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Republic Act No. 9710 August 14, The State affirms women's rights as human
2009 rights and shall intensify its efforts to fulfill
its duties under international and domestic
AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE MAGNA law to recognize, respect, protect, fulfill,
CARTA OF WOMEN and promote all human rights and
fundamental freedoms of women,
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of especially marginalized women, in the
Representatives of the Philippines in economic, social, political, cultural, and
Congress assembled:: other fields without distinction or
discrimination on account of class, age, sex,
Section 1. Short Title. - This Act shall be gender, language, ethnicity, religion,
known as "The Magna Carta of Women". ideology, disability, education, and status.
The State shall provide the necessary
Section 2. Declaration of Policy. - mechanisms to enforce women's rights and
Recognizing that the economic, political, adopt and undertake all legal measures
and sociocultural realities affect women's necessary to foster and promote the equal
current condition, the State affirms the role opportunity for women to participate in and
of women in nation building and ensures contribute to the development of the
the substantive equality of women and political, economic, social, and cultural
men. It shall promote empowerment of realms.
women and pursue equal opportunities for
women and men and ensure equal access to The State, in ensuring the full integration of
resources and to development results and women's concerns in the mainstream of
outcome. Further, the State realizes that development, shall provide ample
equality of men and women entails the opportunities to enhance and develop their
abolition of the unequal structures and skills, acquire productive employment and
practices that perpetuate discrimination contribute to their families and
and inequality. To realize this, the State shall communities to the fullest of their
endeavor to develop plans, policies, capabilities.
programs, measures, and mechanisms to
address discrimination and inequality in the In pursuance of this policy, the State
economic, political, social, and cultural life reaffirms the right of women in all sectors
of women and men. to participate in policy formulation.
planning, organization, implementation,
The State condemns discrimination against management, monitoring, and evaluation of
women in all its forms and pursues by all all programs, projects, and services. It shall
appropriate means and without delay the support policies, researches, technology,
policy of eliminating discrimination against and training programs and other support
women in keeping with the Convention on services such as financing, production, and
the Elimination of All Forms of marketing to encourage active participation
Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) of women in national development.
and other international instruments
consistent with Philippine law. The State Section 3. Principles of Human Rights of
shall accord women the rights, protection, Women. - Human rights are universal and
and opportunities available to every inalienable. All people in the world are
member of society. entitled to them. The universality of human
rights is encompassed in the words of
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Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of with the rules and procedures provided by
Human Rights, which states that all human law.
beings are free and equal in dignity and
rights. CHAPTER II
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Human rights are indivisible. Human rights
are inherent to the dignity of every human Section 4. Definitions. - For purposes of this
being whether they relate to civil, cultural, Act, the following terms shall mean:
economic, political, or social issues.
(a) "Women Empowerment" refers to the
Human rights are interdependent and provision, availability, and accessibility of
interrelated. The fulfillment of one right opportunities, services, and observance of
often depends, wholly or in part, upon the human rights which enable women to
fulfillment of others. actively participate and contribute to the
political, economic, social, and cultural
All individuals are equal as human beings by development of the nation as well as those
virtue of the inherent dignity of each human which shall provide them equal access to
person. No one, therefore, should suffer ownership, management, and control of
discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, production, and of material and
gender, age, language, sexual orientation, informational resources and benefits in the
race, color, religion, political, or other family, community, and society.
opinion, national, social, or geographical
origin, disability, property, birth, or other (b) "Discrimination Against Women" refers
status as established by human rights to any gender-based distinction, exclusion,
standards. or restriction which has the effect or
purpose of impairing or nullifying the
All people have the right to participate in recognition, enjoyment, or exercise by
and access information relating to the women, irrespective of their marital status,
decision- making processes that affect their on a basis of equality of men and women, of
lives and well-being. Rights-based human rights and fundamental freedoms in
approaches require a high degree of the political, economic, social, cultural, civil,
participation by communities, civil society, or any other field.
minorities, women, young people,
indigenous peoples, and other identified It includes any act or omission, including by
groups. law; policy, administrative measure, or
practice, that directly or indirectly excludes
States and other duty-bearers are or restricts women in the recognition and
answerable for the observance of human promotion of their rights and their access to
rights. They have to comply with the legal and enjoyment of opportunities, benefits,
norms and standards enshrined in or privileges.
international human rights instruments in
accordance with the Philippine Constitution. A measure or practice of general application
Where they fail to do so, aggrieved rights- is discrimination against women if it fails to
holders are entitled to institute proceedings provide for mechanisms to offset or address
for appropriate redress before a competent sex or gender-based disadvantages or
court or other adjudicator in accordance limitations of women, as a result of which
women are denied or restricted in the
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recognition and protection of their rights small-scale mining, handicrafts, and other
and in their access to and enjoyment of related farm and off-farm activities;
opportunities, benefits, or privileges; or
women, more than men, are shown to have (2) "Fisherfolk" refers to those directly or
suffered the greater adverse effects of those indirectly engaged in taking, culturing, or
measures or practices. processing fishery or aquatic resources.
These include, but are not to be limited to,
Provided, finally, That discrimination women engaged in fishing in municipal
compounded by or intersecting with other waters, coastal and marine areas, women
grounds, status, or condition, such as workers in commercial fishing and
ethnicity, age, poverty, or religion shall be aquaculture, vendors and processors of fish
considered discrimination against women and coastal products, and subsistence
under this Act. producers such as shell-gatherers,
managers, and producers of mangrove
(c) "Marginalization" refers to a condition resources, and other related producers:
where a whole category of people is
excluded from useful and meaningful (3) "Urban Poor" refers to those residing in
participation in political, economic, social, urban and urbanizable slum or blighted
and cultural life. areas, with or without the benefit of
security of abode, where the income of the
(d) "Marginalized" refers to the basic, head of the family cannot afford in a
disadvantaged, or vulnerable persons or sustained manner to provide for the family's
groups who are mostly living in poverty and basic needs of food, health, education,
have little or no access to land and other housing, and other essentials in life;
resources, basic social and economic
services such as health care, education, (4) "Workers in the Formal Economy" refers
water and sanitation, employment and to those who are employed by any person
livelihood opportunities, housing, social acting directly or indirectly in the interest of
security, physical infrastructure; and the an employer in relation to an employee and
justice system. shall include the government and all its
branches, subdivisions, and
These include, but are not limited to, instrumentalities, all government- owned
women in the following sectors and groups: and -controlled corporations and
institutions, as well as nonprofit private
(1) "Small Farmers and Rural Workers" institutions or organizations;
refers to those who are engaged directly or
indirectly in small farms and forest areas, (5) "Workers in the Informal Economy"
workers in commercial farms and refers to self-employed, occasionally or
plantations, whether paid or unpaid, regular personally hired, subcontracted, paid and
or season-bound. These shall include. but unpaid family workers in household
are not limited to, (a) small farmers who incorporated and unincorporated
own or are still amortizing for lands that is enterprises, including home workers, micro-
not more than three (3) hectares, tenants, entrepreneurs and producers, and operators
leaseholders, and stewards; and (b) rural of sari-sari stores and all other categories
workers who are either wage earners, self- who suffer from violation of workers' rights:
employed, unpaid family workers directly
and personally engaged in agriculture,
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(6) "Migrant Workers" refers to Filipinos cruelty, exploitation, or discrimination


who are to be engaged, are engaged, or because of a physical or mental disability or
have been engaged in a remunerated condition;
activity in a State of which they are not legal
residents, whether documented or (10) "Senior Citizens" refers to those sixty
undocumented; (60) years of age and above;

(7) "Indigenous Peoples" refers to a group of (11) "Persons with Disabilities" refers to
people or homogenous societies identified those who are suffering from restriction or
by self-ascription and ascription by other, different abilities, as a result of a mental,
who have continuously lived as organized physical, or sensory impairment to perform
community on communally bounded and an activity in the manner or within the
defined territory, and who have, under range considered normal for a human
claims of ownership since time immemorial, being; and
occupied; possessed customs, tradition, and
other distinctive cultural traits, or who have, (12) "Solo Parents" refers to those who fall
through resistance to political, social, and under the category of a solo parent defined
cultural inroads of colonization, non- under Republic Act No. 8972, otherwise
indigenous religions and culture, became known as the "Solo Parents Welfare Act of
historically differentiated from the majority 2000".
of Filipinos. They shall likewise include
peoples who are regarded as indigenous on (e) "Substantive Equality" refers to the full
account of their descent from the and equal enjoyment of rights and
populations which inhabited the country, at freedoms contemplated under this Act. It
the dime of conquest or colonization, or at encompasses de jure and de facto equality
the time of inroads of non-indigenous and also equality in outcomes.
religions and cultures, or the establishment
of present state boundaries, who retain (f) "Gender Equality" refers to the principle
some or all of their own social, economic, asserting the equality of men and women
cultural, and political institutions, but who and their right to enjoy equal conditions
may have been displaced from their realizing their full human potentials to
traditional domains or who may have contribute to and benefit from the results of
resettled outside their ancestral domains as development, and with the State
defined under Section 3(h), Chapter II of recognizing that all human beings are free
Republic Act No. 8371, otherwise known as and equal in dignity and rights.
"The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997"
(IPRA of 1997); (g) "Gender Equity" refers to the policies,
instruments, programs, services, and
(8) "Moro" refers to native peoples who actions that address the disadvantaged
have historically inhabited Mindanao, position of women in society by providing
Palawan, and Sulu, and who are largely of preferential treatment and affirmative
the Islamic faith; action. Such temporary special measures
aimed at accelerating de facto equality
(9) "Children" refers to those who are below between men and women shall not be
eighteen (18) years of age or over but are considered discriminatory but shall in no
unable to fully take care of themselves or way entail as a consequence the
protect themselves from abuse, neglect, maintenance of unequal or separate
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standards. These measures shall be maintenance of unequal or separate


discontinued when the objectives of standards. They shall be discontinued when
equality of opportunity and treatment have their objectives have been achieved.
been achieved.
(k) "Violence Against Women" refers to any
(h) "Gender and Development (GAD)" refers act of gender-based violence that results in,
to the development perspective and or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or
process that are participatory and psychological harm or suffering to women,
empowering, equitable, sustainable, free including threats of such acts, coercion, or
from violence, respectful of human rights, arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether
supportive of self-determination and occurring in public or in private life. It shall
actualization of human potentials. It seeks be understood to encompass, but not
to achieve gender equality as a fundamental limited to, the following:
value that should be reflected in
development choices; seeks to transform (1) Physical, sexual, psychological, and
society's social, economic, and political economic violence occurring in the family,
structures and questions the validity of the including battering, sexual abuse of female
gender roles they ascribed to women and children in the household, dowry-related
men; contends that women are active violence, marital rape, and other traditional
agents of development and not just passive practices harmful to women, non-spousal
recipients of development assistance; and violence, and violence related to
stresses the need of women to organize exploitation;
themselves and participate in political
processes to strengthen their legal rights. (2) Physical, sexual, and psychological
violence occurring within the general
(i) "Gender Mainstreaming" refers to the community, including rape, sexual abuse,
strategy for making women's as well as sexual harassment, and intimidation at
men's concerns and experiences an integral work, in educational institutions and
dimension of the design, implementation, elsewhere, trafficking in women, and
monitoring, and evaluation of policies and prostitution; and
programs in all political, economic, and
societal spheres so that women and men (3) Physical, sexual, and psychological
benefit equally and inequality is not violence perpetrated or condoned by the
perpetuated. It is the process of assessing State, wherever it occurs.
the implications for women and men of any
planned action, including legislation, It also includes acts of violence against
policies, or programs in all areas and at all women as defused in Republic Acts No.
levels. 9208 and 9262.

(j) "Temporary Special Measures" refers to a (l) "Women in the Military" refers to women
variety of legislative, executive, employed in the military, both in the major
administrative, and regulatory instruments, and technical services, who are performing
policies, and practices aimed at accelerating combat and/or noncombat functions,
this de facto equality of women in specific providing security to the State, and
areas. These measures shall not be protecting the people from various forms of
considered discriminatory but shall in no threat. It also includes women trainees in all
way entail as a consequence the military training institutions.
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(m) "Social Protection" refers to policies and promote the coherent and integrated
programs that seek to reduce poverty and implementation, and enforcement of this
vulnerability to risks and enhance the social Act and related laws, policies, or other
status and rights of all women, especially measures to effectively stop discrimination
the marginalized by promoting and against and advance the rights of women.
protecting livelihood and employment,
protecting against hazards and sudden loss The State shall keep abreast with and be
of income, and improving people's capacity guided by progressive developments in
to manage risk. Its components are labor human rights of women under international
market programs, social insurance, social law and design of policies, laws, and other
welfare, and social safety nets. measures to promote the objectives of this
Act.
CHAPTER III
DUTIES RELATED TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS Section 6. Duties of the State Agencies and
OF WOMEN Instrumentalities. - These duties of the
State shall extend to all state agencies,
The State, private sector, society in general, offices, and instrumentalities at all levels
and all individuals shall contribute to the and government-owned and -controlled
recognition, respect, and promotion of the corporations, subject to the Constitution
rights of women defined and guaranteed and pertinent laws, policies, or
under this Act. administrative guidelines that define
specific duties of state agencies and entities
Section 5. The State as the Primary Duty- concerned.
Bearer. - The State, as the primary duty-
bearer, shall: Section 7. Suppletory Effect. - This chapter
shall be deemed integrated into and be
(a) Refrain from discriminating against suppletory to other provisions of this Act,
women and violating their rights; particularly those that guarantee specific
rights to women and define specific roles
(b) Protect women against discrimination and require specific conduct of state organs.
and from violation of their rights by private
corporations, entities, and individuals; and CHAPTER IV
RIGHTS AND EMPOWERMENT
(c) Promote and fulfill the rights of women
in all spheres, including their rights to Section 8. Human Rights of Women. - All
substantive equality and non- rights in the Constitution and those rights
discrimination. recognized under international instruments
duly signed and ratified by the Philippines,
The State shall fulfill these duties through in consonance with Philippine law, shall be
law, policy, regulatory instruments, rights of women under this Act to be
administrative guidelines, and other enjoyed without discrimination.
appropriate measures, including temporary
special measures. Section 9. Protection from Violence. - The
State shall ensure that all women shall be
Recognizing the interrelation of the human protected from all forms of violence as
rights of women, the State shall take provided for in existing laws. Agencies of
measures and establish mechanisms to government shall give priority to the
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defense and protection of women against Section 10. Women Affected by Disasters,
gender-based offenses and help women Calamities, and Other Crisis Situations. -
attain justice and healing. Women have the right to protection and
security in times of disasters, calamities,
Towards this end, measures to prosecute and other crisis situations especially in all
and reform offenders shall likewise be phases of relief, recovery, rehabilitation, and
pursued. construction efforts. The State shall provide
for immediate humanitarian assistance,
(a) Within the next five (5) years, there shall allocation of resources, and early
be an incremental increase in the resettlement, if necessary. It shall also
recruitment and training of women in the address the particular needs of women
police force, forensics and medico-legal, from a gender perspective to ensure their
legal services, and social work services full protection from sexual exploitation and
availed of by women who are victims of other sexual and gender- based violence
gender-related offenses until fifty percent committed against them. Responses to
(50%) of the personnel thereof shall be disaster situations shall include the
women. provision of services, such as psychosocial
support, livelihood support, education,
(b) Women shall have the right to psychological health, and comprehensive
protection and security in situations of health services, including protection during
armed conflict and militarization. Towards pregnancy.
this end, they shall be protected from all
forms of gender-based violence, particularly Section 11. Participation and
rape and other forms of sexual abuse, and Representation. - The State shall undertake
all forms of violence in situations of armed temporary special measures to accelerate
conflict. The State shall observe the participation and equitable
international standards for the protection of representation of women in all spheres of
civilian population in circumstances of society particularly in the decision-making
emergency and armed conflict. It shall not and policy-making processes in government
force women, especially indigenous and private entities to fully realize their role
peoples, to abandon their lands, territories, as agents and beneficiaries of development.
and means of subsistence, or relocate them
in special centers for military purposes The State shall institute the following
under any discriminatory condition. affirmative action mechanisms so that
women can participate meaningfully in the
(c) All government personnel involved in the formulation, implementation, and
protection and defense of women against evaluation of policies, plans, and programs
gender-based violence shall undergo a for national, regional, and local
mandatory training on human rights and development:
gender sensitivity pursuant to this Act.
(a) Empowerment within the Civil Service. -
(d) All local government units shall establish Within the next five (5) years, the number
a Violence Against Women's Desk in every of women in third (3rd) level positions in
barangay to ensure that violence against government shall be incrementally
women cases are fully addressed in a increased to achieve a fifty-fifty (50-50)
gender-responsive manner. gender balance;
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(b) Development Councils and Planning educational materials and curricula are
Bodies. - To ensure the participation of adequately and appropriately revised.
women in all levels of development Gender-sensitive language shall be used at
planning and program implementation, at all times. Capacity-building on gender and
least forty percent (40%) of membership of development (GAD), peace and human
all development councils from the regional, rights, education for teachers, and all those
provincial, city, municipal and barangay involved in the education sector shall be
levels shall be composed of women; pursued toward this end. Partnerships
between and among players of the
(c) Other Policy and Decision-Making education sector, including the private
Bodies. - Women's groups shall also be sector, churches, and faith groups shall be
represented in international, national, and encouraged.
local special and decision-making bodies;
(b) Enrollment of women in nontraditional
(d) International Bodies. - The State shall skills training in vocational and tertiary
take all appropriate measures to ensure the levels shall be encouraged.
opportunity of women, on equal terms with
men and without any discrimination, to (c) Expulsion and non-readmission of
represent their governments at the women faculty due to pregnant;- outside of
international level and to participate in the marriage shall be outlawed. No school shall
work of international organizations; turn out or refuse admission to a female
student solely on the account of her having
(e) Integration of Women in Political Parties. contracted pregnancy outside of marriage
- The State shall provide incentives to during her term in school.
political parties with women's agenda. It
shall likewise encourage the integration of Section 14. Women in Sports. - The State
women in their leadership hierarchy, shall develop, establish, and strengthen
internal policy-making structures, programs for the participation of women
appointive, and electoral nominating and girl-children in competitive and
processes; and noncompetitive sports as a means to
achieve excellence, promote physical and
(f) Private Sector. - The State shall take social well-being, eliminate gender-role
measures to encourage women leadership stereotyping, and provide equal access to
in the private sector in the form of the full benefits of development for all
incentives. persons regardless of sex, gender identity,
and other similar factors.
Section 12. Equal Treatment Before the
Law. - The State shall take steps to review For this purpose, all sports-related
and, when necessary, amend and/or repeal organizations shall create guidelines that
existing laws that are discriminatory to will establish and integrate affirmative
women within three (3) years from the action as a strategy and gender equality as a
effectivity of this Act. framework in planning and implementing
their policies, budgets, programs, and
Section 13. Equal Access and Elimination of activities relating to the participation of
Discrimination in Education, Scholarships, women and girls in sports.
and Training. - (a) The State shall ensure
that gender stereotypes and images in
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The State will also provide material and including revising or abolishing policies and
nonmaterial incentives to local government practices that restrict women from availing
units, media organizations, and the private of both combat and noncombat training
sector for promoting, training, and that are open to men, or from taking on
preparing women and girls for participation functions other than administrative tasks,
in competitive and noncompetitive sports, such as engaging in combat, security-
especially in local and international events, related, or field operations. Women in the
including, but not limited to, the military shall be accorded the same
PalarongPambansa, Southeast Asian Games, promotional privileges and opportunities as
Asian Games, and the Olympics. men, including pay increases, additional
remunerations and benefits, and awards
No sports event or tournament will offer or based on their competency and quality of
award a different sports prize, with respect performance. Towards this end, the State
to its amount or value, to women and men shall ensure that the personal dignity of
winners in the same sports women shall always be respected.
category: Provided, That the said
tournament, contest, race, match, event, or Women in the military, police, and other
game is open to both similar services shall be provided with the
sexes: Provided, further, That the sports same right to employment as men on equal
event or tournament is divided into male or conditions. Equally, they shall be accorded
female divisions. the same capacity as men to act in and
enter into contracts, including marriage.
The State shall also ensure the safety and
well-being of all women and girls Further, women in the military, police; and
participating in sports, especially, but not other similar services shall be entitled to
limited to, trainees, reserve members, leave benefits such as maternity leave, as
members, coaches, and mentors of national provided for by existing laws.
sports teams, whether in studying, training,
or performance phases, by providing them Section 16. Nondiscriminatory and
comprehensive health and medical Nonderogatory Portrayal of Women in
insurance coverage, as well as integrated Media and Film. - The State shall formulate
medical, nutritional, and healthcare policies and programs for the advancement
services. of women in collaboration with government
and nongovernment media-related
Schools, colleges, universities, or any other organizations. It shall likewise endeavor to
learning institution shall take into account raise the consciousness of the general
its total women student population in public in recognizing the dignity of women
granting athletic scholarship. There shall be and the role and contribution of women in
a pro rata representation of women in the the family; community, and the society
athletic scholarship program based on the through the strategic use of mass media.
percentage of women in the whole student
population. For this purpose, the State shall ensure
allocation of space; airtime, and resources,
Section 15. Women in the Military. - The strengthen programming, production, and
State shall pursue appropriate measures to image-making that appropriately present
eliminate discrimination of women in the women's needs, issues, and concerns in all
military, police, and other similar services,
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forms of media, communication, (2) Promotion of breastfeeding;


information dissemination, and advertising.
(3) Responsible, ethical, legal, safe, and
The State, in cooperation with all schools of effective methods of family planning;
journalism, information, and
communication, as well as the national (4) Family and State collaboration in youth
media federations and associations, shall sexuality education and health services
require all media organizations and without prejudice to the primary right and
corporations to integrate into their human duty of parents to educate their children;
resource development components regular
training on gender equality and gender- (5) Prevention and management of
based discrimination, create and use gender reproductive tract infections, including
equality guidelines in all aspects of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, and
management, training, production, AIDS;
information, dissemination, communication,
and programming; and convene a gender (6) Prevention and management of
equality committee that will promote reproductive tract cancers like breast and
gender mainstreaming as a framework and cervical cancers, and other gynecological
affirmative action as a strategy, and monitor conditions and disorders;
and evaluate the implementation of gender
equality guidelines. (7) Prevention of abortion and management
of pregnancy-related complications;
Section 17. Women's Right to Health. - (a)
Comprehensive Health Services. - The State (8) In cases of violence against women and
shall, at all times, provide for a children, women and children victims and
comprehensive, culture-sensitive, and survivors shall be provided with
gender-responsive health services and comprehensive health services that include
programs covering all stages of a woman's psychosocial, therapeutic, medical, and legal
life cycle and which addresses the major interventions and assistance towards
causes of women's mortality and healing, recovery, and empowerment;
morbidity: Provided, That in the provision
for comprehensive health services, due (9) Prevention and management of
respect shall be accorded to women's infertility and sexual dysfunction pursuant
religious convictions, the rights of the to ethical norms and medical standards;
spouses to found a family in accordance
with their religious convictions, and the (10) Care of the elderly women beyond
demands of responsible parenthood, and their child-bearing years; and
the right of women to protection from
hazardous drugs, devices, interventions, and (11) Management, treatment, and
substances. intervention of mental health problems of
women and girls. In addition, healthy
Access to the following services shall be lifestyle activities are encouraged and
ensured: promoted through programs and projects as
strategies in the prevention of diseases.
(1) Maternal care to include pre- and post-
natal services to address pregnancy and (b) Comprehensive Health Information and
infant health and nutrition; Education. - The State shall provide women
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in all sectors with appropriate, timely, their free and full consent. The betrothal
complete, and accurate information and and the marriage of a child shall have no
education on all the above-stated aspects of legal effect;
women's health in government education
and training programs, with due regard to (c) the joint decision on the number and
the following: spacing of their children and to have access
to the information, education and means to
(1) The natural and primary right and duty enable them to exercise these rights;
of parents in the rearing of the youth and
the development of moral character and the (d) the same personal rights between
right of children to be brought up in an spouses or common law spouses including
atmosphere of morality and rectitude for the right to choose freely a profession and
the enrichment and strengthening of an occupation;
character;
(e) the same rights for both spouses or
(2) The formation of a person's sexuality common law spouses in respect of the
that affirms human dignity; and ownership, acquisition, management,
administration, enjoyment, and disposition
(3) Ethical, legal, safe, and effective family of property;
planning methods including fertility
awareness. (f) the same rights to properties and
resources, whether titled or not, and
Section 18. Special Leave Benefits for inheritance, whether formal or customary;
Women. - A woman employee having and
rendered continuous aggregate
employment service of at least six (6) (g) women shall have equal rights with men
months for the last twelve (12) months shall to acquire, change, or retain their
be entitled to a special leave benefit of two nationality. The State shall ensure in
(2) months with full pay based on her gross particular that neither marriage to an alien
monthly compensation following surgery nor change of nationality by the husband
caused by gynecological disorders. during marriage shall automatically change
the nationality of the wife, render her
Section 19. Equal Rights in All Matters stateless or force upon her the nationality of
Relating to Marriage and Family the husband. Various statutes of other
Relations. - The State shall take all countries concerning dual citizenship that
appropriate measures to eliminate may be enjoyed equally by women and men
discrimination against women in all matters shall likewise be considered.
relating to marriage and family relations and
shall ensure: Customary laws shall be
respected: Provided, however, That they do
(a) the same rights to enter into and leave not discriminate against women.
marriages or common law relationships
referred to under the Family Code without CHAPTER V
prejudice to personal or religious beliefs; RIGHTS AND EMPOWERMENT OF
MARGINALIZED SECTORS
(b) the same rights to choose freely a
spouse and to enter into marriage only with
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Women in marginalized sectors are hereby State shall promote women-friendly


guaranteed all civil, political, social, and technology as a high priority activity in
economic rights recognized, promoted, and agriculture and shall promote the right to
protected under existing laws including, but adequate food by proactively engaging in
not limited to, the Indigenous Peoples activities intended to strengthen access to,
Rights Act, the Urban Development and utilization of, and receipt of accurate and
Housing Act, the Comprehensive Agrarian substantial information on resources and
Reform Law, the Fisheries Code, the Labor means to ensure women's livelihood,
Code, the Migrant Workers Act, the Solo including food security:
Parents Welfare Act, and the Social Reform
and Poverty Alleviation Act. (1) Equal status shall be given to women
and men, whether married or not, in the
Section 20. Food Security and Productive titling of the land and issuance of
Resources. - The State recognizes the stewardship contracts and patents;
contribution of women to food production
and shall ensure its sustainability and (2) Equal treatment shall be given to women
sufficiency with the active participation of and men beneficiaries of the agrarian
women. Towards this end, the State shall reform program, wherein the vested right of
guarantee, at all times, the availability in the a woman agrarian reform beneficiary is
market of safe and health-giving food to defined by a woman's relationship to
satisfy the dietary needs of the population, tillage, i.e., her direct and indirect
giving particular attention to the specific contribution to the development of the
needs of poor girl-children and marginalized land;
women, especially pregnant and lactating
mothers and their young children. To (3) Customary rights of women to the land,
further address this, the State shall ensure: including access to and control of the fruits
and benefits, shall be recognized in
(a) Right to Food. - The State shall guarantee circumstances where private ownership is
the availability of food in quantity and not possible, such as ancestral domain
quality sufficient to satisfy the dietary needs claims:
of individuals, the physical and economic
accessibility for everyone to adequate food (4) Information and assistance in claiming
that is culturally acceptable and free from rights to the land shall be made available to
unsafe substances and culturally accepted, women at all times;
and the accurate and substantial
information to the availability of food, (5) Equal rights to women to the enjoyment,
including the right to full, accurate, and use, and management of land, water, and
truthful information about safe and health- other natural resources within their
giving foods and how to produce and have communities or ancestral domains;
regular and easy access to them;
(6) Equal access to the use and
(b) Right to Resources for Food Production. - management of fisheries and aquatic
The State shall guarantee women a vital role resources, and all the rights and benefits
in food production by giving priority to their accruing to stakeholders in the fishing
rights to land, credit, and infrastructure industry;
support, technical training, and
technological and marketing assistance. The
13

(7) Equal status shall be given to women In the enforcement of the foregoing, the
and men in the issuance of stewardship or requirements of law shall be observed at all
lease agreements and other fishery rights times.
that may be granted for the use and
management of coastal and aquatic Section 21. Right to Housing. - The State
resources. In the same manner, women's shall develop housing programs for women
organizations shall be given equal treatment that are localized, simple, accessible, with
as with other marginalized fishers potable water, and electricity, secure, with
organizations in the issuance of stewardship viable employment opportunities and
or lease agreements or other fishery rights affordable amortization. In this regard, the
for the use and management of such coastal State shall consult women and involve them
and aquatic resources which may include in community planning and development,
providing support to women-engaged especially in matters pertaining to land use,
coastal resources; zoning, and relocation.

(8) There shall be no discrimination against Section 22. Right to Decent Work. - The
women in the deputization of fish wardens; State shall progressively realize and ensure
decent work standards for women that
(9) Women-friendly and sustainable involve the creation of jobs of acceptable
agriculture technology shall be designed quality in conditions of freedom, equity,
based on accessibility and viability in security, and human dignity.
consultation with women's organizations;
(a) Decent work involves opportunities for
(10) Access to small farmer-based and work that are productive and fairly
controlled seeds production and remunerative as family living wage, security
distribution shall be ensured and protected; in the workplace, and social protection for
families, better prospects for personal
(11) Indigenous practices of women in seed development and social integration,
storage and cultivation shall be recognized, freedom for people to express their
encouraged, and protected; concerns organize, participate in the
decisions that affect their lives, and equality
(12) Equal rights shall be given to women to of opportunity and treatment for all women
be members of farmers' organizations to and men.
ensure wider access to and control of the
means of production; (b) The State shall further ensure:

(13) Provide opportunities for empowering (1) Support services and gears to protect
women fishers to be involved in the control them from occupational and health hazards
and management, not only of the catch and taking into account women's maternal
production of aquamarine resources but functions;
also, to engage in entrepreneurial activities
which will add value to production and (2) Support services that will enable women
marketing ventures; and to balance their family obligations and work
responsibilities including, but not limited to,
(14) Provide economic opportunities for the the establishment of day care centers and
indigenous women. particularly access to breast-feeding stations at the workplace,
market for their produce.
14

and providing maternity leave pursuant to (a) Women migrant workers have the
the Labor Code and other pertinent laws; opportunity to undergo skills training, if
they so desire, before taking on a foreign
(3) Membership in unions regardless of job, and possible retraining upon return to
status of employment and place of the country:
employment; and
(b) Gender-sensitive training and seminars;
(4) Respect for the observance of and
indigenous peoples' cultural practices even
in the workplace. (c) Equal opportunities in scholarships
based on merit and fitness, especially to
(c) In recognition of the temporary nature of those interested in research and
overseas work, the State shall exert all development aimed towards women-
efforts to address the causes of out- friendly farm technology.
migration by developing local employment
and other economic opportunities for Section 25. Right to Representation and
women and by introducing measures to Participation. - The State shall ensure
curb violence and forced and involuntary women's participation in policy-making or
displacement of local women. The State decision-making bodies in the regional,
shall ensure the protection and promotion national, and international levels. It shall
of the rights and welfare of migrant women also ensure the participation of grassroots
regardless of their work status, and protect women leaders in decision and policy-
them against discrimination in wages, making bodies in their respective sectors
conditions of work, and employment including, but not limited to, the
opportunities in host countries. Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC)
and its local counterparts; community-
Section 23. Right to Livelihood, Credit, based resource management bodies or
Capital, and Technology. - The State shall mechanisms on forest management and
ensure that women are provided with the stewardship; the National Fisheries and
following: Aquatic Resources Management Council
(NFARMC) and its local counterparts; the
(a) Equal access to formal sources of credit National Commission on Indigenous
and capital; Peoples; the Presidential Commission for
the Urban Poor; the National Anti-Poverty
(b) Equal share to the produce of farms and Commission; and, where applicable, the
aquatic resources; and local housing boards.

(c) Employment opportunities for returning Section 26. Right to Information. - Access
women migrant workers taking into account to information regarding policies on
their skills and qualifications. Corollarily, the women, including programs, projects, and
State shall also promote skills and funding outlays that affect them, shall be
entrepreneurship development of returning ensured.
women migrant workers.
Section 27. Social Protection. -
Section 24. Right to Education and
Training. - The State shall ensure the (a) The Social Security System (SSS) and the
following: Philippine Health Insurance Corporation
15

(PhilHealth) shall support indigenous and Section 29. Peace and Development. - The
community-based social protection peace process shall be pursued with the
schemes. following considerations:

(b) The State shall institute policies and (a) Increase the number of women
programs that seek to reduce the poverty participating in discussions and decision-
and vulnerability to risks and enhance the making in the peace process, including
social status and rights of the marginalized membership in peace panels recognizing
women by promoting and protecting women's role in conflict- prevention and
livelihood and employment, protecting peace-making and in indigenous system of
against hazards and sudden; loss of income, conflict resolution;
and improving people's capacity to manage
risks. (b) Ensure the development and inclusion of
women's welfare and concerns in the peace
(c) The State shall endeavor to reduce and agenda in the overall peace strategy and
eventually eliminate transfer costs of women's participation in the planning,
remittances from abroad through implementation, monitoring, and evaluation
appropriate bilateral and multilateral of rehabilitation and rebuilding of conflict-
agreements. It shall likewise provide access affected areas;
to investment opportunities for remittances
in line with national development efforts. (c) The institution of measures to ensure the
protection of civilians in conflict-affected
(d) The State shall establish a health communities with special consideration for
insurance program for senior citizens and the specific needs of women and girls:
indigents.
(d) Include the peace perspective in the
(e) The State shall support women with education curriculum and other educational
disabilities on a community-based social undertakings; and
protection scheme.
(e) The recognition and support for
Section 28. Recognition and Preservation women's role in conflict-prevention,
of Cultural Identity and Integrity. - The management, resolution and peacemaking,
State shall recognize and respect the rights and in indigenous systems of conflict
of Moro and indigenous women to practice, resolution.
promote, protect, and preserve their own
culture, traditions, and institutions and to Section 30. Women in Especially Difficult
consider these rights in the formulation and Circumstances. - For purposes of this Act,
implementation of national policies and "Women in Especially Difficult
programs. To this end, the State shall adopt Circumstances" (WEDC) shall refer to
measures in consultation with the sectors victims and survivors of sexual and physical
concerned to protect their rights to their abuse, illegal recruitment, prostitution,
indigenous knowledge systems and trafficking, armed conflict, women in
practices, traditional livelihood, and other detention, victims and survivors of rape and
manifestations of their cultures and ways of incest, and such other related
life: Provided, That these cultural systems circumstances which have incapacitated
and practices are not discriminatory to them functionally. Local government units
women. are therefore mandated to deliver the
16

necessary services and interventions to Madaris and schools of living culture and
WEDC under their respective jurisdictions. traditions shall be developed.

Section 31. Services and Interventions. - (e) Sensitivity of regular schools to


WEDC shall be provided with services and particular Moro and indigenous practices,
interventions as necessary such as, but not such as fasting in the month of Ramadan,
limited to, the following: choice of clothing (including the wearing
of hijab), and availability of halal food shall
(a) Temporary and protective custody; be ensured.

(b) Medical and dental services; Section 33. Protection of Senior Citizens. -
The State shall protect women senior
(c) Psychological evaluation; citizens from neglect, abandonment,
domestic violence, abuse, exploitation, and
(d) Counseling; discrimination. Towards this end, the State
shall ensure special protective mechanisms
(e) Psychiatric evaluation; and support services against violence,
sexual abuse, exploitation, and
(f) Legal services; discrimination of older women.

(g) Productivity skills capability building; Section 34. Women are entitled to the
recognition and protection of their rights
(h) Livelihood assistance; defined and guaranteed under this Act
including their right to nondiscrimination.
(i) Job placement;
Section 35. Discrimination Against Women
(j) Financial assistance: and is Prohibited. - Public and private entities
and individuals found to have committed
(k) Transportation assistance. discrimination against women shall be
subject to the sanctions provided in Section
Section 32. Protection of Girl-Children. - (a) 41 hereof. Violations of other rights of
The State shall pursue measures to women shall be subject to sanctions under
eliminate all forms of discrimination against pertinent laws and regulations.
girl-children in education, health and
nutrition, and skills development. CHAPTER VI
INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISMS
(b) Girl-children shall be protected from all
forms of abuse and exploitation. Section 36. Gender Mainstreaming as a
Strategy for Implementing the Magna
(c) Equal access of Moro and indigenous Carta of Women. - Within a period
girl-children in the Madaris, schools of living prescribed in the implementing rules and
culture and traditions, and the regular regulations, the National Commission on
schools shall be ensured. the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) shall
assess its gender mainstreaming program
(d) Gender-sensitive curriculum, including
for consistency with the standards under
legal literacy, books, and curriculum in the
this Act. It shall modify the program
accordingly to ensure that it will be an
17

effective strategy for implementing this Act receiving official development assistance
and attaining its objectives. should ensure the allocation and proper
utilization of such funds to gender-
All departments, including their attached responsive programs that complement the
agencies, offices, bureaus, state universities government GAD funds and annually report
and colleges, government-owned and accomplishments thereof to the National
-controlled corporations, local government Economic and Development Authority
units, and other government (NEDA) and the Philippine Commission on
instrumentalities shall adopt gender Women (PCW).
mainstreaming as a strategy to promote
women's human rights and eliminate The utilization and outcome of the GAD
gender discrimination in their systems, budget shall be annually monitored and
structures, policies, programs, processes, evaluated in terms of its success in
and procedures which shall include, but not influencing the gender-responsive
limited to, the following: implementation of agency programs funded
by the remaining ninety-five percent (95%)
(a) Planning, budgeting, monitoring and budget.
evaluation for GAD. GAD programs
addressing gender issues and concerns shall The Commission on Audit (COA) shall
be designed and implemented based on the conduct an annual audit on the use of the
mandate of government agencies and local GAD budget for the purpose of determining
government units, Republic Act No. 7192, its judicious use and the efficiency, and
gender equality agenda of the government effectiveness of interventions in addressing
and other GAD-related legislation, policies, gender issues towards the realization of the
and commitments. The development of objectives of the country's commitments,
GAD programs shall proceed from the plans, and policies on women
conduct of a gender audit of the agency or empowerment, gender equality, and GAD.
the local government unit and a gender
analysis of its policies, programs, services Local government units are also encouraged
and the situation of its clientele; the to develop and pass a GAD Code based on
generation and review of sex-disaggregated the gender issues and concerns in their
data; and consultation with respective localities based on consultation
gender/women's rights advocates and with their women constituents and the
agency/women clientele. The cost of women's empowerment and gender
implementing GAD programs shall be the equality agenda of the government. The
agency's or the local government unit's GAD GAD Code shall also serve as basis for
budget which shall be at least five percent identifying programs, activities, and projects
(5%) of the agency's or the local on GAD.
government unit's total budget
appropriations. Where needed, temporary gender equity
measures shall be provided for in the plans
Pursuant to Republic Act No. 7192, of all departments, including their attached
otherwise known as the Women in agencies, offices, bureaus, state universities
Development and Nation Building Act, and colleges, government-owned and
which allocates five percent (5%) to thirty -controlled corporations, local government
percent (30%) of overseas development units, and other government
assistance to GAD, government agencies instrumentalities.
18

To move towards a more sustainable, The tasks and functions of the members of
gender-responsive, and performance-based the GFP shall form part of their regular key
planning and budgeting, gender issues and result areas and shall be given due
concerns shall be integrated in, among consideration in their performance
others, the following plans: evaluation.

(1) Macro socioeconomic plans such as the (c) Generation and Maintenance of GAD
Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan Database. All departments, including their
and Medium-Term Philippine Investment attached agencies, offices, bureaus, state
Plan; universities and colleges, government-
owned and - controlled corporations, local
(2) Annual plans of all departments, government units, and other government
including their attached agencies, offices, instrumentalities shall develop and maintain
bureaus, state universities and colleges, and a GAD database containing gender statistics
government-owned and -controlled and sexdisaggregated data that have been
corporations; and systematically gathered, regularly updated;
and subjected to; gender analysis for
(3) Local plans and agenda such as planning, programming, and policy
executive-legislative agenda, comprehensive formulation.
development plan (CDP), comprehensive
land use plan (CLUP), provincial Section 37. Gender Focal Point Officer in
development and physical framework plan Philippine Embassies and Consulates. - An
(PDPFP), and annual investment plan. officer duly trained on GAD shall be
designated as the gender focal point in the
(b) Creation and/or Strengthening of the consular section of Philippine embassies or
GAD Focal Points (GFP). All departments, consulates. Said officer shall be primarily
including their attached agencies, offices, responsible in handling gender concerns of
bureaus, state universities and colleges, women migrant workers. Attached agencies
government- owned and -controlled shall cooperate in strengthening the
corporations, local government units, and Philippine foreign posts' programs for the
other government instrumentalities shall delivery of services to women migrant
establish or strengthen their GAD Focal workers.
Point System or similar GAD mechanism to
catalyze and accelerate gender Section 38. National Commission on the
mainstreaming within the agency or local Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW). - The
government unit. National Commission on the Role of Filipino
Women (NCRFW) shall be renamed as the
The GAD Focal Point System shall be Philippine Commission on Women (PCW),
composed of the agency head or local chief the primary policymaking and coordinating
executive, an executive committee with an body of the women and gender equality
Undersecretary (or its equivalent), local concerns under the Office of the President.
government unit official, or office in a The PCW shall be the overall monitoring
strategic decision-making position as Chair; body and oversight to ensure the
and a technical working group or secretariat implementation of this Act. In doing so, the
which is composed of representatives from PCW may direct any government agency
various divisions or offices within the and instrumentality, as may be necessary, to
agency or local government unit. report on the implementation of this Act
19

and for them to immediately respond to the (c) Establish guidelines and mechanisms,
problems brought to their attention in among others, that will facilitate access of
relation to this Act. The PCW shall also lead women to legal remedies under this Act and
in ensuring that government agencies are related laws, and enhance the protection
capacitated on the effective implementation and promotion of the rights of women,
of this Act. The chairperson shall likewise especially marginalized women;
report to the President in Cabinet meetings
on the implementation of this Act. (d) Assist in the filing of cases against
individuals, agencies, institutions, or
To the extent possible, the PCW shall establishments that violate the provisions of
influence the systems, processes, and this Act; and
procedures of the executive, legislative, and
judicial branches of government vis-a-vis (e) Recommend to the President of the
GAD to ensure the implementation of this Philippines or the Civil Service Commission
Act. any possible administrative action based on
noncompliance or failure to implement the
To effectively and efficiently undertake and provisions of this Act.
accomplish its functions, the PCW shall
revise its structure and staffing pattern with Section 40. Monitoring Progress and
the assistance of the Department of Budget Implementation and Impact of this Act. -
and Management. The PCW, in coordination with other state
agencies and the CHR, shall submit to
Section 39. Commission on Human Rights Congress regular reports on the progress of
(CHR). - The Commission, acting as the the implementation of this Act highlighting
Gender and Development Ombud, the impact thereof on the status and human
consistent with its mandate, shall undertake rights of women: Provided, That the second
measures such as the following: report shall include an assessment of the
effectiveness of this Act and recommend
(a) Monitor with the PCW and other state amendments to improve its provisions:
agencies, among others, in developing Provided, finally, That these reports shall be
indicators and guidelines to comply with submitted to Congress every three (3) years
their duties related to the human rights of or as determined in the implementing rules
women, including their right to and regulations.
nondiscrimination guaranteed under this
Act; Section 41. Penalties. - Upon finding of the
CHR that a department, agency, or
(b) Designate one (1) commissioner and/or instrumentality of government,
its Women's Human Rights Center to be government-owned and -controlled
primarily responsible for formulating and corporation, or local government unit has
implementing programs and activities violated any provision of this Act and its
related to the promotion and protection of implementing rules and regulations, the
the human rights of women, including the sanctions under administrative law, civil
investigations and complaints of service, or other appropriate laws shall be
discrimination and violations of their rights recommended to the Civil Service
brought under this Act and related laws and Commission and/or the Department of the
regulations; Interior and Local Government. The person
directly responsible for the violation as well
20

as the head of the agency or local chief Section 43. Funding. - The initial funding
executive shall be held liable under this Act. requirements for the implementation of this
Act shall be charged against the current
If the violation is committed by a private appropriations of the agencies concerned.
entity or individual, the person directly Thereafter, such sums as may be necessary
responsible for the violation shall be liable for the implementation of this Act shall be
to pay damages. included in the agencies' yearly budgets
under the General Appropriations Act.
Filing a complaint under this Act shall not
preclude the offended party from pursuing The State shall prioritize allocation of all
other remedies available under the law and available resources to effectively fulfill its
to invoke any of the provisions of existing obligations specified under this Act. The
laws especially those recently enacted laws State agencies' GAD budgets, which shall be
protecting women and children, including at least five percent (5%) of their total
the Women in Development and Nation budgetary allocation, shall also be utilized
Building Act (Republic Act No. 7192), the for the programs and activities to
Special Protection of Children Against Child implement this Act.
Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act
(Republic Act No. 7610), the Anti-Sexual Section 44. Implementing Rules and
Harassment Act of 1995 (Republic Act No. Regulations. - As the lead agency, the PCW
7877), the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 (Republic shall, in coordination with the Commission
Act No. 8353), the Rape Victim Assistance on Human Rights and all concerned
and Protection Act of 1998 (Republic Act government departments and agencies
No. 8505), the Anti-Trafficking in Persons including, as observers, both Houses of
Act of 2003 (Republic Act No. 9208) and the Congress through the Committee on Youth,
Anti- Violence Against Women and Their Women and Family Relations (Senate) and
Children Act of 2004 (Republic Act No. the Committee on Women and Gender
9262). If violence has been proven to be Equality (House of Representatives) and
perpetrated by agents of the State with the participation of representatives
including, but not limited to, extrajudicial from nongovernment organizations (NGOs)
killings, enforced disappearances, torture, and civil society groups with proven track
and internal displacements, such shall be record of involvement and promotion of the
considered aggravating offenses with rights and welfare of Filipino women and
corresponding penalties depending on the girls identified by the PCW, formulate the
severity of the offenses. implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of
this Act within one hundred eighty (180)
Section 42. Incentives and Awards. - There days after its effectivity.
shall be established an incentives and
awards system which shall be administered Section 45. Separability Clause. - If any
by a board under such rules and regulations provision or part hereof is held invalid or
as may be promulgated by the PCW to unconstitutional, the remainder of the law
deserving entities, government agencies, or the provisions not otherwise affected
and local government units for their shall remain valid and subsisting.
outstanding performance in upholding the
rights of women and effective Section 46. Repealing Clause. - Any law,
implementation of gender-responsive presidential decree or issuance, executive
programs. order, letter of instruction, administrative
21

order, rule, or regulation contrary to, or


inconsistent with, the provisions of this Act
is hereby repealed, modified, or amended
accordingly.

Section 47. Effectivity Clause. - This Act


shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its
publication in at least two (2) newspapers of
general circulation.