Welcome Address of CHR Commissioner, Hon. Faydah M. Dumarpa, during the “Women, Life, & Liberty: Women’s Situations in Jails and Access to Justice” Forum (30 March 2023)

Welcome Address of CHR Commissioner, Hon. Faydah M. Dumarpa, during the “Women, Life, & Liberty: Women’s Situations in Jails and Access to Justice” Forum (30 March 2023)

30 March 2023, 3:00 PM, via Zoom

Hon. Faydah M. Dumarpa | Commissioner, Philippine Commission on Human Rights

Asallamuwalaikum at magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat, ako po si Commissioner Faydah Dumarpa, Focal Commissioner for Women’s Rights and Persons Deprived of their Liberty ng Komisyon sa mga Kaparatang Pantao.

It is my pleasure to welcome all of you to the forum on “Women, Life, & Liberty: Women’s Situation in Jails and Access to Justice”, a webinar organized by the Commission on Human Rights, UN Women, and Gantala Press.

The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, as a National Human Rights Institution and Gender and Development Ombud under the Magna Carta of Women has always worked with women in the marginalized sector, this includes women deprived of their liberty. In the exercise of our visitorial mandate, we are able to assess the condition of places of deprivation of liberty, and monitor the human rights situation of persons situated therein. Through this exercise, CHR is able to report on our State’s compliance with its treaty obligations, and make recommendations to our Government to help ensure that existing policies and programs, are aligned with human rights principles and standards.  

This afternoon, we will endeavor to give a glimpse of the lived realities of women behind bars through our presentation on, “Inside Stories: Situation of Women Deprived of their Liberty”. Our partner, the UN Women, will present the findings of its research on Women in Conflict with Law. We have invited partner organizations, such as KAPATID, Super Inday Collective, Balay Rehabilitation, StreetLaw Philippines and HLAF, our sincere thank you for being with us today, to share their programs and best practices in advocating for prison reforms and rights of women, specifically those who are deprived of their liberty.

We are also privileged to have with us this afternoon, representatives from various government agencies (welcome po sa inyong lahat), to include detention and prison authorities, and public attorneys. They will be asked to share their insights on the presentations, and take part as we open the floor to discuss how we can work together to improve the situation and treatment of the female persons deprived of liberty (PDL).

As we have come to the end of our celebration of the Women’s month, we take with us the essence of the theme, “Kababaihan para sa Karapatan; Kababaihan para sa Makatarungang Lipunan.” While we have come a long way in our advocacy for women’s rights and empowerment, we have to recognize that there are still women and girls who are at risk of facing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination such as these women in places of deprivation of liberty. And that many women and girls still face numerous obstacles in pursuing their legal rights and holding justice systems accountable despite efforts to advance legislative and policy measures to ensure access to justice and protection in sites of detention.

It is our hope that engagements such as this will continue so that agencies, organizations and sectors can come together to make gender equality a possibility, even in places of deprivation of liberty. The CHR believes that a just and inclusive society may only be achieved when agencies, mechanisms, institutions, private partners, and duty-bearers from the national to the local level provide equal rights and opportunities to all, and that the most vulnerable and marginalized groups will be given opportunities to empower themselves.

Thank you again to all our participants for being here this afternoon. Let us continue to advance human rights and good governance, ensuring that no one is left behind, and in making social justice a reality for all.###

Watch the video here.