Men as partners in advancing women’s human rights in RP

21 June 2009, MANILA – The National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) salutes all the fathers on Fathers’ Day as it recognizes the role that men play in our society to advance women’s human’s rights.

“Men are invaluable partners of women in advancing women’s human rights in the Philippines. NCRFW recognizes the importance to reach out to men and raise their awareness to advance gender equality in the country,” NCRFW Chair Myrna T. Yao said.

In our society, the notion that decision-making power rests on men still holds even in basic issues such as reproductive and family health. With their varied roles as husbands, community leaders, religious leaders and political leaders, their informed decision will have direct impact on the advocacies that women are promoting.

There is a growing indication that men want to be involved in gender equality. Based on the research conducted by the United Nation’s Population Fund (UNFPA), male leaders when presented with relevant data can become valuable allies in addressing various women’s issues from reproductive health to violence against women.

“As national machinery for women’s advancement, we strongly advocate partnering with men to support gender equality and to ensure consensual decision-making on various important issues. Clearly, cooperation and participation of men is essential in achieving gender equality,” Chair Yao noted.

Partnering with men is NCRFW’s commitment to advance gender equality in the Philippines. The Commission initiated the organization of Men Opposed To Violence Against Women Everywhere (MOVE), a group of progressive men advocating for the elimination of VAW in the country.

“Men as partners in gender equality is an important strategy to advance women’s human rights issues. We believe that men should be seen as responsible, caring and non-violent development partners,” Chair Yao added.