The Philippine Delegation (PhilDel), led by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldos and Justice Secretary Emmanuel Caparas, to the United Nations 60th Meeting of the Commission on Women (CSW60) succeeded in bringing issues of Filipino women and girls to the United Nations held on 14 – 24 March 2016 at the UN Headquarters in New York, U.S.A.
In the meeting’s opening ceremony, Secretary Baldos, head of delegation, delivered the country statement for the Philippines. She highlighted the Philippine mechanisms in promoting Filipino women’s empowerment through enhanced economic participation, access to education and health services, and political empowerment.
The PhilDel also sponsored three (3) side events that showcased the Philippines’ best practices on women’s empowerment namely “Show me the Money”, “Women on Fire” and “Break the Silence”.
“Show me the Money” discussed the Philippine best practices in mandating the five (5) percent Gender and Development Budget in national government agencies, local government units and government-owned corporations and the existing monitoring mechanisms.
“Women on Fire” presented the gender tool kit developed by the Department of Energy and how women lead in implementing sustainable energy initiatives in the Philippines.
“Break the Silence”, led by the Department of Justice, shared the government’s initiatives in implementing a multi-disciplinary response to online child sexual abuse in the Philippines and how it collaborates with international law enforcement agencies in combatting the crime.
All of the three (3) side events were well-attended by representatives from member-states, civil society groups and students and garnered positive feedback from attendees.
Justice Secretary Caparas also shared the Philippine experience in a side event with the Peace Islands Institute on anti-trafficking initiatives. Another side event sponsored by the Salesians of Don Bosco in New York also featured the Philippine experience on anti-trafficking efforts. Both sessions were well-received by the organizers and attendees alike.
The two-week long CSW meeting ended with an outcome document that put together the agreed conclusions from over 100 member countries around the world with the PhilDel contributing not only relevant issues involving Filipino women but also what will work well for other countries based on its best practices. It is noteworthy to mention that the Philippines ranks 7th in the Global Gender Gap Index in 2015, the highest in the Asia Pacific and higher than the United States which ranked 28th.
The PhilDel was able to push for the inclusion of trafficking of women and girls in humanitarian circumstances, recognition of the role of women and girls as agents of change and leaders in addressing climate change by promoting a gender-responsive approach, and recognition of the role and contribution of women migrant workers for sustainable development.
The Philippine Delegation is composed of representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Commission on Human Rights (CHR), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), Commission on Audit (COA), Department of Energy (DOE) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
This year’s CSW60 covers the theme “Women’s Empowerment and its Link to Sustainable Development”.