SALIGAN seeks the passage of women laws
SALIGAN, in its mission towards the empowerment of women
throughout the country, joins various women’s groups in their clamor for
national legislations that will fully recognize women’s rights and gender
equality. Towards this end, SALIGAN supports and calls for the passage of
the Reproductive Health Bill and the Anti-Prostitution Bill.
- The Reproductive Health Bill is a recognition that
reproductive health is a basic human right and it is the obligation of the
government to protect and facilitate the enjoyment of this right.
- The Anti-Prostitution Bill states that women exploited in prostitution should never be treated as
criminals; instead, they should be treated as victim-survivors of sexual
exploitation. Being victim-survivors, the blame should not be attributed to
sexually-exploited women but on those who take advantage of them, as well as
those who profit and gain from their sexual victimization.
The proposed pieces of legislation find bases from
international instruments, foremost of which is the International Bill of Human
Rights which lays down the fundamental human rights of every individual.
Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that: Everyone
is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth… without
distinction of any kind, such as race, colour,sex, language,
religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth
or other status. It recognized gender equality as one of the basic tenets of
In addition to this, the Philippines is also a signatory to the
Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the paramount
international human rights instrument espousing the promotion, protection and
fulfillment of women’s rights. As signatory to CEDAW, the Philippines is duty
bound to give life to the provisions of the Convention by incorporating into its
legal system laws that recognize gender equality, define as well as prohibit
gender discrimination and put forth a national agenda that would end all forms
of discrimination against women in its society. Twenty-six years after the
ratification to the Convention, the Philippine Government has been remiss in
complying with its State obligations under the Convention.
Furthermore, the 1987 Constitution recognizes the role of
women in nation-building and ensures fundamental equality before the law between
men and women. As a state policy, it is therefore incumbent upon the State to
enact measures towards gender equality.
Beyond international and constitutional bases, the
above-mentioned proposed measures would address pressing issues of women who,
more often than not, without protection from the State through domestic laws,
suffer from gender discrimination, marginalization and violence. -Saligan