PCW, MTRCB conduct gender sensitivity seminar for ABS-CBN

The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) conducted on March 22 a Gender and Development (GAD) Seminar for ABS-CBN directors and business unit heads.

“The PCW and MTRCB are here to help you maintain a healthy public perception,” PCW Deputy Director for Management Services Cecile B. Gutierrez said during the activity, which is part of MTRCB’s GAD campaign for media networks.

Gutierrez also emphasized that participants could use as guide the three gender equality guides for media launched on that day by the Gender Equality Committee (GEC), of which PCW and MTRCB are members.

“The three policy documents seek to change the patriarchal practices in Philippine media and contribute to the production of more gender sensitive media content,” Gutierrez said. The guides, namely Guide to Protect Women Against Discrimination in Media and Film, Code of Ethics for Media, and Gender Equality Guide, also promote gender equality in media networks and organizations.

“Let us work together to promote the dignity of women and men,” MTRCB Chairperson Eugenio Villareal said. He also stressed why recognizing blind spots in reading media content and working for reforms in TV programming are important.

The main topic of the seminar is on gender sensitivity with discussions on Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women and other anti-violence against women (anti-VAW) laws. PCW’s Information Resource Management Division Officer-in-Charge Anita E. Baleda said that government statistics show that women’s status in terms of education, economic and political participation are “improving” but there is still a need to encourage more women to become leaders.

ABS-CBN business unit head and director Laurenti Dyogi said that the number of “happy and complete families” could decline if more women would assume leadership posts. Baleda answered that PCW does not want deterioration of the family to happen but family support should be available for those who want to run for public office. “Women can not only manage homes, they can also lead communities,” Baleda said.

Business unit head Louie Andrada raised the issue of gathering sex-disaggregated statistics and information on women leaders and decision-makers in the private sector. “It would be better if the government would gather data on women and men in top level positions in the private sector so we can prove or disprove if women are still marginalized,” he said.

MTRCB Board Member and film critique Mario B. Hernando said the participants’ time “will be wasted” unless they remove biases, unlearn “sexist” attitudes, and practice caution in the treatment of children, women, persons with disabilities and the elderly. “We should all strive to seek gender sensitivity not only in the portrayal of women in TV but also in our own private lives,” Hernando said.