PCW Statement on the 2013 International Women’s Day

Today, we join the rest of the world in celebrating the International Day of Women. This year, the Philippines has adopted the theme “Kababaihan: Gabay sa Pagtahak sa Tuwid na Daan” to give the Filipino women due respect and recognition in helping the P-Noy administration tread the path towards transparent, accountable and inclusive government.

In celebration of the 2013 International Women’s Day, the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) is proud that the Philippines is listed as one of the best places to be a woman, according to the 2012 Gender Gap Index or GGI, surveyed by the World Economic Forum. The GGI examines the gap between women and men in four fundamental categories: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment. The Philippines is the lone Asian country included in the top 10 last year and the only Asian country to have consistently done so since 2006

Philippine government data support the results of the survey. Women also occupy 46% of third level government posts (Career Executive Service Board, 2012). Several Presidential women appointees hold top strategic and non-traditional government posts such as Chief Justice, Secretary of Justice, and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. Female participation rate in the labor force is at 49.7% (National Statistics Office, 2012). In terms of economic empowerment, the country has the least gender gap among business owners in the global arena with a 55:45 male-female ratio (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 2006-2007).

The Philippines also echoes the call of the United Nations for the today’s celebration — “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.” Out of 40,027 barangays in the country, 30,424 have established their VAW Desks. VAW Desk officers mainly assist VAW victims in securing Barangay Protection Order and develop the barangay’s gender-responsive plan in addressing gender-based violence. With this, we can say that our country is now in a better stance to respond to violence against women (VAW) cases.

PCW maintains that there can never be a straight path where violations of women’s human rights exist. Equality between women and men cannot be achieved without women participating in the workforce and assuming leadership roles in government. This is the call of the 2013 Women’s Month Celebration.

May this celebration inspire more women to break more glass ceilings and persuade men to support gender equality. Happy Women’s Month!