Oral Statement of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines at the Panel Discussion on the Rights of Older Women and their Economic Empowerment during the 41st Session of the Human Rights Council

Oral Statement of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines at the Panel Discussion on the Rights of Older Women and their Economic Empowerment during the 41st Session of the Human Rights Council

28 June 2019 | Palais des Nations, Room XX, United Nations Geneva

Delivered by Karen S. Gomez Dumpit, Commissioner

(Check against delivery) Thank you, Madam Chair. The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines is pleased to participate in this panel.

In Southeast Asia, research evidence suggest multiple overlapping disadvantages and constraints in opportunities and events earlier in women’s lives can affect subsequent changes, and the impact can be compounded in old age.[i] Women are vulnerable across dimensions of family and household, education and learning, work and employment, and community participation. When these vulnerabilities occur simultaneously, and are influenced by risk events and underpinned by structural factors such as class and ethnicity, women are directed to a financially insecure old age.[ii]

Economic empowerment is not just financial security. It extends to other aspects of life including autonomy and independence. Insufficient gendered research and analysis impedes effective policy responses.

We are conducting a pilot study where data will be disaggregated based on sex and several determinants of economic empowerment[iii] to determine, among others, possible interrelationships in long-term care, autonomy and independence, and education-seeking behavior.

We continue to work with government for the rights of women in older age not just in the country but of all women around the world through our participation in various fora such as the CSW and the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing.

We encourage States to support an international binding instrument that will define the normative elements of the rights of an older person and outline the duties of States to ensure older women will have equal opportunity to access education and employment opportunities; recognize the often unpaid caregiving and domestic work; and enable healthy ageing through supportive and gender-sensitive institutions.

Maraming salamat po. Thank you very much.


[i] Asia Women’s Forum on Financial Security, Financial Security of Older Women: Perspectives from Southeast Asia, at 34, available at http://asiawomen.org.sg/news-events/financial-security-of-older-women-perspectives-from-southeast-asia (last accessed Jun. 25, 2019).

[ii] Id. at 34-35.

[iii] International Center for Research on Women, Understanding and Measuring Women’s Economic Empowerment, at 7, available at https://www.icrw.org/publications/understanding-and-measuring-womens-economic-empowerment/ (last accessed Jun. 25, 2019).

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