The PCW as steward of the Magna Carta of Women
The Philippine Commission on Women’s past chairpersons and executive directors, its management and technical staff, Commissioners from both the government and non-government sectors and partners gathered in Holiday Inn, Clark last January 19-20, 2010 to participate in a workshop entitled, “Appreciating MCW and Celebrating PCW.”
The workshop was facilitated by Commissioner Isabelita S. Palanca, Ph. D. It aimed to arrive at a common understanding and appreciation of the new Philippine Commission on Women, with its expanded functions as defined in the Magna Carta of Women.
Strategies were identified on how PCW officials, staff, and stakeholders can be effective and efficient stewards of the Magna Carta of Women. The former officials of PCW were in agreement that institutional mechanisms must be strengthened and the PCW must have a new architecture to effectively function as the national machinery for women. By expanding its current staff complement and elevating its status through appointment of a full time Chairperson with rank of a Cabinet Secretary without portfolio, the strategic plan of PCW can proceed as it carries out the following important functions:
- Provide substantive support to government where commitments, norms, and policy recommendations on gender equality and gender mainstreaming are discussed and agreed upon;
- Conduct training, development/capability building, and develop focal points within government structure;
- Initiate innovative and catalytic programs before these are mainstreamed;
- Undertake national advocacy on issues critical to gender equality and women empowerment to ensure that under-recognized and under-resourced issues receive national attention (e.g., Reproductive Health issue, women’s peace and security, etc.) and support national implementation and monitoring of various commitments like the Beijing Platform for Action, Security Council Resolution 1325 and 1820 on Women Peace and Security, MDGs, etc.;
- Undertake new and consolidate existing research and analytical work;
- Strengthen accountability of government, including thorough oversight, monitoring, and reporting on system-wide performance on gender equality, compliance with mandates on gender balance including at senior and decision-making levels;
- Develop strategic partnerships with multi-lateral and regional organizations which have a big impact on gender equality and women’s empowerment and; h)Foster strong linkages with civil society and women NGOs.
The workshop produced a “dream map” for PCW which will serve as its springboard from its present structure and function to an expanded and strengthened organization ready to respond to the needs of women all over the Philippines.