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Forum for women in public sector backs gender equality advocacy

ILOILO CITY (PIA) -- Marking the Women’s Month Celebration this March, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) 6 led the Forum for Women in the Public Sector on March 17.

Representatives from various national government agencies joined the gathering held here, aiming to provide an avenue to capacitate women in public service with basic knowledge to further support gender equality and women empowerment advocacies.

Based on the statistics presented by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) as of 2022, some 55% of the country’s civil servants is composed of women with 140,133 female employees occupying first level positions, and 659,687 women handling second level positions.

Having recognized the increasing number of women in the government workforce, Human Resource Specialist II of the CSC 6 Iana Frances Gatpatan, tackled the rights and opportunities of women in public service, reiterating the leave privileges, equal employment opportunities, and containment of sexual

harassment in workplaces which is among the most significant concerns involving women of today.

Article 13, Section 14 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides that  “the State shall protect working women by providing safe and healthful working conditions, taking into account their maternal functions, and such facilities and opportunities that will enhance their welfare and enable them to realize their full potential in the service of the nation.”

Hence, Gatpatan emphasized that there are several legal instruments which guarantee women empowerment as indicated in the Local Government Code, Party-List Law, Labor Code, and Women in Nation Building Law, 1988 Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, Gender and Development (GAD) Budget Allocation, Framework Plan for Women, and the Political-Electoral System, among others.

Meanwhile, women’s right to health was also discussed during the forum where the Department of Health (DOH) 6 presented its programs on responsible parenthood and reproductive health including maternal and neonatal health, family planning, adolescent health and development, STI/HIV/AIDS cases, and gender-based violence.

Also, as part of promoting resilience among women in public offices concerning disaster response operations, Dangal ng Bayan Awardee 2022 and Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Donna P. Magno, and Presidential Lingkod Bayan Awardee 2022 Lisa B. Camacho of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 6, shared their respective experiences, citing the critical role of women to effectively manage and implement gender-sensitive disaster risk reduction plans and programs.

They also highlighted the need to capacitate women in securing alternate means of livelihood in post-disaster situations and the employment of inclusive, gender-based approaches during practical situations in their respective fields.

The women’s forum led by the OCD 6 formed part of the government’s efforts to recognize women's role and contribution in nation-building, stressing the need to protect, promote, and fulfill women's rights. (JBG/AGP/PIA6)

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Kate Shiene Austria

Information Officer III

Information Officer III under the Creative and Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

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