NCRFW spearheads forum on social protection

The National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) is spearheading a multi-stakeholder forum on social protection to be held on August 14-15, 2008 at the Bayview Hotel in Manila. The initiative is in support of the economic development thrusts of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on poverty alleviation and sustainable development.

“Social protection is critical in enabling women, both the workers and the owners of micro-enterprises in the informal economy to shield themselves, their families and micro-enterprises from various social and economic shocks. Women comprise a significant number of the poor and 95 percent of micro-enterprises involve women, most of them are in the informal economy,” Chair Yao explained.

Gender-responsive policies and programs, she explained, will mitigate the burdens of poverty on women, who usually bear these burdens in a more intense way since they have to perform their home and family care obligations alongside their economic endeavors.

She added that aside from the enterprise-related concerns, women entrepreneurs and workers in the micro-enterprises are faced with various reproductive roles and concerns that stand in the way of their economic participation.

The multi-stakeholder forum which is supported by the Canadian International Development Agency’s (CIDA) Gender-Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women Project (GREAT Women Project) partners will be attended by the eight identified LGUs under the GREAT Women Project – Quezon, Leyte, Davao del Sur, Palma Alliance in North Cotabato, Iloilo, Bohol, Ifugao and Metro Naga. Other participants will come from government agencies, cooperatives, private sector, international organizations and non-government organizations that have social protection programs.

The GREAT Women Project attempts to harness the capacities of concerned government entities, NGOs and private sector providers of social protection, and the women in micro-enterprises themselves to address social protection needs and help them attain economic security.

Through this activity, the NCRFW will contribute to the achievement of the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan and international Millennium Development Goals targets on poverty alleviation and the promotion and fulfillment of women’s economic rights under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

The multi-stakeholder forum was organized as initial step to enable the partners of the GREAT Women Project to look into the policies and programs on social protection and the implications of implementation on women in micro-enterprises.

It is also a venue to discuss specific concerns, issues on social protection of women workers and owners in micro-enterprises and identify possible measures as well as the engagements or partnerships that may be forged to respond to these concerns.