Senate to Pass Magna Carta for Women
A Magna Carta for Women is nearing passage in both the
Philippine House of Representatives and Senate. The Magna Carta, House Bill
(HB) 4273/Senate Bill 2396 will institutionally solidify gender provisions in
the nationís policy framework. It is currently pending for a second reading
in the Senate.
Senator Loren Legarda oversaw the consolidation of nine separate bills that
made up the Magna Carta, which each bill having been written by a group of
female and male senators. The Magna Carta is in direct compliance of the UN
Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, or
The Magna Carta includes not only recognition and the legalization of Womenís
Rights, but also mechanisms for funding and enforcement. Enforcement includes
the setting up of a gender ombudsman under the Philippine Commission on Human
The Magna Carta also aims to repeal or revise existing discriminatory laws.
This includes Philippine Family Code which gives priority to a husbandís
decision making power in matters dealing with connubial property. It will
also introduce new features that are not in current Philippine law, such as a
non-derogatory portrayal of women in the media and equal access to
Special attention in the Magna Carta is given to poor and marginalized women,
whose needs are addressed in several areas including access to property
rights and credit, scholarships, and assistance in during times of difficulty.
Until the Magna Carta of Women is passed in the
Philippines, many rights will not be secured institutionally.
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