magna carta for women.cedaw and mdg

Category: Education

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an informative presentation containing salient poitns of CEDAW, MDG and Philippine Magna Carta for Women


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“Magna Carta of Women, the Philippine CEDAW In support of the Millennium Development Goals.” ATTY. ANITA M. CHAUHAN, Ph.D. March 31,2011 DAR-NE, CLSU, Munoz City

Topics Related to Theme:

Topics Related to Theme Magna Carta of Women, Philippine CEDAW CEDAW Millenium Development Goals

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The Magna Carta of Women is a comprehensive women's human rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination against women by recognizing, protecting, fulfilling and promoting the rights of Filipino women, especially those in the marginalized sectors. Effectivity of the Magna Carta of Women (R.A. 9710) and its Implementing Rules and Regulations Magna Carta of Women (MCW) Signed on August 14, 2009 Published in Philippine Daily Inquirer and Malaya - August 31, 2009 Effective on September 15, 2009 MCW Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) Published in Malaya on June 23, 2010 in Manila Bulletin on June 25, 2010 Effective on July 10, 2010

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CEDAW, a landmark international agreement that affirms principles of fundamental human rights and equality for women around the world. \ a human rights treaty for women. The UN General Assembly adopted the CEDAW Convention on 19th December 1979. It came into force as a treaty on 3rd September 1981; thirty days after the twentieth member nation became a States party to it. Monitored by the CEDAW Committee which operates out of the UN in New York.

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What are the Millennium Development Goals? Adopted by world leaders in the year 2000 and set to be achieved by 2015, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provide concrete, numerical benchmarks for tackling extreme poverty in its many dimensions. The Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs ) are eight international development goals that all 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. The eight MDGs break down into 21 quantifiable targets that are measured by 60 indicators .

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Eight ways to change the world The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) originated from the Millennium Declaration produced by the United Nations . The MDGs provide a framework for the entire international community to work together towards a common end – making sure that human development reaches everyone, everywhere. If these goals are achieved, world poverty will be cut by half, tens of millions of lives will be saved, and billions more people will have the opportunity to benefit from the global economy.

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The CEDAW agreement was adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly and entered into force in 1981. Almost all countries have ratified CEDAW - 186 out of 193 countries. Only seven have not ratified including the United States, Sudan, Somalia, Iran, and three small Pacific Island nations (Nauru, Palau and Tonga). CEDAW is one of the most highly ratified international human rights conventions, having the support of 186 States parties .

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The substance of the Convention is based on three interrelated core principles : equality, non-discrimination and State obligation.

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The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is the international human rights treaty that is exclusively devoted to gender equality.  It is often described as an international bill of rights for women. Consisting of a preamble and 30 articles, it defines discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination.

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CEDAW requires all States parties to take “all appropriate measures, including legislation, to ensure the full development and advancement of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms on a basis of equality with men” (Article 3).

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- incorporate the principle of equality of men and women in their legal system, abolish all discriminatory laws and adopt appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination against women; - establish tribunals and other public institutions to ensure the effective protection of women against discrimination; -ensure elimination of all acts of discrimination against women by persons, organizations or enterprises State Parties commit to undertake a series of measures to end discrimination against women, including:

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The Convention has achieved nearly universal ratification, with 186 countries having become States parties to it. States parties have the three-fold obligation to respect, protect and fulfil women’s human rights. To “respect,” the State must abstain from any conduct or activity of its own that violates human rights. To “protect,” the State must prevent violations by non-state actors, including individuals, groups, institutions and corporations. And to “ fulfil ,” the State must take whatever measures are needed to move towards the full realization of women’s human rights.

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The Convention makes very clear that these responsibilities extend to private life as well as public life.  Historically, one of the biggest obstacles to realizing women’s rights in many countries has been the perception that the State should not interfere in the “private” realm of family relations. The Convention recognizes that unequal power relations within the private sphere contribute very significantly to gender inequality in all aspects of women’s lives, and directs States to take measures that will correct this power imbalance. RESPONSIBILITIES TO PRIVATE LIFE

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Obligations under the Convention The articles of the Convention fall into three main groups. The first set of articles explains the nature and scope of the State’s obligations The second set of articles targets specific forms of discrimination and outlines measures that the State must undertake to eliminate discrimination in each of these areas. The last set of articles governs procedural and administrative matters, such as the composition of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the way in which the reporting process operates. States parties to the Convention report at least every four years on measures they have undertaken in order to comply with their obligations .

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Article 1 defines discrimination against women. This includes not just direct or intentional discrimination, but any act that has the effect of creating or perpetuating inequality between men and women .

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Article 2 sets out a range of general measures the State must take to eliminate discrimination against women, with a strong focus on legal protections. Article 2 makes clear that the State has both the obligation not to discriminate itself, and also, crucially, to prevent discrimination by private individuals and organizations. The State must: -enshrine the principle of gender equality in national constitutions; -enact legislation prohibiting discrimination against women; -ensure effective legal protection for the right to be free from discrimination, including through the creation of national tribunals and other institutional mechanisms; -ensure that no public authority discriminates against women; -ensure that no private individual or organization discriminates against women; -abolish existing discriminatory laws, customs and practices.

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Article 3 directs the State to take the positive measures needed to ensure the realization of women’s human rights on the basis of equality with men. Especially in the political, social, economic and cultural fields, the State must take whatever steps are needed to ensure the full advancement and development of women.

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Article 4 directs the State to take temporary special measures where they are needed to speed up the process of achieving equality. Article 4 makes clear that measures that temporarily favour women over men, or impose different standards, are not a form of discrimination if they are being implemented as a means of speeding up the achievement of gender equality.

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Article 5 underlines that the State has responsibility for eliminating discrimination in social and cultural life, and must take measures to eliminate prejudices and customary and other practices that are based on notions of women’s inferiority or stereotypes. Article 6 requires States to take all necessary measures to “suppress trafficking in women and the exploitation of prostitution.”

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Article 7 requires States to eliminate discrimination in public and political life, and especially ensure the rights to: -vote and be eligible for election; -participate in the formulation and implementation of government policy; -hold public office and perform public functions at all levels; -participate in non-governmental and civil society organizations.

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Article 8 requires States to ensure women the equal opportunity to represent their governments at the international level, and to participate in the work of international organizations. Article 9 requires States to ensure that women have equal rights with men regarding nationality, and the nationality of their children. The Convention underlines, in particular, that a woman’s nationality should not be determined by the nationality of her husband.

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Article 10 concerns the elimination of discrimination in education. States should take measures especially in the areas of: -equality in access to study and achieving diplomas at all levels of education; -equality in curricula, teaching and school facilities; -elimination of gender-based stereotypes in teaching; -equal opportunity for scholarships and grants; -equal access to continuing education, and programmes to reduce gender gaps in education; -reduction of female drop-out rates, and programmes for women and girls who have left school; -equal opportunities in sports and physical education; -access to specific information on family health and family planning.

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Article 11 requires States to eliminate discrimination in employment. In particular they should ensure that women have equality with men regarding the rights to: work; employment and selection for employment; choice of profession; promotion, job security and benefits; vocational training; equal pay for work of equal value; social security and paid leave. Discrimination relating to pregnancy is given special attention. In this area States must, in particular: -prohibit dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy or maternity leave; -prohibit discriminatory dismissal on the grounds of marital status; -provide for maternity leave; -encourage support for parents with family obligations, including through child care facilities; -provide special protection for pregnant women in dangerous areas of work.

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Article 12 requires States to eliminate discrimination in the field of health care. Women should be ensured equal access to health care services, including family planning. States must also ensure that women receive appropriate services relating to maternity, including free services where needed, and adequate nutrition. Article 13 requires States to eliminate discrimination in other areas of economic and social life. Article 13 highlights, in particular, the need to ensure equal rights to family benefits, bank loans, mortgages and other forms of credit, and participation in recreation and all aspects of cultural life.

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Article 14 requires States to pay special attention to the situation of rural women. They should ensure rural women’s equal rights to : -participate in development planning; -access health care including family planning; -obtain education and training, including literacy training; -organize groups and cooperatives to pursue economic opportunities; -participate in community activities; -access agricultural credit and loans; -access marketing facilities and technology; -enjoy equal treatment in land and agrarian reform, and land resettlement; -have adequate living conditions, including regarding housing and water supply.

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Article 15 requires States to ensure that women are given equality before the law. In particular, women must have the same legal capacity as men to enter into contracts and to own property, and they must be given equal treatment in the courts. No contract that attempts to limit a woman’s legal capacity will be enforced. Laws regarding freedom of movement within the country and choice of residence must treat men and women equally

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Article 16 requires States to eliminate discrimination against women in marriage and family life. In particular, States must ensure that men and women enjoy the same rights in the areas of: -entry into marriage; -choice of a spouse and consent to marriage; -responsibilities during marriage; -dissolution of marriage; -parental rights and responsibilities; -decisions on the number and spacing of children, and -access to information in this regard; -guardianship and adoption; -choice of family name, profession and occupation; -property ownership.

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Regarding child marriage, Article 16 requires States to ensure that the betrothal and marriage of a child has no legal effect. They must also set a minimum age for marriage, and require marriages to be officially registered.

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The Optional Protocol (OP) to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women includes: The Communications Procedure: It gives individuals and groups of women the right to complain to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women about violations of the Convention. This procedure is known as the communications procedure . United Nations communications procedures provide the right to petition or the right to complain about violations of rights. Under all procedures, the complaint must be in writing.

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The Inquiry Procedure: It enables the Committee to conduct inquiries into grave or systematic abuses of women’'s human rights in countries that become States parties to the Optional Protocol. Known as an inquiry procedure , this capacity is found in Article 8 of the Optional Protocol.

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After languishing for more than 10 years in three different congresses, the Magna Carta of Women (Magna Carta), Republic Act 9710, was signed into law by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Philippines on August 14, 2009, and came into effect on September 15, 2009. The Magna Carta is invaluable to advancing justice and women's human rights in the Philippines. Its passage marks a milestone in Philippines history and for the status of Filipino women. Magna Carta of Women – a victory for women’s  human rights advocates

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The MCW took effect on September 15, 2009. the IRR which was adopted on March 30, 2010 designated the CSC (for government agencies) and DOLE (for private sector) to issue additional guidelines to operationalize the provision, 60 days from the adoption of the IRR CSC and DOLE are also mandated to monitor the implementation and act on violations of the said provision This is a landmark law because the Philippines will now have a national framework for the implementation of the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Form of Discrimination Against Women, considered as the national bill of rights for women

Discrimination Against Women defined:

Discrimination Against Women defined CEDAW “any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.”

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MAGNA CARTA OF WOMEN -any gender-based distinction, exclusion, or restriction which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment, or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field; -any act or omission , including by law, policy, administrative measure, or practice, that directly or indirectly excludes or restricts women in the recognition and promotion of their rights and their access to and enjoyment of opportunities, benefits, or privileges;

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-a measure or practice of general application that fails to provide for mechanisms to offset or address sex or gender-based disadvantages or limitations of women, as a result of which women are denied or restricted in the recognition and protection of their rights and in their access to and enjoyment of opportunities, benefits, or privileges; or women, more than men are shown to have suffered the greater adverse effects of those measures or practices; and -discrimination compounded by or intersecting with other grounds, status, or condition, such as ethnicity, age, poverty, or religion.

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The Magna Carta conveys a framework of rights for women based directly on international law. It establishes the Philippines Government's legal obligation to protect and promote women's human rights and adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women's (CEDAW) definition of discrimination. It also recognizes human rights guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) , the Convention on the Rights of Child (CRC) , and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) .

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What is the Magna Carta of Women (MCW)? How can we use the provisions of the MCW to empower ourselves? Nemenzo: The MCW is a substantial framework for the rights of women anchored on human rights. It provides a framework of what women are entitled to and what they can fight for. It recognizes that there are indirect and direct forms of discrimination against women and sets standards by which we assess how women’s rights are violated. It also lays down what is expected of government in its duty to protect and uphold women’s rights.

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In addition to guaranteeing substantive rights, the Magna Carta clearly establishes the duty of the government to take steps to end discrimination against women, within a specific time frame. It provides that the Philippines government must "ensure the substantive equality of men and women" and mandates the State to take steps to review, amend or repeal existing laws that are discriminatory towards women within three years of the Act entering into force. Significantly, the law recognizes a range of women's reproductive health rights throughout their life cycle including the right to access services relating to family planning , maternal health and post- abortion care.

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Now that the Magna Carta is a law, what can women do to ensure its proper implementation? Sarabia: Women should speak up when they see or experience discrimination and abuse. They should no longer keep quiet and allow discrimination to be normalized. The strength of the MCW relies a lot on the strength and presence of women’s NGOs to ensure that it is implemented correctly, and yet it is not clear whether or not the government will allocate funds for NGOs who have already been doing this kind of work for years. Hopefully, that is something that will be addressed in the IRR. Nemenzo: Women should study the provisions of the Magna Carta to know how they can assert their rights, reach out to other women, organize, and continue to be vigilant.

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Where can a woman go to report violations of the Magna Carta? Sarabia: They sho uld go and report violations to their police barangays, a women’s NGO , or get a lawyer. They can also go to the Commission of Human Rights (CHR). Nemenzo: The NCRFW (National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women), along with the CHR (Commission on Human Rights), has oversight on implementation of the Magna Carta. They have to make a report every three years to evaluate how the law is being implemented, as well as its effectiveness, and provide recommendations.

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How does the Magna Carta empower women? Sarabia: With the passage of the Magna Carta of Women, gender equality is now a national policy. Resources at all levels of government have to be allocated for the empowerment and protection of women and girls, the provision of women-friendly programs and the training of local officials for their proper establishment and implementation. Equal opportunities will be afforded to all women regardless of religious beliefs, cultural traditions or unscientific superstitions. Harassment and abuse, in word or in action will no longer be tolerated under any situation. Education will not be denied to adolescent girls or unmarried women who have gotten pregnant because they were seduced, sexually molested and impregnated by family members, friends or strangers, or outside of marriage.

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KEY PROVISIONS OF THE MAGNA CARTA OF WOMEN Ensure that the State will review and, when necessary, amend and/or repeal existing laws that are discriminatory to women within three years from its enactment; Institute affirmative action mechanisms so that "women can participate meaningfully in the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of policies, plans, and programs for national, regional, and local development."

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Ensure mandatory human rights and gender sensitivity training to all government personnel involved in preventing and defending women from gender-based violence; Encourage Local Government Units (LGUs) to develop a Gender and Development (GAD) code in their respective localities based on consultation with their women constituents. Increase women’s representation in third level positions in government to achieve equal gender balance within the next five years while the composition of women in all levels of development planning and program implementation will be at least 40 percent;

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Provide equal access and elimination of discrimination in education, scholarships and training and outlaw "expulsion, non-readmission, prohibiting enrollment, and other related discrimination of women students and faculty due to pregnancy out of marriage." Promote the equal status of men and women on the titling of the land and issuance of stewardship contracts and patents; and

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The NCRFW will be renamed the Philippine Commission on Women and will be the overall monitoring and oversight body to ensure the implementation of the Magna Carta of Women. The Commission on Human Rights was also designated as the Gender and Development Ombud that will receive complaints and recommend actions for violations of the law. The NCRFW and CHR were also assigned to formulate the implementing rules and regulations of the Magna Carta of Women.

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What are the rights of women guaranteed under the Magna Carta of Women? All rights in the Philippine Constitution and those rights recognized under international instruments duly signed and ratified by the Philippines, in consonance with Philippine laws shall be rights of women under the Magna Carta of Women. These rights shall be enjoyed without discrimination since the law prohibits discrimination against women, whether done by public and private entities or individuals.

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The Magna Carta of Women also spells out every woman's right to: Protection from all forms of violence, including those committed by the State. This includes the incremental increase in the recruitment and training of women in government services that cater to women victims of gender-related offenses. It also ensures mandatory training on human rights and gender sensitivity to all government personnel involved in the protection and defense of women against gender-based violence, and mandates local government units to establish a Violence Against Women Desk in every barangay to address violence against women cases ;

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Protection and security in times of disaster, calamities and other crisis situations, especially in all phases of relief, recovery, rehabilitation and construction efforts, including protection from sexual exploitation and other sexual and gender-based violence. Participation and representation, including undertaking temporary special measures and affirmative actions to accelerate and ensure women's equitable participation and representation in the third level civil service, development councils and planning bodies, as well as political parties and international bodies, including the private sector .

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Equal treatment before the law, including the State's review and when necessary amendment or repeal of existing laws that are discriminatory to women; Equal access and elimination of discrimination against women in education, scholarships and training. This includes revising educational materials and curricula to remove gender stereotypes and images, and outlawing the expulsion, non-readmission, prohibiting enrollment and other related discrimination against women students and faculty due to pregnancy outside of marriage;

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Equal participation in sports. This includes measures to ensure that gender-based discrimination in competitive and non-competitive sports is removed so that women and girls can benefit from sports development; Non-discrimination in employment in the field of military, police and other similar services. This includes according the same promotional privileges and opportunities as their men counterpart, including pay increases, additional benefits, and awards, based on competency and quality of performance. The dignity of women in the military, police and other similar services shall always be respected, they shall be accorded with the same capacity as men to act in and enter into contracts, including marriage, as well as be entitled to leave benefits for women such as maternity leave, as provided for in existing laws;

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Non-discriminatory and non-derogatory portrayal of women in media and film to raise the consciousness of the general public in recognizing the dignity of women and the role and contribution of women in family, community, and the society through the strategic use of mass media; Comprehensive health services and health information and education covering all stages of a woman's life cycle, and which addresses the major causes of women's mortality and morbidity, including access to among others, maternal care, responsible, ethical, legal, safe and effective methods of family planning, and encouraging healthy lifestyle activities to prevent diseases;

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Leave benefits of two (2) months with full pay based on gross monthly compensation, for women employees who undergo surgery caused by gynecological disorders, provided that they have rendered continuous aggregate employment service of at least six (6) months for the last twelve (12) months; Equal rights in all matters relating to marriage and family relations. The State shall ensure the same rights of women and men to: enter into and leave marriages, freely choose a spouse, decide on the number and spacing of their children, enjoy personal rights including the choice of a profession, own, acquire, and administer their property, and acquire, change, or retain their nationality. It also states that the betrothal and marriage of a child shall have no l egal effect.

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The Magna Carta of Women also guarantees the civil, political and economic rights of women in the marginalized sectors, particularly their right to: Food security and resources for food production, including equal rights in the titling of the land and issuance of stewardship contracts and patents; Localized, accessible, secure and affordable housing; Employment, livelihood, credit, capital and technology; Skills training, scholarships, especially in research and development aimed towards women friendly farm technology; Representation and participation in policy-making or decision-making bodies in the regional, national, and international levels ;

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Access to information regarding policies on women, including programs, projects and funding outlays that affect them; Social protection; Recognition and preservation of cultural identity and integrity provided that these cultural systems and practices are not discriminatory to women; Inclusion in discussions on peace and development; Services and interventions for women in especially difficult circumstances or WEDC; Protection of girl-children against all forms of discrimination in education, health and nutrition, and skills development; and Protection of women senior citizens.

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The Magna Carta of Women defines the marginalized sectors as those who belong to the basic, disadvantaged, or vulnerable groups who are mostly living in poverty and have little or no access to land and other resources, basic social and economic services such as health care, education, water and sanitation, employment and livelihood opportunities, housing security, physical infrastructure and the justice system. These include, but are not limited to women in the following sectors or groups: Small farmers and rural workers, Fisherfolk, Urban poor, Workers in the formal economy, Workers in the informal economy, Migrant workers, Indigenous Peoples, Moro, Children, Senior citizens, Persons with disabilities, and Solo parents .

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How can Filipino women living abroad benefit from this law? Statistics show that more and more Filipino women are migrating for overseas employment. In many places,women migrant workers have limited legal protections or access to information about their rights, rendering them vulnerable to gender-specific discrimination, exploitation and abuse. Section 37 of the Magna Carta of Women mandates the designation of a gender focal point in the consular section of Philippine embassies or consulates. The said officer who shall be trained on Gender and Development shall be primarily responsible in handling gender concerns of women migrant workers, especially those in distress. Other agencies (e.g. the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Social Welfare and Development) are also mandated to cooperate in strengthening the Philippine foreign posts' programs for the delivery of services to women migrant workers, consistent with the one-country team approach in Foreign Service.

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Who will be responsible for implementing the Magna Carta of Women? The State, the private sector, society in general, and all individuals shall contribute to the recognition, respect and promotion of the rights of women defined and guaranteed in the Magna Carta of Women. The Philippine Government shall be the primary duty-bearer in implementing the said law. This means that all government offices, including local government units and government-owned and controlled corporations shall be responsible to implement the provisions of Magna Carta of Women that falls within their mandate, particularly those that guarantee rights of women that require specific action from the State.

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As the primary duty-bearer, the Government is tasked to: -refrain from discriminating against women and violating their rights; -protect women against discrimination and from violation of their rights by private corporations, entities, and individuals; -promote and fulfill the rights of women in all spheres, including their rights to substantive equality and non-discrimination.

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The Government shall fulfill these duties through the development and implementation of laws, policies,regulatory instruments, administrative guidelines, and other appropriate measures, including temporary special measures. It shall also establish mechanisms to promote the coherent and integrated implementation of the Magna Carta of Women and other related laws and policies to effectively stop discrimination against Filipino women.

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What are the specific responsibilities of government under the Magna Carta of Women? The Magna Carta of Women mandates all government offices, including government-owned and controlled corporations and local government units to adopt gender mainstreaming as a strategy for implementing the law and attaining its objectives. It also mandates (a) planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation for gender and development, (b) the creation and/or strengthening of gender and development focal points, and (c) the generation and maintenance of gender statistics and sex-disaggregated databases to aid in planning, programming and policy formulation.

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Under this law, the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women which will be renamed as the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) shall be the overall monitoring and oversight body to ensure the implementation of the law. As an agency under the Office of the President of the Philippines, it will be the primary policy-making and coordinating body for women and gender equality concerns and shall lead in ensuring that government agencies are capacitated on the effective implementation of the Magna Carta of Women.

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Consistent with its mandate, the Commission on Human Rights shall act as the Gender and Development Ombud to ensure the promotion and protection of women's human rights. The Commission on Audit shall conduct an annual audit on the government offices' use of their gender and development budgets for the purpose of determining its judicious use and the efficiency, and effectiveness of interventions in addressing gender issues. Local government units are also encouraged to develop and pass a gender and development code to address the issues and concerns of women in their respective localities based on consultation with their women constituents.

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What are the penalties of violators? If the violation is committed by a government agency or any government office, including government-owned and controlled corporations and local government units, the person directly responsible for the violation, as well as the head of the agency or local chief executive shall be held liable under the Magna Carta of Women. The sanctions under administrative law, civil service or other appropriate laws shall be recommended by the Commission on Human Rights to the Civil Service Commission and the Department of the Interior and Local Government. Further, in cases where violence has been proven to be perpetrated by agents of the State, such shall be considered aggravating offenses with corresponding penalties depending on the severity of the offenses.

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If the violation is committed by a private entity or individual, the person directly responsible for the violation shall be liable to pay damages. Further, the offended party can also pursue other remedies available under the law and can invoke any of the other provisions of existing laws, especially those that protect the rights of women.

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How will the implementation of the Magna Carta of Women be funded? The Magna Carta of Women provides that the State agencies should utilize their gender and development budgets for programs and activities to implement its provisions. Funds necessary for the implementation of the Magna Carta of Women shall be charged against the current appropriations of the concerned agencies, and shall be included in their annual budgets for the succeeding years. The Magna Carta of Women also mandates the State to prioritize allocation of all available resources to effectively fulfill its obligations under the said law.

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“For the first time, there’s a provision which categorically acknowledges that women’s rights are human rights and therefore the principles of human rights are there such as non-discrimination, equality, participation,” Chairperson Leila De Lima of the Commission of Human Rights.

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The MDGs focus on three major areas of Human development (humanity) : bolstering human capital , improving infrastructure, and increasing social, economic and political rights, with the majority of the focus going towards increasing basic standards of living.The objectives chosen within the human capital focus include improving nutrition, healthcare (including reducing levels of child mortality , HIV/AIDS , tuberculosis and malaria , and increasing reproductive health ), and education. 2 . For the infrastructure focus, the objectives include improving infrastructure through increasing access to safe drinking water, energy and modern information/communication technology; amplifying farm outputs through sustainable practices; improving transportation infrastructure; and preserving the environment.

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Lastly, for the social, economic and political rights focus, the objectives include empowering women, reducing violence, increasing political voice, ensuring equal access to public services, and increasing security of property rights. The goals chosen were intended to increase an individual’s human capabilities and “advance the means to a productive life”. The MDGs emphasize that individual policies needed to achieve these goals should be tailored to individual country’s needs; therefore most policy suggestions are general.

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The Millennium Development Goals are premised on six core values: freedom, equality; solidarity; tolerance; respect for nature; and shared responsibility. Each one can be traced to an economic, social, or cultural rights originally set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (arts. 22, 24, 25, 26) and later enumerated in a separate treaty, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  While achieving the MDGs will not mean that human rights are being universally respected, the international community generally agrees that the Goals are a step in the right direction towards that end.

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