Antonio Miguel M. CardenasSLR Proposed Topics1.
An Inquiry into the Provisions of the Family Code which Discriminatesagainst Women
The role of women in society has been the topic of several debates in recent history. In orderto adopt the developments in the move toward gender equality, the Philippine Legislature hasamended or repealed certain laws which tend to discriminate against women. Foremost of theselaws are the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act, the Magna Carta for Women, andthe Women in Development and Nation Building Act, among others. These laws are designed toaddress the issues relating to the male-dominated Philippine society.Despite the recognition of the 1987 Constitution as to the equality of both men and women,and the role of women in nation-building; still several laws in the past which carries with themcertain discriminatory attributes remain in force and full effect. One of which is the Family Codeof the Philippines. To a certain extent, the Family Code has leveled the playing field for both menand women in domestic affairs. However, there are still provisions which remain to be subject of discussions as to their propriety in the present context. Some of these are: (a) Article 14: on the
provision on giving preference to the father’s consent to the marriage of children between the ages
of 18 and 21; (b) Articles 96 and 124: on the provision on givi
ng preference to the husband’s
decision, in case of disagreement with the wife, on the administration and enjoyment of community and conjugal properties; (c) Article 211: on the provision of giving preference to the
husband’s decision, in case of disagreem
ent with the wife, over the persons of their common
children; (d) Article 225: on the provision on giving preference to the husband’s decision, in case
of disagreement with the wife, on the exercise of legal guardianship over the property of unemancipated common child; (e) Article 55, No.1: on the requirement for repeated physicalabuse and grossly abusive conduct as a ground for legal separation.One of the purposes of this paper is to be able to come up with a conclusion regarding thelegality and practicality of these provisions. The wisdom behind these laws will be inquired intoand to determine whether or not they continue to be relevant today. A review of the legislativehistory of the Family Code will be necessary to understand the rationale behind their inclusion. Atthe same time, a survey will be conducted to flesh out the opinion of the people whether theseprovisions denies basic rights to women in the management of their domestic affairs.
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