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1.

1 Introduction and Method of Research


In our recent time, it seems that everything that men can do, women
can already do it as well. A job for a man can also be a job for a woman. In
the old times, it is only man who works for the family but now, it also
seems that both husband and wife are to provide for the family and work
for any legal profession even without the consent of the other. Actually, it is
much better if both spouses are working for their family. We can also realize
that before, only men can enter politics, but now, there are women who
occupied not only on the lower position in the government, but also on the
highest position such as Former President Corazon Aquino and Pampanga
representative Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Currently, there
are news that again, a female candidate will run for presidency on the
upcoming election in 2016. Even in the judiciary, it also has its very first
female Chief Justice CJ Maria Lourdes Sereno. These mere examples go to
show that our world is often changing its rules particularly its customs.
The females or women who used to be slaves or who used to be just, simple
and ordinary plain housewife is already out to conquer the world. But
though this is the case, there are still a lot of issues for us to improve
particularly on how we see and treat women. There are still a lot of
discrimination and inequality these women are experiencing in many
aspects including their families and career.

Both men and women are experiencing gender biases; however, most
of it are being experienced by the women. Man is perceived to be inherently
aggressive and violent, they do not feel pain or incapable of experiencing
deep human emotions. They are also inherently compulsive in their
sexuality and do not need closeness, reassurance, and attention. Men are
expected to be tough and not to show any signs of weaknesses. While the
women are exposed to economic marginalization, gender stereotyping,
multiple burden, subordination and violence.
Gender bias is an unequal treatment in employment opportunity
(such as promotion, pay, benefits and privileges), and expectations due to
attitudes based on the sex of an employee or group of employees. Gender
bias can be a legitimate basis for a lawsuit under anti-discrimination
statutes.1 It hampers development because it prevents people from
attaining their full potentials. It aggravates social inequity and inequality.
These gender issues are deterrents to development. Thus, it is important to
address them in development planning.

1.1 (a) Historical Background


The United Nations Charter of 1945 and the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights in 1948 was the first one to establish the first official
worldwide recognition of women's equality and non-discrimination on the
1 http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/gender+bias

basis of sex. The focus on women's reproductive roles, as women were seen
as wives and mothers and their main issues were supposed to be obtaining
access to food, contraceptives, nutrition and health care.
In 1970's to mid-1980's, marked a new phase in which the debate
moved beyond women's equality and the domestic sphere of women's role
as wives and mothers onto the global stage where the role of women was
promoted as an aid for economic development. There are also important
events that signifies the beginning of the gradually increase of recognition
of women through other parts of the world.
In 1974, the first World Conference for Women was held in Mexico.
UN also declared a decade of women in 1976-1985. They have also came
up with Promotion of the Women In Development (WID) approach which
emphasized on women's right to development, recognition of women's
economic role in national economies and, most significantly, gave a voice to
women in developing countries. Though the WID approach has its
shortcoming, it fell short in improving unequal relationships and there are
also significant number of projects that were unsustainable as development
projects failed to consider the multiple roles carried out by women, leading to
a development model that in the end disadvantaged women.
In the late 80, the Gender and Development (GAD) approach was
developed with the idea of improving the development model by removing

disparities in social, economic, and political balances between women and


men as a pre-condition for achieving people-centered development. 2 The
Gender and Development or GAD was a development perspective and
process that upholds the concept of participatory decision-making,
empowerment

and

equity

in

the

distribution

of

resources

and

opportunities, freedom from violence, respect for human rights and support
for

self-determination and

actualization

of

human

potential;

Thus,

promoting gender equality.


Gender equality is also backed up by provisions of law which is found
in the fundamental law of the land, the Constitution. The 1987
Constitution provides:
"The State recognizes the role of women in nation-building and shall
ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men. (Article
II Section 14)
"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." (Article XIII-Labor:
Section 14)
Following the constitutional provisions, Executive Order 273 was
enacted in September 8, 1995; EO 273 approved and adopted the
2 http://www.aquaknow.net/en/book/export/html/15666

Philippine Plan for Gender-Responsive Development (PPGD) which is a 30year plan that aims to mainstream gender concerns into the governments
mechanisms, systems, procedures and programs. Likewise, Republic Act
7192 An Act Promoting The Integration Of Women As Full And Equal
Partners Of Men In Development And Nation Building And For Other
Purposes was also passed directing all government department and
agencies to review and revise all regulations, circulars and procedures to
ensure removal of gender biases.
Furthermore, Republic act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women was
also enacted to a law. The Magna Carta of Women is a comprehensive
womens human rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination against
women by recognizing, protecting, fulfilling and promoting the rights of
Filipino women, especially those in the marginalized sectors. It aims to fully
comply with international commitments under the Beijing Platform for
Action on Women and the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of
Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). This also served as an effective
tool

to

fully

implement

and

mainstream

gender

concerns

in

the

government, thereby achieving a gender-responsive government


In addition to our local legislation, there are International mandates
created for the promotion of gender equality. UN Convention on the
Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

mandated state signatories to the convention to come-up with national


actions in eliminating all forms of discrimination against women. CEDAW
adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, is often described as an
international bill of rights for women. Consisting of a preamble and 30
articles, it defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets
up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination.
The Convention defines discrimination against women as "...any
distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the
effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or
exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of
equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in
the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field."
By accepting the Convention, States commit themselves to undertake
a series of measures to end discrimination against women in all forms,
including:

To

incorporate the principle of equality of men and women in their legal

system, abolish all discriminatory laws and adopt appropriate ones


prohibiting discrimination against women;

To

establish tribunals and other public institutions to ensure the effective

protection of women against discrimination; and

To

ensure elimination of all acts of discrimination against women by

persons, organizations or enterprises.

The Convention provides the basis for realizing equality between


women and men through ensuring women's equal access to, and equal
opportunities in, political and public life -- including the right to vote and to
stand for election -- as well as education, health and employment. States
parties agree to take all appropriate measures, including legislation and
temporary special measures, so that women can enjoy all their human
rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Convention is the only human rights treaty which affirms the
reproductive rights of women and targets culture and tradition as
influential forces shaping gender roles and family relations. It affirms
women's rights to acquire, change or retain their nationality and the
nationality of their children. States parties also agree to take appropriate
measures against all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of women.

Countries that have ratified or acceded to the Convention are legally


bound to put its provisions into practice. They are also committed to
submit national reports, at least every four years, on measures they have
taken to comply with their treaty obligations.

On the other hand, Beijing Platform for Action (PFA) of the 4 th World
Conference on Women also mandated government actors to promote an
active and visible policy in mainstreaming gender perspective in all policies
and programs. Some of its goals of development are to promote the human
rights of women and girls, eradicate poverty among women, remove
obstacles to womens participation in public life and decision-making,
eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and ensure equal
access for girl children and women to education and health. We are also
working towards the attainment of Millennium Development Goals which
mandates state signatories to Promote Gender Equality and Empower
women by 2015.
The

Beijing

Platform

for

Action

is

an

agenda

for

women's

empowerment. It aims at accelerating the implementation of the Nairobi


Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women and at removing
all the obstacles to women's active participation in all spheres of public and
private life through a full and equal share in economic, social, cultural and
political decision-making. This means that the principle of shared power
and responsibility should be established between women and men at home,
in the workplace and in the wider national and international communities.
Equality between women and men is a matter of human rights and a
condition for social justice and is also a necessary and fundamental

prerequisite

for

equality,

development

and

peace.

transformed

partnership based on equality between women and men is a condition for


people-centred sustainable development. A sustained and long-term
commitment is essential, so that women and men can work together for
themselves, for their children and for society to meet the challenges of the
twenty-first century.
It reaffirms the fundamental principle set forth in the Vienna
Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted by the World Conference on
Human Rights that the human rights of women and of the girl child are an
inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights. As an
agenda for action, the Platform seeks to promote and protect the full
enjoyment of all human rights and the fundamental freedoms of all women
throughout their life cycle.

The Platform for Action also emphasizes that women share common
concerns that can be addressed only by working together and in
partnership with men towards the common goal of gender* equality around
the world. It respects and values the full diversity of women's situations
and conditions and recognizes that some women face particular barriers to
their empowerment.

Furthermore, The Platform for Action requires immediate and

concerted action by all to create a peaceful, just and humane world based
on human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the principle of
equality for all people of all ages and from all walks of life, and to this end,
recognizes that broad- based and sustained economic growth in the context
of sustainable development is necessary to sustain social development and
social justice.

The success of the Platform for Action will require a strong


commitment on the part of Governments, international organizations and
institutions at all levels. It requires adequate mobilization of resources at
the national and international levels as well as new and additional
resources

to

the

developing

countries

from

all

available

funding

mechanisms, including multilateral, bilateral and private sources for the


advancement of women; financial resources to strengthen the capacity of
national,

sub

regional,

regional

and

international

institutions;

commitment to equal rights, equal responsibilities and equal opportunities


and to the equal participation of women and men in all national, regional
and

international

establishment

or

bodies

and

policy-

strengthening

accountability to the world's women.

1.2 Importance of the Study

of

making

mechanisms

processes;
at

all

and

the

levels

for

There are a lot of gender problems, concerns, and issues that arise
from the inequality status of a man and a woman including the difference
in roles, characteristics and expectations attributed by society to the both.
These societal expectations and perceptions, which are reflected in and
perpetuated by laws, policies, procedures, systems, programs, projects and
activities of government, could hamper women's full development and their
participation in and equal enjoyment of the fruits of development. This also
creates gender gaps between men and women in terms of how they benefit
from education, employment, services, and so on.
It is important for this study to know the policies and laws that pave
way in the gender gaps. Also, for the people especially the women, to be
enlighten about the laws and policies that establishes their rights to gain
greater control over the circumstances of their lives.

1.3 Statement of the Problem


Are the present laws and principles enacted and campaigns launched
pertaining to the gender equality enough to remove the disparity between
the treatment of society to men and women?
1.4 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The scope of this study will emphasize on citing the laws and
principles enacted regarding the gender equality and its effects to the

society particularly between the man and the woman. This will also discuss
about the roles of men and women in the society and their differences. This
includes the gender discrimination or the gender biases.

1.5 Definition of Terms


a. Bias refers to prejudice of or against one thing, person or group
compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair or cause to
feel or show inclination or prejudice for or against someone or something;
b. Gender refers to the range of characteristics pertaining to, and
differentiating between, masculinity and feminity;
c. Gender Equality refers to the view men and women should receive
equal treatment, and should not be discriminated against based on gender.
Also known as sex equality, gender egalitarianism, sexual equality or
equality of the genders.
d. Gender Inequality refers to unequal treatment or perceptions of
individuals based on their gender. It arises from differences in socially
constructed gender roles as well as biologically through chromosomes,
brain structure, and hormonal differences;
e. Inequity refers to lack of fairness or justice;
f. Sexism or Gender Discrimination refers to prejudice or discrimination
based on a persons sex or gender. Sexism can affect any gender, but it is

particularly documented as affecting women and girls.

Chapter II. Contemporary Studies and Literature Related to the


Present Study
This chapter includes the other works of other researchers and what
are the ideas they have come up with their works. An overview to the
research paper of Anne Mikkola and Carrie A. Miles (April 2007), they cited,
Our definition for gender inequality arises from reading of various social
sciences literature, including economics: it manifests as hierarchical
genders relations, with men above women, and women being regarded as
inferior and less valuable solely by virtue of their sex. Although the
literature predominantly focuses on women we recognize that men in less
developed countries also suffer from behaviors and policies that foster
hierarchical gender relations. Gender hierarchy is manifested in family
relationships, inheritance laws and customs; valuations of womens work
and its general invisibility; and the power to make decisions in society, the
family, work place, religious and other cultural institutions. It is apparent
in the relative opportunities available to women and girls for development,
education, health and nutrition and in the pattern of violence between the
sexes. Such hierarchy is generally accepted by both genders, and it is not
normally questioned within its cultural context.
Gender equality, in contrast, is expressed in attitudes, beliefs,

behaviors and policies that reflect an equal valuing and provision of


opportunities for both genders. Further definitions of gender inequality can
be found in United Nations declarations of human rights beginning in 1948.
In 1979, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women (CEDAW) was adopted by the United Nations General
Assembly. As of June 2003 174 countries 90% of the UN members are
party to the convention. The convention defines discrimination as "any
distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex....in the
political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field. Lack of
discrimination in this sense could be seen as equal status between genders.
As opposed to inter-gender power hierarchy or a separatism where everyone
is self-interested and autonomous, in gender equality all individuals hold a
similar level of power and treat other people with respect and consideration,
regardless of their sex (Nelson and England, 2002). Our framework for
understanding gender relationships therefore sees them as falling along a
spectrum, with gender power hierarchy and restrictions at one end and
equal opportunities and equal value for both sexes at the other. 3
Although men and women are dissimilar physically, but it is the
economic, political, social and legal interpretation of such differences that
ultimately lead to create inequality among them. In social inequality, men
and women typically have different responsibilities and roles in their daily
3 http://ethesis.helsinki.fi/julkaisut/eri/hecer/disc/159/developm.pdf

lives as well as work. It is anticipated that men seem to do much riskier


and heavier work that is generally located away from their home. Work done
by men seems to have much higher status as compared with women who
have the major responsibility for child-care, elderly-care, preparing and
managing food for their families.
Gender equality signifies a society in which men and women enjoy the
similar opportunities, outcomes, obligations and rights in every sphere of
life. Equality between women and men exist only when both sexes are
capable of sharing mutually in the distribution of influence and power;
have equal opportunities for monetary freedom through formation of
businesses or work; enjoy equal and easy access to education and the
prospects to develop own personal goals.

Chapter III. Discussion


Gender Equality is a principle asserting the equality of men and
women and their right to enjoy equal conditions realizing their full human
potentials to contribute to and benefit from the results of development, and
with the State recognizing that all human beings are free and equal in
dignity and rights. This means that women should have the same rights
and opportunities in life as men, including the ability to participate in the
public sphere. Women are entitled to live in dignity and in freedom from
want and from fear. There should be a levelling of the playing field for
women by ensuring that they have equal opportunity to develop their
talents.
If we will assess why these gender equality campaigns always focus
more on women than men it is because they are in the invisible and
marginalized sector such as bearing and raising children, domestic and
unpaid economic labor and subsistence agriculture. More often than not

they experience a lot of hardships including multiple roles, violence and


sexual harassment, lack of protection, exploitation, poor skills and
discrimination. Furthermore, resources and opportunities for attaining a
full and satisfying life are not always the same for women and men.
These gender biases are brought about by our culture and society
that we grew up with. This is determined by our cultural beliefs,
perceptions,

practices,

values,

roles,

attitudes

and

structural

arrangements. Our culture influences us what are the roles man and
woman should play in our society.
The work given to a man differs to work load given to a woman in
consideration of their physical capabilities. Most often, our gender roles is
dictated by our sex. Sex is determined by biological characteristics of men
and women which is a natural trait and cannot be changed. While gender,
is a social characteristics imparted to us by social institutions. Gender is
dictated to us culturally and socially that determines our roles and
behaviour in the society. The assignment of roles created a divide between
men and women which limits certain roles, traits and characteristics given
to women or to men.
Lets take for example the roles and responsibilities given to men and
women inside the house. The men are perceived as strong, firm and more
capable of doing work outside the house thus they are observed to be the

provider and the decision-maker. While the women, are conceived as soft
and submissive they are believed to be the caregiver or the one in charge of
the household chores and one who should look after their children. These
perceptions should be changed since the role of the husband and wife in
the management of the household should be fair and equal. This is even
reflected in the Family code of the Philippines:
The spouses are jointly responsible for the support of the family.
(Title III, Art. 70.)
The management of the household shall be the right and the duty of
both spouses. (Title III, Art. 71.)
These discriminations or biases are also prevailing in the work place.
Many people would consider that occupations such as engineers, miners
and architects are only appropriate for men. Even though there are
engineers, miners and architects who are women while men can also be a
full-time caregivers for infants or kindergarten teachers, although these are
generally considered more appropriate for women.
The gender roles considered appropriate for women and men differ
among societies. For example, in some societies, all trading is considered to
be a mans role, but in Cambodia and in many North African countries
trading, especially small scale, is considered to be a womans role. Gender
roles can also change over time in response to economic and social change.

In almost all societies, womens primary gender roles are those of mother
and wife/housewife. These are the roles by which womanhood is defined
and individual women are typically judged (and often evaluate themselves)
by how successfully they perform these roles. Thus, they incur a double
burden of domestic and market work. Mens primary gender role: is that of
the main economic provider or breadwinner in the household.

Men are

usually judged (and judge themselves) by their success in this role, which is
why in the current Asian crisis unemployment is such a devastating
experience for many men.
Gender equality is essential for the achievement of human rights for
all. Yet discriminatory laws against women persist in every corner of the
globe and new discriminatory laws are enacted. In all legal traditions many
laws continue to institutionalize second class status for women and girls
with regard to nationality and citizenship, health, education, marital rights,
employment rights, parental rights, inheritance and property rights. These
forms of discrimination against women are incompatible with womens
empowerment.
Women form the majority of the worlds poorest people and the
number of women living in rural poverty has increased by 50% since 1975.
Women work two-thirds of the worlds working hours and produce half of
the worlds food, yet they earn only 10% of the worlds income and own less

than 1% of the worlds property1. Violence against women throughout the


world and in all cultures prevails on an unimaginable scale, and womens
access to justice is often paired with discriminatory obstacles in law as
well as in practice. Multiple forms of discrimination based on gender and
other factors such as race, ethnicity, caste, disability, persons affected by
HIV/AIDS, sexual orientation or gender identity further compounds the
risk of economic hardship, exclusion and violence against women.
In some countries women, unlike men, cannot dress as they like,
drive, work at night, inherit property or give evidence in Court. The vast
majority of expressly discriminatory laws in force relate to family life,
including limiting a womans right to marry (or the right not to marry in
cases of early forced marriages), divorce and remarry, thus allowing for sex
discriminatory marital practices such as wife obedience and polygamy.
Laws explicitly mandating wife obedience still govern marital relations in
many States.
International human rights law prohibits discrimination on the basis
of sex and includes guarantees for men and women to enjoy their civil,
cultural, economic, political and social rights equally. While the human
rights machinery reaffirm the principles of non-discrimination and
equality, Article 15 (1) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women explicitly provides that States who have

ratified the Convention shall accord to women equality with men and article
2 commits States who have ratified the Convention to take all appropriate
measures, including legislation, to modify or abolish existing laws,
regulations, customs and practices which constitute discrimination against
women.
Thirty years since the Conventions entry into force, the recognition
and enjoyment of equal rights with men still remains elusive for large
sections of women around the world. CEDAW has been ratified by 186
States yet has the record number of reservations to core articles such as
articles 2 and 6 which impact upon young girls and womens personal and
family life.
Despite CEDAW requiring State who have ratified the Convention to
eliminate discrimination against women by all appropriate means and
without delay, too many States still pervasively retain their discriminatory
laws

which

indicates

that

the

pace

of

reform

is

too

slow

for

women. Consequently, at the 12th session of the Human Rights Council, a


resolution titled Elimination of discrimination against women was adopted
requesting the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to
prepare a thematic study on discrimination against women in law and
practice on how the issue is addressed through the UN, in consultation
with all relevant stakeholders, in particular, the Commission on the Status

of Women. The thematic study will be addressed at the 15th session and a
half day discussion will be held to consider taking further action at that
session.
Gender Discrimination can be seen at all ages and stages of
development for women not just in the Philippines but in different parts of
the world
Fetus & Infancy
UNICEF notes that Where there is a clear economic or cultural
preference for sons, the misuse of [pregnancy diagnostic tools] can facilitate
female feticide. This means that in parts of the world, like China, parents
will abort their child or put the child up for adoption on the basis that its a
girl.
Childhood
A principal focus of the middle years of childhood and adolescence is
ensuring access to, and completion of, quality primary and secondary
education. With a few exceptions, it is mostly girls who suffer from
educational disadvantage.

Adolescence
Among the greatest threats to adolescent development are abuse,
exploitation and violence, and the lack of vital knowledge about sexual and

reproductive health, including HIV/AIDS. Specific areas that UNICEF


highlighted were female genital mutilation/cutting; child marriage and
premature parenthood; sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking; sexual
and reproductive health; and HIV/AIDS.
Adult
A recent report from the Department of U.S. Labor showed that
women today are paid only 72 cents for every dollar a man earns. Even
more troubling -- the study found that at least one-third -- or about 11
cents -- of the pay gap is caused by pay discrimination against women -and this is 38 years after the Equal Pay Act became law." said Senator Tom
Harkin.
Motherhood and old age
These are two key periods in many womens lives when the
detrimental effects of both poverty and inequality can combine during
childbirth and in old age. Shockingly, it is estimated that each year more
than half a million womenroughly one woman every minutedie as a
result of pregnancy complications and childbirth, 99% of which occur in
developing countries. Yet many of these womens lives could be saved if they
had access to basic health care services. In addition, elderly women may
face double discrimination on the basis of both gender and age. Many older
women are plunged into poverty at a time of life when they are very

vulnerable.
Wage Discrimination
According to Inter Press Service, "On a global scale, women cultivate
more than half of all the food that is grown. In sub-Saharan Africa and the
Caribbean, they produce up to 80 percent of basic foodstuffs. In Asia, they
account for around 50 percent of food production. In Latin America, they
are mainly engaged in subsistence farming, horticulture, poultry and
raising small livestock." Yet women often get little recognition for that. In
fact, many go unpaid. It is very difficult for these women to get the financial
resources required to buy equipment etc, as many societies still do not
accept, or realize, that there is a change in the "traditional" roles.
Reasons for such disparity include the fact that women are generally
underpaid and because they often perform low-status jobs, compared to
men. UNICEF notes that the data isnt always perfect, and that
generalizations can hide wider fluctuations. In Brazil, for example, women
under the age of 25 earn a higher average hourly wage than their male
counterparts. However, in developing nations and in most industrialized
nations, men are usually paid more than their female counterparts in the
same field. Millions of women throughout the world live in conditions in
which they are deprived of their basic human rights for no other reason
than their gender.

Abuses against women are relentless, systematic, and widely


tolerated, if not explicitly condoned. Violence and discrimination against
women are global social epidemics. We live in a world in which women do
not have basic control over what happens to their bodies. Millions of women
and girls are forced to marry and have sex with men they do not desire.
Husbands and other male family members obstruct or dictate women's
access to reproductive health care. Doctors and government officials
disproportionately target women from disadvantaged or marginalized
communities for coercive family planning policies.
The realization of women's rights is a global struggle based on
universal human rights and the rule of law. It requires all of us to unite in
solidarity to end traditions, practices, and laws that harm women. It is a
fight for freedom to be fully and completely human and equal without
apology or permission. Ultimately, the struggle for women's human rights
must be about making women's lives matter everywhere all the time. In
practice, this means taking action to stop discrimination and violence
against women.4
Would you believe that a part of all the discrimination and gender
biases mentioned above there is still one more case that we, Filipinos, are
trying to ignore but is already proliferating in different parts of the country
as well as abroad? It is the Mail-order-bride industry. The tag mail-order
4 http://bringtoanend.blogspot.com/2011/01/background-on-discrimination-against.html

bride has often been associated with derision, stigma and illegality such
that the bride herself would not dare claim such status, if only to avoid the
unwarranted connotations and stereotypes that come with the label,
regardless of the reasons why she entered into such a context.
In a country where it is a reality that mail-order brides continue to
proliferate, the question arises as to how the Philippines have protected the
women who become part of the mail order bride industry. Where the mail
order bride industry is illegal in the Philippines and legal in receiving
countries like the United States of America, Japan and South Korea, to
name a few, the appropriateness of the response of the Philippines to the
issue of Filipino mail-order brides comes into picture.
The whole concept of mail order brides has its risks undoubtedly
given the unique circumstances surrounding it, compared with any other
kind of man-woman relationship. Here the woman is not in need of love
but in need of money, large amount of money that they are ready to risk
their selves into this kind of situation.
A story often told of Filipino mail order brides concerns their
exploitation at the hands of criminal syndicates and often relates to acts of
trafficking. Analyn, 20 years old at the time she was recruited to work in
South Korea, was one of those mail-order brides. Just like in the United
States of America and Japan, the mail order bride industry in South Korea

is legal. She was recruited to work in South Korea, and to be able to enter
the country, she was forced to marry a Korean twice her age. She was only
able to report her case with the Commission of Filipinos Overseas (CFO)
when she tried to secure from the latter a clearance certificate, a legal
requirement for all those seeking work abroad. The CFO is now helping
Analyn in her case against the traffickers. However, in view of the difficulty
of proving the exploitation element regarding her trafficking, the judge
wanted to try the case under RA 6955 or the 1990 Anti-Mail Order Bride
Law, rather than under the RA 9208, otherwise known as the 2003 AntiTrafficking in Persons Act.
Analyns case can be clearly seen as one of trafficking and the mode
of facilitating the crime is through a marriage ceremony. The difficulty
however of prosecuting such a crime constrains the courts to rely on the
tamer prohibitive law against mail order marriages. A clear understanding
of the pertinent laws affecting Analyns case is in order to appreciate the
implications of said laws on the lives of diasporic Filipina women who
enters into transnational or interracial marriages.
The former prevailing law in the Philippines affecting the mail order
bride industry frames the protective mechanisms for Filipino women on the
principle of protecting womens dignity while pursuing economic upliftment
towards achieving decent standard of living. Such law perceived that the

marriage of a Filipino woman with a foreigner husband is a means by which


the woman can secure for herself and her family material improvement
given the rampant poverty in the Philippines. Such means however is also
presumed to be disastrous to the well-being of the woman.

Towards

protecting the woman, Republic Act 6955 makes the following practices
unlawful:

For a person, natural or juridical, association, club or any other


entity to commit, directly or indirectly, any of the following acts:
To establish or carry on a business which has for its purpose the
matching of Filipino women for marriage to foreign nationals either on a
mail order basis or personal introduction;
To advertise, publish, print or distribute or cause the advertisement,
publication, printing or distribution of any brochure, flier or any
propaganda material calculated to promote the prohibited acts in the
preceding sub-paragraph;
To solicit, enlist or in any manner attract or introduce any Filipino
woman to become a member in any club or association whose objective is to
match women for marriage to foreign nationals either on a mail order basis
or through personal introduction for a fee;
To use the postal service to promote the prohibited acts in

subparagraph 1 hereof.
For the manager or officer in charge or advertising manager of any
newspaper, magazine, television or radio station, or other media, or of an
advertising agency, printing company or other similar entities to knowingly
allow, or consent to the acts prohibited in the preceding paragraph
The law was enacted as a reaction to the growing number of Filipino
women leaving the country as mail order brides. As then Representative
Lorna Verano Yap, main sponsor of the bill at the Lower House, argued that
Operated by unscrupulous and heartless individuals, the practice has not
only cast shame on our women in the international community, but have
also exposed thousands of impoverished Filipinas into further misery in the
hands of their foreign spousesThey are treated like cattle. When you
really come down to it, its like prostitution.
The Senate counterpart, on the other hand, supported the bill, and
elaborated that: By making Filipina brides a marketable commodity and
flaunting them as such like cattle in tawdry and revolting advertisements
this business has gravely insulted all that we, as a nation, hold sacred.
Republic Act 6995 does not prohibit the inter-marriage between
foreign nationals and Filipino women. The ban does not criminalize the act
of a woman who enters into such an arrangement through the mail order
bride business, but targets those who profit out of the act of match-

making recognizing such actions as facilitators of the trafficking of Filipino


women.
In 2003, the industry of mail order brides has been understood as an
act of trafficking in persons under RA 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in
Persons Act, when exploitation is proven. Section 4 of said law makes
unlawful for any person, natural or juridical, committing the following acts:
To introduce or match for money, profit, or material, economic or
other consideration, any person or, as provided for under Republic Act No.
6955, any Filipino woman to a foreign national, for marriage for the
purpose of acquiring, buying, offering, selling or trading him/her to engage
in prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery,
involuntary servitude or debt bondage;
To offer or contract marriage, real or simulated, for the purpose of
acquiring, buying, offering, selling, or trading them to engage in
prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labour or slavery,
involuntary servitude or debt bondage;
To undertake or organize tours and travel plans consisting of tourism
packages or activities for the purpose of utilizing and offering persons for
prostitution, pornography or sexual exploitation;
RA 9208 defines trafficking in persons as referring to the
recruitment, transportation, transfer or harbouring, or receipt of persons

with or without the victims consent or knowledge, within or across national


borders by means of threat or use of force, or other forms of coercion,
abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of position, taking
advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or, the giving or receiving of
payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over
another person for the purpose of exploitation which includes at a
minimum, the exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of
sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery, servitude or the
removal or sale of organs
With all the data and experiences of those who have contacts with
migrant partners, it would not be difficult to identify a Filipino mail-order
bride. So the question arises as to why there is not a single case brought
against the perpetrators? The case of Analyn would be a good test case
both under RA 6955 and 9208, if the same will be sustained. However,
Analyn is confronted with a lot of challenges that the Philippine state would
not be in a position to supplement or support.

Institutionally, the

Philippine set-up is not wanting in terms of appropriate mechanisms to run


after the perpetrators.5
Furthermore, here are some of the laws and policies that pave way in
gender gaps:
The Family Code of the Philippines:
5 http://plj.upd.edu.ph/anti-mail-order-bride-legislation-and-feminist-legal-theory-an-inquiry-towards-a-rescript-of-the-diasporic-filipino-bridephenomenon-in-the-philippines/

Section 4. Ownership, Administration, Enjoyment and Disposition of


Community Property
Art. 96. The Administration and enjoyment of the community
property shall belong to both spouses jointly. In case of disagreement, the
husbands decision shall prevail, subject to recourse to the court by the
wife for a proper remedy
Title IX Parental Authority
Art. 211. The father and the mother shall jointly exercise parental
authority over the persons of their common children.

In case of

disagreement, the fathers decision shall prevail, unless there is a judicial


order to the contrary.
Chapter 4. Effect of Parental Authority Upon the Property of the Children
Art. 225.

The father and the mother shall jointly exercise legal

guardianship over the property of their unemancipated common child


without the necessity of a court appointment. In case of disagreement, the
fathers decision shall prevail, unless there is a judicial order to the
contrary.
The Revised Penal Code:
Adultery (Art. 333) vs. Concubinage (Art. 334)
Art. 333. Who are guilty of adultery. Adultery is committed by any
married woman who shall have sexual intercourse with a man not her

husband and by the man who has carnal knowledge of her knowing her to
be married, even if the marriage be subsequently declared void. Adultery
shall be punished by prision correccional in its medium and maximum
periods.
Art. 334. Concubinage. Any husband who shall keep a mistress in
the conjugal dwelling, or shall have sexual intercourse, under scandalous
circumstances, with a woman who is not his wife, or shall cohabit with her
in any other place, shall be punished by prision correccional in its
minimum and medium periods. The concubine shall suffer the penalty of
destierro.
Art. 202. Vagrants & Prostitutes
For purposes of this article, women, who for money or profit, habitually
indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct, are deemed to be
prostitutes. (Amended by RA 101518 Vagrancy is no longer a crime BUT
Definition of prostitutes remain the same)
Total Extinction of Criminal Liability
Art. 89. How criminal liability is totally extinguished. Criminal
liability is totally extinguished:
Par. 7. By the marriage of the offended woman, as provided in Article
334 of this Code.
(Art. 334, last par.:

In cases of Seduction, Abduction, Rape and Acts of

Lasciviousness (SARA), the marriage of the offender with the offended party
shall extinguish the criminal action or remit the penalty already imposed.)
The provisions in the family code sets the standards that the husband are
still in the higher position in the decision-making at home when in fact that
should be a joint administration hence the opinions and the decision of the
spouses should be equal. This is also not beneficial for the wife because in
order for them to assail the decision of their partner they have to undergo a
tedious process in acquiring judicial recourse. In effect of this provision,
the wife tends to be quiet and no longer push through with her interest just
so they dont have to go through all these things.
On the other hand, Revised Penal Code undermines the welfare of the
women because the penalty imposes in other provisions are unequal and
impractical. In adultery, a single sexual intercourse may already constitute
the crime while concubinage has to be proven under a scandalous
circumstance or keeping the mistress in their conjugal dwelling place or
cohabiting with her in any other place before it will be constituted as a
crime.

The penalties imposed for adultery and concubinage is also

different. For adultery the penalty imposed is prision correccional in its


medium to maximum period while in concubinage it is also prision
correccional but in its minimum to medium period only. The implications of
adultery and concubinage are just the same. That is both infidelity to their

partners and both would also be detrimental to the relationship of the


family and welfare of the children.
Under Art. 202, women who for money or profit, habitually indulge in
sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct were also deemed as prostitute
and may be penalized while there is no same provision for men whom will
also know commits the same acts. Therefore, If both men and women have
committed the same acts then both should be penalized and not only
women to be singled out.
In Art. 89, as long as the criminal marries the rape victim then he is
already vindicated for the crime he has committed. This shouldnt be the
case because rapist could see this as a scapegoat for them not to face their
sentence. Even they will marry the victim and try to rectify the crime they
have done they should still be held liable because that is still an offense
against the honour and dignity of women.
Aside from these laws which are biased and prejudicial to the welfare
and rights of women, they are also experiencing violence against women.
They are prone to sexual harassment and different forms of abuses. These
sexual harassments are prevalent not only at home but also to their
respective workplace. Women are being taken for granted because they are
perceived to be physically weak than men.
According to RA 7877 Sexual Harassment Law, Sexual Harassment

constitutes demanding, requesting or otherwise requiring any sexual favor


from the other regardless of whether the demand, request or requirement
for submission is accepted. The person who DRR the sexual favor has
authority, influence or moral ascendancy over the offended party. Persons
to be convicted with Sexual Harassment will be imposed with a penalty of
Imprisonment of not less than 1 month or more than 6 months, or a fine of
not less than 10,000.00 nor more than 20,000.00, or both at the discretion
of the court. Actions arising from the violations of the provision shall
prescribe in 3 years.
Most often than not, women who experience sexual harassment dont
have the courage to voice out their experiences because they are afraid of
what people say and the shame that it will bring to their family and to her.
This usually happens in the workplace where the one making the abuse is
the superior and the one who was being abuse is his subordinate. Because
she is afraid to get fired and lost her job some women just keep it to their
selves and this impacts their emotional, mental and social behaviour.
In this regard, we have to be more vigilant with these abuses and
empower women so that they will not hesitate to speak up whenever they
feel that they are being harassed. They should feel that there are people
that they can trust and depend onto in this kind of situation. They should
be assured that whatever happens there are laws to protect them and

defend them for their rights. Unfortunately, not only working women are
prone to abuse there are also housewives and children who are being
exposed to these dangers.
Republic Act 9262 Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children
Act was enacted to protect every women and children from any violence and
abuses. This penalizes as a crime commission of acts of violence against
women and their children perpetrated against them by their partners,
whether married or not. These abuses are categorized in four (4) forms.
They are Physical, Sexual, Psychological, and Economic.
The specific acts which constitute violence against women are:
a) Causing physical harm to the woman or her child;
b) Threatening to cause the woman or her child physical harm;
c) Attempting to cause the woman or her child physical harm;
d) Placing the woman or her child in fear of imminent physical harm;
e) Attempting to compel or compelling the woman or her child to engage in
conduct which the woman or her child has the right to desist from or desist
from conduct which the woman or her child has the right to engage in, or
attempting to restrict or restricting the woman's or her child's freedom of
movement or conduct by force or threat of force, physical or other harm or
threat of physical or other harm, or intimidation directed against the
woman or child.

Threatening to deprive or actually depriving the woman or her child


of custody to her/his family;
Depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her children of
financial support legally due her or her family, or deliberately providing the
woman's children insufficient financial support;
Depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her child of a legal
right;
Preventing the woman in engaging in any legitimate profession,
occupation, business or activity or controlling the victim's own money or
properties, or solely controlling the conjugal or common money, or
properties;
Inflicting or threatening to inflict physical harm on oneself for the
purpose of controlling her actions or decisions;
Causing or attempting to cause the woman or her child to engage in
any sexual activity which does not constitute rape, by force or threat of
force, physical harm, or through intimidation directed against the woman
or her child or her/his immediate family;
Engaging in purposeful, knowing, or reckless conduct, personally or
through

another

that

alarms

or

causes

substantial

emotional

or

psychological distress to the woman or her child. This shall include, but not
be limited to, the following acts:

Stalking or following the woman or her child in public or private


places;
Peering in the window or lingering outside the residence of the
woman or her child;
Entering or remaining in the dwelling or on the property of the
woman or her child against her/his will;
Destroying the property and personal belongings or inflicting harm to
animals or pets of the woman or her child; and
Engaging in any form of harassment or violence;
i)

Causing mental or emotional anguish, public ridicule or


humiliation to the woman or her child, including, but not
limited to, repeated verbal and emotional abuse, and denial
of financial support or custody of minor children of access
to the woman's child/children.

Chapter IV.
Conclusion
Despite the laws enacted and campaigns launched pertaining to the
gender equality and women empowerment, still there is a huge disparity
between the treatment of society to men and women. Women are still
perceived to be inferior to men that they are being taken for granted and
their rights and welfare not being given much attention.
For the past two years, the World Economic Forum has named the
Philippines the most gender equal nation in Asia as well as one of only two
developing economies to make its top ten equality list. Its findings are in
part based on statistics that show Filipino women hold the majority of jobs
in the legislative, top official and managerial occupational category. Though
there are many activist and experts that says that statistics dont tell the
full story.
The Philippines government's recent statistics paint a bleaker picture.

They say one in ten Filipino women have had a forced sexual encounter and
37 percent of women who were once married have experienced domestic
violence. Furthermore, a 2013 US State Department report criticized the
Philippines for not doing enough to stop the human trafficking of women.
And some local NGOs say that poor women in rural parts of the country
have no choice but to take informal jobs without any legal protection.
These women especially in the rural areas dont have maternity leave
and doesnt have the ability to do collective bargaining. And its not because
we already had 2 female presidents and a couple of female politicians it
already equates to gender equality because if you will look at the bigger
picture you will see that these women came from the privilege class. Hence,
they cannot relate to the needs of poor women from countryside
communities known as barangays.
We have the sharpest contradictions in gender equality today. Despite
the fact we are gaining significant number of women in the political arena,
academe and business, there are still a lot of women are undermined. In
general, the society still places many gender problems as trivial and
marginal. The legal framework for women seems impressive but the
challenges of implementation and cultural shift remains. The interplay of
culture and institutions like the government bureaucracy, political offices,
and the church makes the discourse on gender issues very animated and

usually polarized.
In the last population count by the National Statistical Coordination
Board (NSCB), the population of men to women is 46.5 million to 45.6
million. It doesnt differ much but if we will look at other statistics
conducted by NSCB it shows that in the Labour force Participation rate it is
78.3% for men while it is only 49.7% in women. This means that half of the
women populations are not given opportunity to work and participate in the
labor force.
The proportion of unpaid worker is 43.1% for men and 56.9% in
women. This reflects that women are discriminated because more than half
of working women are not getting the proper salary or worst they are not
being paid at all. Though there are also a large percentage of men who are
unpaid still women top the list.
When it comes to nation-building and public affairs there is still a big
difference between man and woman occupying the elective positions. 81.3%
of public officials are men while only 18.4% are women. This great disparity
is the result of gender stereo typing that men are leaders and women are
only their subordinates.
These

gender

issues

(marginalization,

subordination,

gender

stereotyping, multiple burden & VAW if left unattended will keep most
women out of the development process; and will result in a development

that does not respond to the needs and concerns of half of a nations
population. Hence, we should all work together to deter these gender
discriminations.
The process of correcting gender disparity in a society leads us to
improving the condition and status of women in all spheres (household as
well as community level) which is also termed as womens empowerment.
Recently, variables such as education and employment were commonly
used to capture empowerment and other related concepts such as womens
autonomy and status. Their use is justified by the fact that they have strong
positive correlation with the direct empowerment indicators. A womans
level of education, her employment status, particularly employment for
cash, and media exposure are expected to be positively related to
empowerment. Women who are educated, employed, and exposed to the
media are likely to be better equipped with the information and the means
needed to function effectively in the modern world. Together these factors
are expected to influence womens inherent abilities as well as their
attitudes on gender roles.
The search for more direct measures has focused on capturing
evidence of empowerment. One widely accepted measure of evidence (or
lack thereof) is womens participation in household decision-making. This
variable is increasingly used as an objective indicator of womens household

level empowerment, particularly in demographic and health studies.

Recommendation
In order for us to address the gender roles issues and biases there are
steps that we have to follow: Gender Analysis, Gender Mainstreaming and
Women Empowerment.
Gender analysis refers to a variety of methods and techniques used
to understand the differences between men and women in terms of roles,
behaviors, activities, needs, opportunities, access to and control over
resources, and constraints in relation to one another. Gender analysis also
refers to the gender-based disaggregation and appraisal of available data to
pinpoint the difference between men and women on account of gender. As
stated in the introductory section of this paper, the roles, activities,
opportunities and access to and control over resources of men and women
vary across different socio-economic and cultural settings. Within the same
setting itself their roles and learned behavior could be different.
Men and women have different knowledge, experience, needs, and
access to resources. Different gender roles result in one sex having an
unequal role in decision making while the other has little or no and being
denied the benefits from development. Gender analysis, thus, explores
these differences and provides information about gender relations in

different settings.
Gender analysis is indispensable in order to promote gender equality
and achieve sustainable development. Careful analysis of the differences
between men and women enable researchers and policy makers to explicitly
show the disparities between the two sexes due to gender roles, in which
women are mostly affected, and challenge the disparity for equality to be
guaranteed. By doing so, gender analysis adds insight into how the issue of
gender equality is incorporated into development policies and programs to
pursue efficient development goals in which women generally participate in
and benefit from development programs.

Some of the specific steps to be taken in order to perform this gender


analysis would be:

Strengthening of government partnership with media in


covering various womens issues

Formulation and implementation of legislative measures that


will eliminate gender bias

Increase in womens awareness of their economic rights and


opportunities

Establishment of an enabling environment that will ensure the


effective implementation of policies for the protection of women
workers

Gender Mainstreaming refers to the strategy for making women's as


well as men's concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the
design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of policies and
programs in all political, economic, and societal spheres so that women and
men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. It is the process of
assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action,
including legislation, policies, or programs in all areas and at all levels.
In order to achieve gender mainstreaming, we can start by applying the
following steps:

GAD mainstreaming in the bureaucracy

Enhancement of womens leadership roles and participation in


decision making

Enhancement of womens access to/utilization of basic social


services

Promotion and advancement of women and girl-childrens


human rights

Enhancement of sustainable access of women to capital,


market, information, technology, and technical assistance

Womens empowerment is the process by which women gain greater


control over the circumstances of their lives. It is a multidimensional
concept, which purports to measure a womans ability to control resources,
her ability to choose and control different outcomes, and above all enhance
her self-esteem. It can be examined based on different indicators. Until
recently, variables such as education and employment were commonly used
to capture empowerment and other related concepts such as womens
autonomy and status. While those proxy measures are important and are
ideally associated with empowerment, they may not capture all aspects of
the multidimensional concept of empowerment.
A womans level of education, her employment status, particularly
employment for cash, and media exposure are expected to be positively
related to empowerment (Mason, 1986; Kishor, 2000). Women who are
educated, employed, and exposed to the media are likely to be better
equipped with the information and the means needed to function effectively
in the modern world. Together these factors are expected to influence
womens inherent abilities as well as their attitudes towards gender roles.
Empowerment of women can be expected to vary over the life cycle since the
rights and responsibilities of women vary with age and the parity. Older

women and women with children are likely to have greater status, rights
and responsibilities than younger women or women with no children. In
addition, the characteristics of the place of residence as well as the socioeconomic status of the household define the actual opportunities available
to women. Local studies on womens empowerment are rare. Particularly
studies based on direct indicators of empowerment such as decision
making power on household matters, autonomy in seeking health care,
attitude towards resisting wife beating and attitude towards right to refuse
sex with husband for any reason are scarce. As a result, there is lack of
comprehensive knowledge regarding different dimensions of womens
empowerment and the factors associated with them. It is believed that
implementation of pertinent policies and programs targeting gender
equality and womens empowerment can benefit immensely from current
studies in this area.
To increase the economic empowerment of women, the following steps
are highly recommended:

Enhancement of employment and livelihood skills of


women, particularly in high-value-adding industries and
agricultural activities

Strengthening of womens representation in economic


decision-making bodies

Promotion of a gender-responsive delivery of justice to


violence against women (VAW) survivors

Strengthening of womens role in promoting genderresponsive governance

Once this recommendation would be implemented it is also suggested


that Gender and Development principles would be integrated in our
cultural

belief,

perceptions,

practices,

values,

roles,

attitudes

and

structural arrangements so that we will achieve holistic gender equality and


development in our society.

Gender Equality: Its Results, Consequences, Provocations and


Remedies

by

Queen B. Ang

A thesis submitted to Atty. Ronald Crisanto P. Mercado


in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Subject
Legal Research and Thesis Writing,
JD 1-6, 1st Semester, 2015-2016

College of Law
Polytechnic University of the Philippines
Sta. Mesa, Manila

October 2015