Statement of CHR Executive Director, Atty Jacqueline Ann De Guia, welcoming the House Speaker’s support for the legislative agenda for women

Statement of CHR Executive Director, Atty Jacqueline Ann De Guia, welcoming the House Speaker’s support for the legislative agenda for women

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) welcomes the expression of support from the leadership of the House of Representative (HOR) for women solons and their legislative agenda.

In his message during the organizational meeting of the Association of Women Legislators Foundation, Inc. (AWLFI), House Speaker Martin Romualdez vowed to be consultative and collaborative with the women legislators in championing the agenda of women and to eliminate gender gaps.

The AWLFI is permanent bloc composed of all women legislators in lower house of Congress. They seek to ensure that the legislative agenda envisioned to strengthen the position of women and the welfare of children is deliberated and acted upon in the HOR.

Matched with AWLFI’s commitment, CHR is hopeful that the supportive remarks of the HOR leadership will translate to the expeditious passage of key bills that promote the empowerment of women, as well as other vulnerable sectors.

At the same time, CHR, as part of its legislative agenda in forwarding the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, proposes, among others, amending provisions of the Family Code that perpetuate the unequal status of spouses under Articles 14, 19, 96, 124, 211, and 225; revision of the Revised Penal Code on Adultery and Concubinage; amending the Space Spaces Act to provide penal provisions for persons committing gender-based sexual harassment in the workplace; and amendment of the Anti-Rape Law to specify lack of consent as the defining element in the crime of rape, and not “tenacious resistance” to the sexual act, as well as the repeal of the Forgiveness Clause.

CHR is also pushing for the passage of new pieces of legislation forwarding gender empowerment and women’s rights, such as the decriminalisation of abortion; the SOGIE Equality Bill; added protection for women and children receiving abusive conduct or violence online or electronic violence against women; and a law that would allow women and girls to access needed information and services of sexual and reproductive health rights without the need for third-party consent.

As Gender Ombud, CHR is always ready and willing to work with both the HOR and the Senate in pursuing human rights and gender-responsive laws. Gender and women’s concerns often combine, overlap, or intersect with other human rights concerns. CHR looks forward to working with lawmakers, including AWLFI, in realising our role as an advisor and partner of government in crafting responsive laws that best respond to the lived realities of the weak, disadvantaged, and marginalised sectors in the country. ###