PCW and Benguet Provincial Government hold Magna Carta of Women Information Caravan
To emphasize the protection, promotion and fulfillment of women’s rights, the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), in partnership with the Provincial Government of Benguet, conducted the Magna Carta of Women (MCW) Information Caravan on December 28 at the Provincial Capitol.
The caravan aims to disseminate information on the obligations of government, non-government organizations, civil society and private sector to implement the MCW in order to advance women’s rights and end discrimination against them. PCW Deputy Director Mel S. Silva and Benguet Governor Nestor B. Fongwan were one in calling on that women need to know their rights and use it to their advantage.
“The government is required by the law to do gender mainstreaming which means looking into the concerns of women and men and addressing the gender issues,” PCW Deputy Director Mel S. Silva said. She added that information dissemination is essential to make women knowledgeable on their rights and consequently demand for those.
Moreover, Benguet Governor Nestor B. Fongwan said that the implementation of the MCW is “not a matter of option.” He also advocated for his constituents to re-echo to their various communities the knowledge gained from the caravan.
Fongwan also noted that the provincial government has already made various efforts in implementing the MCW and in making sure that women’s needs and concerns are identified and addressed.
MOVE Philippines (Men Opposed to Violence Against Women Everywhere, Philippines) Founding President and Sandiganbayan Clerk of Court Atty. Dennis Pulma, who served as resource speaker, stressed that women’s rights already existed before the passage of the MCW in 2009. “Now you have a law as basis for demanding your rights,” Pulma said, urging the participants to make the MCW their personal advocacy. “There is a huge difference between reading the law and embracing it,” he added.
Pulma also discussed a short “herstory” of other women-related laws such as R.A 7192 also known as “Women in Development and Nation Building Act,” R.A 9208, the “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003,” and R.A 9262, as the “Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004.
National Anti-Poverty Commission women sector representative for the Cordillera Administrative Region and former Benguet Vice Governor Edna Tabanda joined the panel during the open forum. Most of the issues tackled include handling violence against women cases, settling properties, and having access to government services such as health care and legal assistance.
The MCW Information Caravan is a joint venture of Benguet Provincial Government and the PCW with funding support from the Office of Senator Pia S. Cayetano. Benguet is the first of the eight provinces that will be visited for the caravan.