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Women's Month: Laws promoting Women's Rights in the Philippines

Women's Month: Laws promoting Women's Rights in the Philippines

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Published by Pat
In commemoration of Women's Month, the paper lists various laws promoting the rights of women internationally and locally (in the Philippines).
In commemoration of Women's Month, the paper lists various laws promoting the rights of women internationally and locally (in the Philippines).

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Published by: Pat on Mar 16, 2013
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10/03/2013

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OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER ON THE PEACE PROCESS1
WOMEN’S MONTH
 LAWS PERTAINING TO WOMEN
In celebration of 
women’s month, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
(OPAPP) will compile laws that are aimed to empower women. The compilation would includeinternational covenants passed by the international community and national laws passed by congress.
International Law
(note that most of these laws were passed by the United Nations General Assembly 
)
:
Women are a major subject in international law. It is only fitting that their rights are enshrined in theInternational Bill of Human Rights; which is composed of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights(UDHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant onEconomic, Social and Cultural Rights.In the 1948 the United Nations passed the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
. Since it isuniversal it applies to all gender, race and religion. The principles contained within this treaty would beused in future accords pertaining to women and their rights.As a concrete example that women are a major component in the treaty, they are highlighted in theUDHR Preamble and it said that:
“…
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women
and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom…” 
There is also a specific article that is related to women and their rights (specifically regarding marriage).Article 16 stated that:
1.
 
“Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the
right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, duringmarriage and at its dissolution.2.
 
Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.3.
 
The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by 
society and the State.” 
The next is the
Convention on the Political Rights of Women (1952)
. The treaty is related to the UDHRparticularly on Article 21 which states that:
1.
 
“Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely 
chosen representatives.2.
 
Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.3.
 
The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall beexpressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and 
shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.” 
 
 
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER ON THE PEACE PROCESS2In summary, the covenant of 1952 is aimed to protect the equal status of women to exercise theirpolitical rights.In relation to the latter covenant a landmark resolution was passed in 1966 named as the
InternationalCovenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
.
This is aimed again to strengthen women’s political rights
and also to include equal civil rights as well. These civil rights include the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, electoral rights, the right to due process and a fairtrial.On Article 3 it stated that:
“The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women tothe enjoyment of all civil and political rights set forth in the present Covenant.” 
Also on Article 6 regarding the right to life sub-section number five (5), it is stated that:
“ 
Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age
and shall not be carried out on pregnant women.” 
Another on Article 23 regarding family and marriage in subsection two (2), it is stated that:
“The right of men and women of marriageable age to marry and to found a family shall be recognized.” 
 
That same year, the international community passed the
International Covenant on Economic, Socialand Cultural Rights (ESCR)
. The treaty gave women equality in terms of labor rights, the right toeducation and the right to an adequate standard of living.The following year (1967) the
Declaration on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination againstWomen
was created. Although it was not binding it was an important precursor to the
Convention onthe Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination (CEDAW)
against Women on 1979.On 1974 the
Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict
 was created, however it is also non-binding.Then on 1993 the UNGA passed the
Declaration of Violence against Women
, again it is a precursor tothe
Inter-American Convention for the Prevention, Punishment and Elimination of Violence againstWomen
passed on 1995. The treaties recalls past convention, specifically the UDHR and CEDAW. In
addition it also called for the need to strengthen women’s rights regarding equality, security,
liberty,integrity and dignity.It is clearly stated in Article 1 of the Convention as part of its Scope and Application that:
“ 
For the purposes of this Convention, violence against women shall be understood as any act or conduct,based on gender, which causes death or physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women,whether in the public or the private sphere.
” 
 
 
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER ON THE PEACE PROCESS3In Article 2 it is also stated that:
“Violence against women shall be understood to include physical, sexual and psychological violence:
a)
 
that occurs within the family or domestic unit or within any other interpersonal relationship,whether or not the perpetrator shares or has shared the same residence with the woman,including, among others, rape, battery and sexual abuse;b)
 
that occurs in the community and is perpetrated by any person, including, among others, rape,sexual abuse, torture, trafficking in persons, forced prostitution, kidnapping and sexual harassment in the workplace, as well as in educational institutions, health facilities or any other  place; and c)
 
that is perpetrated or condoned by the state or its agents regardless of where it occurs.” 
 
In 1997 the
Universal Declaration on Democracy
was passed. It also recalled past conventions such asthe UDHR and CEDAW. It has specific article concerning women, but is mainly for gender equality.It is state in the First Part regarding the Principles of Democracy, sub-clause number four (4) that:
“4. The achievement of democracy presupposes a genuine partnership between men and women in the
conduct of the affairs of society in which they work in equality and complementarity, drawing mutual 
enrichment from their differences.” 
Lastly in 1999
the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
was passed. The main principles behind the protocol can be seen in thepreamble.It is stated that:
“The preamble is the introductory part of the Protocol wh
ich sets out the object and purpose of theProtocol. It refers to the principles of equality and non-discrimination as embodied in the UN Charter, theUniversal Declaration of Human Rights, and other international human rights instruments, including theConvention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. It reaffirms thedetermination of States parties which adopt the protocol to ensure the full and equal enjoyment by women of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and to take effective action to prevent violations
of these rights and freedoms.” 
 

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