. The use of generic masculine terms to refer to both sexes in the text of laws renders women invisible, and could result to the non-consideration of their needs and concerns in the implementation of such laws.

In this regard, heads of agencies shall ensure that their GAD Focal Point Systems coordinate with and assist their legislative liaison officers in enhancing the gender-sensitivity of legislative measures by observing the use of gender-sensitive or non-sexist language in the drafting and review of their priority legislative measures and implementing rules and regulations of laws.

For your guidance and appropriate action.


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