Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Tuesday called on Filipinas to “work harder to break the remaining myths that relegate women to being second-class individuals”, and to “band together to push for women’s economic empowerment, particularly for those from the rural and urban poor sectors.”
Arroyo also urged Filipinos to support the year-long activities of the Philippine Commission on Women.”
In a message for Women’s Day 2023, the former President recalled that Filipino women have been enjoying rights such as the right to equal education opportunities; suffrage and the right to own property long before women’s empowerment was recognized as a global issue.
She said our women’s rights were firmed up by the passage of the Women in Development and Nation Building Act and further reinforced by Republic Act 9710, the Magna Carta for Women, which she signed into law in August, 2009.
The implementation of these two landmark laws resulted in the country’s having achieved 6th place in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap annual ranking for the years 2006 to 2008.
The Magna Carta for Women created the PCW mandated to review and coordinate all measures for women empowerment at all levels. This Magna Carta bill had waited ten years for congressional action before it was passed in August, 2009, with some push from the Arroyo administration.
The Philippine Commission on Women’s activities to advance women’s rights focus on the theme “WE (Women and Everyone) for Gender Equality and Inclusive Society.”
During the Arroyo presidency, seven other laws to protect women’s rights were passed, such as the one defining violence against women and children and the anti-trafficking of women and children law.
During her time as senator, Arroyo authored four laws for women’s rights including the law criminalizing sexual harassment in the workplace and the law providing assistance to women in micro and cottage industries.