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A Hook of l~eadings

Amaryllis T.Torrcs

Wfl II
rvta. I .uisa T.Camagay
Ma. Judy Carol C.Slvilla
Ro~mdo S.dcl Hosario
Cynthia Rose ll,Bautista

ONESCO Supporltd Series oil \Yomen's Studies

in Asiu and the l'adlic
Torres, Amaryllb T., ed.
The FiltiJino womc.a in focus; a book of readings, ed.
by Amaryllis T. Torres [et al.] Bangkok, Unesco, 1989.
vi, 339 p. (Unesco supported Series on Women's Studies
in Asia and the Pacific)


Principal Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. II. Title.
III. Series.

A Book of Readings

Amaryllts T. Torres

Ma. Luisa T. Camagay
Ma. Judy Carol C. Sevilla
Rosario S. del Rosario
Cynthia Rose B. Bautista

UNESCO Supported Series on Women's Studies

In Asia and the Pacific
@ UNESCO 1989

Though UNESCO has made a financial contribution to this series and to the
printing of this publication, it is not responsible for any opinions, facts or inter
pretatlons herein, nor for any implications regarding the legal status or delimi
tation of frontiers of any country or territory, or of its authorities.

This publication is printed in Thailand

and distributed through University of the Philippines
and Unesco PROAP, Bangkok

8 KSS/89/M/881500

Preface v

Introduction: 'Il~e Flllplna Looks at Herself:

A Review of Women's Studies In the Philippines 1
AmmJllls 1: Tones

Part 1: Critical Essays

Women Through Philippine History 28

Ma. Luisa T. CatWlgay
111e Flliplno Woman and the Family 35
judy C. Sevilla
Filipino Working Women 56
Rosario S. Del Rosario
Studies of Women In Terms of
Philippine Sociocultural Dimensions 70
Cynthia JJ. Bautista

Part II: Anthology ofStudies on the Filipino Woman

1ne Women and the Right To Vote 84

Rafael Palma
The Filipino Woman: Her Social, Economic, and
Political St"tus 103
Encarnacion Alzona
Women in the Rural Areas llO
Christine Eleazar
Sex as a Differentiating Variable in Work
and Power Relations 126
Bltzabetb Evlola
Time-Usc Data as Measure of Men's and Women's Role 140
VIrginia Mira lao
l'hillppine Studies of Women: A Review 143
Domcntlc Outwork for Export-Oriented Industdcs 155
R VeJXara Pineda
Wives at Work: Patterns of Labor Force Participation In
Two Rice-Fanning Villages In the Philippines 173
jeamw Frances 11/o
Values of Filpino Women: Their Implications
for Education, National Polley, and Social Ac.tlon
Employment Effects on Fertility 196
Employment Effects on Fertility: A Longitudinal Study of
Working Women In the Bataan Export Processing Zone 208
ltrn'lda Zosa-Feranll
Women and DcvClopmcnt: An Overview 235
Aida Santos-Maranan
Who Heads the Households In the Philippines? 245
jeanne Frances Jllo
The Mail-Order Marriage Business: Reconsideration of
the Fillplna Image 267
Elena Samonte and Annadatsy]. Carlota
Part III. Statistics on Filipino Women

Filipino Women: Faces and Figures 292

from: National ComwfH{on on lbe Role of Filipino Woml'tl

Part IV. Bib/iogtaphy

Selected Annotations 314

Bibliography of Studies on Women 323

The Editorial Committee 337


Over thr. past few years women's studies have gained a significant momentum.
On the one hand, more and more researches on different aspects of the status
of women, and the problems related to them, arc beiug conducted; and on the
other, several universities arc taking st~ps to introduce special courses on
women's issues. In October 1982, the Unesco Regional Unit for Social and
Human Sciences in Asia and the Pacific (RUSIISAP) organized a meeting of
experts in New Delhi to assess the status of Women's Studies in Social Sciences
(WOSS). The meeting recommended the iutroduction of teaching courses on
Wom'!n's Studies either as separate disciplines, or as part of curricula of existing
specialisms. Several concrete suggestions were offered by the experts in that
meeting. The meeting particularly pointed out the need for (i) curriculum
development for university courses; and for (ii) development of reading and
teaching materials for women's studies.
Guided by the recommendations of the expert group RUSHSAP developed
its WOSS programme. It widely circulated copies of the report on the above
meeting to various universities, and its staff participated in discussions and
meetings held on the subject in different countries. It is encouraging to note
that India ltas formed an Indian Association for Women's Studies which con-
venes national level conferences with regular frequency. A similar step is being
taken by Sri Lanka which organized its first such Conference only in February
1989. Several universities in the region have created cells or centres for women's
RUSHSAP responded to the need felt by the region's social scientists for the
production of suitable teaching materials. Two options were open: (i) to
commission writing of weU-knit, coherent text books; and (ii) to publish relevant
selections from widely scattered, mostly fugitive/grey material in the form of
anthologies. Consultations with fellow social scientists in the region led RUSH-
SAP to opt for the second alternative and assist India, Thailand, Japan, Turkey,
and the Philippines to prepare and publish such anthologies. On their own
initiative Thailand and India published the anthologies as under:
Thailand: Women's Issues: Book or Readings, Chulalongkorn University
Social Research Institute, Bangkok, 1986
India : Women and Society In India, Ajanta Publications, Delhi, 1987

This publication forms part of the Unesco Supported Series on Women's

Studies in Asia and the Pacific. Other countries are being encouraged to
participate in the exercise and future publications will include studies from
Japan, Turkey and Pakistan.
Dr. Amaryllis Torres of the University of the Philippines led a team ofFilipina
social scientists to develop this anthology of writings on Filipina women. The
team has assiduously worked to wade through enormous literature and cull out
relevant extracts illuminating different facets of Filipina women. The publica-
tion of this material will, it is hoped, facilitate the work of teachers and
researchers who are committed to promote women's studies in Social SciCtlces
not only in the Philippines but in other countries of the region, and even beyond.
RUSHSAP would welcome such initiatives elsewhere and looks forward to
receiving feedback from the community of social scientists who are both
producers and users of such publications.

Regional Unit for Social and Human Sciences

UNESCO Principal Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Bangkok, Thailand
15 March 1989


A RevJe:w of Women's Studies
in the Philippines

Amaryllis T.l'orres

The present collection of papers describes and delineates the flow and sub-
stance of studies on the Filipino woman, as may be gleaned and interpreted from
a varied collection of written materials. These documents range from speeches
and essays to research reports and bibliographic collections, spanning the years
from the latter part of the nint'teenth century to the present (1987).
The interpretative chapters are organized to present images of the Filipina
in various perspectives - from the standpoint of history and tradition; as wife,
mother and worker; and in relation to sociocultural variables found in Philip-
pine society. The references included in each of these chapters are analyzed to
discover the roles and characteristics attributed to the Filipino woman in these
various contexts. Trends in subject matter, in methodology, and in results arf.
also identified and interpreted to "flesh out" the emerging profiles. The anthol-
ogy then reproduces materials from the literature which provide the frner con-
tours to the picture of the Filipina, from the early years of the century to the
To provide perspective to this anthology, this chapter deals with two themes:
frrst, the interplay between social forces (such as the women's movement, so-
cial development concerns, academic Cl>ncems) and themes of women's studies
in the Philippines; second, the portrait painted of the Filipina through different
significant perioc's of this century.
Prior to a discussion of these issues, however, a brief overview of the mean-
ing and development of ''women's studies" in contemporary terms is provided
=--------------------FI~IJPINO WOMAN IN fOCU~

I. Women's Studies and

the Women's Uberatlon Move~nt

Interest in women as a separate sector, a distinct focus of research and teach-

ing, emerged with the North American movement for women's liberation. As
such, the concerns of women's studies in the Western countries are those faced
by the movement, and the "subject of research is defined in relation to concepts
of women's oppression and their treatment as second-rate citizens underlying
the organization of society ..." (Vogel-Polsky in Supplement #18, n.cl., p.4).
The ultimate goal of the feminist movement, and of feminist research, is to
achieve gender equality within each society.
Given these concerns, women's studies are defmed to be "an analysis of the
subordinate position of women and the relationship between the divi1.ion of
labor between men and women and social evolution in a broader sense" (Sup-
plement# 18, n.d., p.6). In simpler terms, studies on women, from the standpoint
of women's liberation, ns.sume that there is unequal power in societies between
men and women. Empirical data may then be treated in either of two ways: fust,
to portray the "social realities" of gender oppression (Supplement #18, n.ct.,
p.6), or, second, to examine knowledge and dc;ta from a fr arne of reference" in
which women's different and differit:g ideas, experiences, needs, anrl interests
are valid in their own right ..." (Bowie:;, G. and R. Klein, 1983, p.3).

Advocacy as Scbolanbtp

Inasmuch as the concern for women's studies emerged from a social move-
ment, it is to be expected that feminist scholars fail to depict the traditional "ob-
jective" and "impartial" researchers who are "dissociated" from their data. Por
one, it is usually the case that thos~ who engage in feminist research are in-
dividuals committed to the goals of the movement (Papanek, H. 1984), and that
they have clearly aligned intentions in pursuing women's studies. Secondly,
studies on women should be useful to the movement's action objectives; thus,
the advocacy role of the researcher is also priorly defmed. Feminist scholars,
therefore, generally seek to build a social science which "does not set apart re-
searcher and researched," and instead, strive to produce data with "an impact
upon the world" (Bowles, G. and R. Klein, 1983, pp. 3738).
The action orientation of women's studies places it on a parallel with other
social develcpment studies which seek to generate social information useful to
~NA LOOKSATHMSF.I.F=---------- - - - - - - 3

the disadvantaged r-ectors under study, Tbe desire to bridge~ the knowledge gap
between the student/researcher and the researched group is a common concern
of scholars seeking to implement participatory approaches to problems of so-
cial equity. These disciplinary trends encourage the testing-out of innovative
methods for social research.

Methodology of Women's Studies

Since gender oppression ~n be expressed in a divers.} number of ways,

studies on women cannot be confined to any one of the sodal science disci-
plines. It is not the sole concern of economics or sociology o:: psychology, etc.
Rather, women's studies, by definition, need to be multidisciplinary and inter-
disciplinary (Rowles, G. and R. Klein, 1983; and Suppleme~~t #18, n.d.).
Another circulllstance which contributes to the multi (or h'!ter) disciplinary
natue of women's studies is that gender differences and geuder relationships
stem from changes in social, economic and political structu(::; and processes
(Papnnek, H.,l984, p.133). Papanek cites, for example, bowmc<lernity in India
has increased the demand for the entry of educated women in the labor force,
thus altering gender relationships among the educated middle dass. Simul-
taleous with this phenomenon, however, is the other fact that tochnological in-
novations have resulted in the loss of earning opportunities f<~r the uneducated
women of the lower classes who also fail to compete for new j rhs for women re-
quiring new skills. Instead, men (who fail to enter the moH~ lucrative labor
market) or machines have taken over the traditional jobs of lhese lower class
women, thus enhancing gender differences in ecuJomic acthi~y.
The differential influence of exogenous factors on affect(:.! sectors of mea
and women means that a thorough understanding of gender i,Kquality requires
familiarity with these complex events in the social rubric. In 11i:s regard, a mul
tidisciplinary perspe<:tive is important. Moreover, sin~ W<men's studies is a
rela.ti\'ely Q(;W discipline, it still bas to fashion its OWD categori ~ f of phenomenon
and apprmtcbes to investigation. Meanwhile, manifestatio.l-; of women's op-
pression are interpreted according to the perspecth'es of tb~ older social dis
ci[. 1ines.

Tbeorettcal Perspective

It was earlier stated that women's studies are premi~cd on an assumption of


gender inequality. Is it then the case that feminist research merely seeks to es-
tablish the differences between the sexes in relation to a host of other variables?
The answer of feminist scholars is an emvhatic "no." Merely to add
knowledge about women to existing knowledge about men still perpet~ates
"Men's Studies." Surh an approach remains androcentric (men-as-the-norm)
and assumes that "the environment emits the same signals for men and women"
(Bowles and Klein, 1983, pp. 91-99).
To continue, Klein argues:

"Such research ignores the historical penpective, the fact that over millennia
women and men have internalized feminine and 'muculine' needs ... In which he is norm
and she is 'I he other' (Bowles, G. and It Klein, 1983, pp. 90-91).

Papanek (1984) postulates that gender differences can be a major variable

in examining social change and in assessing its consequences. Social phenomena
such as class differentiation, employment, education, and the impacts of tech-
nology are better understood in relation to gender. Nonetheless, the simple ad-
dition of gender as a variable to models of social change will not lead to new
perspectives. Like Klein, she argues:

"'lle lddilion or (gender as a) Ylriable is insufficient to revene the effect or the many
unstale(. aaumplions about gender differe~KU and gender relations that are already em
bedded in the social scie!KU. Developing new paradig.ns thai incorponle gender will re
quire, as a first step, thai these unstated assumptions be exhumed and examined" (Papanek,
H. 1984, p. 135).

The theoretical stance of a feminist scholar, therefore, is dialectically linked

with her commitments to women's liberation. Women's studies should prop-~r
ly be research for women (not research on women) and be framed within her
own experiences, interests, and needs (Bowles, G. and R. Klein, 1983, p. 90).
To do so without falling back on androcentric categories and comparisons re-
quires tremendous creativity - both in terms of developing suitable paradigms
for analyzing data and in terms of selecting (or evolving) methodologies that are
truly feminist in orientation.
These, therefore, are the motives, methods, and philosophy of feminist
scholarship. Against this backdrop, women's studies in the Philippines are
reviewed in terms of their contents, contexts, intentions and impacts.

U. Women's Struggle and

Women's Studies In the PbiUpplnes

The nature of studies about the Filipina is inextricably linked with historical
factors in both national and global settings. Key stoner in Philippine history
which weld together studies of different periods may be described as follows:
1. The movement for women's suffrage in the farst quarter of the century;
2. An orientation of objective scholarship among the researchers in the fif-
ties and sixties;
3. The social development strategy of the seventies which attempted to link
special programs and interventions tc women's felt needs, leading to;
4. A re-invigorated movement to organize women for the improvement of
their situation in Philippine society.

A. The Fiest Feminist Movement: Struggle for

Enfranchisement of Women (1905-1937)

Among the earliest materials written in this century concerning Filipino

women, two were published in 1928 and 1934.
The first monograph, entitled The Development and Progress ofthe Filipino
Women, was authored by Ma. Paz MendozaGuazon, a Filipina who enjoyed
the distinction of many "firsts" as a woman. She was the ftrst rilipina to receive
a high school diploma from public schoo~ the farst woman to graduate as a doc-
tor of medicine, the farst to be appointed a lady professor at the University of
the Philippines, and the fust woman member of the Board of Regents of the
same university (P.V. Kalaw, in the Introduction to the book, 1982). She was
also the farst president of the Liga Nacional de Damas ruipina and the founder
of the Philippine Association of University Women. two organizations which
led in the struggle for the recognition of the f'uipina's right to vote. Thus, Ma.
Paz Mendoza-Guazon was a doctor, a wife and mother, a scholar, and a suf-
The other book, The Filipino Women, was written by Encarnacion Alzona,
an eminent historian. Like Dr. Guazon. she was one of the farst graduates of the
University of the Philippines, and eventually became professol' of history in this
institution. Dr. Alzona was the first woman delegate of the Philippines to

UNESCO and was the first woman to serve as Chairman of its Subcommission
on the Social Sciences, Philosophy and Human Studies. She was a member of
the Philippine Historical Committee, and wrote various books and prize-win-
ning historical articles. When Dr. Alzona wrote her monograph, she was a Bar-
bour Fellow (a pensionada) at the University of Michigan. Being an active
advocate of women's suffrage, she wrote to prove that the F'ilipina of the twen-
tieth century was "eminently qualified to bold her place in a modem and intri-
cate society" (Author's Note, 1934). In 1985, Dr. Alzona was cited as a
Distinguished National Scientist by the National Academy for Science and
Technology. She, too, was an ad\'Ocate and a scholar at the time of the first
feminist movement in this country.
What did these early feminists say about our woman? Both Guazon and Al-
zona dwelt extensively on the following themes:

1. They gave evidence on the egalitarian nature of gender relatioo.ships

during Philippine pre-colonial history in social, economic and political
2. They pointed to factors which encouraged the emergence and in-
stitutionalization of gender differences during Hispanic rule; and
3. They paid tribute to the reawakening of Filipinas to their dvil, political
and social rights as twentiethcentury educated women.

Changes In tbe Role and Status of Women

Women of these islands portrayed in the pre-colonial period enjoyed enor-

mous rights and privileges. They became rulers over the barangays, a<:ted as
priestesses and even as m'ilitaryleaders. Women participated fully in economic
life and were artisans, craftswomen and livestock raisers. Marriages were
generally monogamous and either partner could dissolve a problematic
relationship. Wives retained their maiden names and were consulted by their
husbands on contracts and agreements. In matters of inheritance, legitimate
rJns and daughters received equal shares while wives retained half of the con-
Jugal property. Thus, WOIYJen were regarded as equal to men and received
protection from the laws of their society.
The intrusion of European androcentric values altered the position of
women in society. Government was then perceived as the domain of men.

Educational opportunities became uneven aod "schooled" women were taught

Christian doctrine, some reading aod writing skills (enough to do prayers) and
a lot .:>f needlework. Women often aspired to be teachers, nuns or spinsters. In
economic life, women contributed to the export trade earnings of Spain tbroJJgh
tbeu retail businesses. Some women also helped in the administration offarms.
Marriages remained monogamous but divorce was prohibited. Spouses
coJid legally separate but could not remarry. Spanish law deprived wives of
"their right to dispose of their paraphernal properties, to engage in business
without the husband's consent, and to bold any public office except the office
of teacher" (Aizona, p. 39). Instead, Filipino women were encour~ed to be
devout, to do charitable work 11nd to avoid politics.
The advent of the Revolution aod the American colonial period modified
the status and roles of Filipina women anew. The most dramatic change,
however, occurred in their education. Whereas Spanish educational policy
sought to confme women to home arts, the more progressive American educa-
tional philosophy opened the doors to tertiary education for young women.
Thus, women could become professionals (doctors, lawyers, nurses, etc.) and
were no longer restricted to the teaching profession. They became active in civic
affairs, from rendering assistance to impoverished mothers, organizing
puericulture renters, working with out-of-school youth and prisoners, to lobby-
ing for Philippine independence and for women's suffrage.

Factors Wblcb Influenced

tbe Feminist Movement

In retrospect, the advent and development of the Filipino women's struggle

for enfranchisement may be traced to three factors: (1) opportunities which al-
lowed the F'ilipina to be active outside the sphere of her home; (2) the influence
of femicist ideas from abroad; and (3) greater confidence in herself as a person
...nd as a member of society.
From Alzona's account., the first advocate of women's suffrage in the Philip-
pines was Apolinario Mabini who drafted a constitution which gave "female
taxpayers who have attained the age of 21 years ... the right to vote for public
office" (Alzona, p. 67), However, his constitution was not adopted, and the one
appm\led by the Malolos Congress was silent on suffrage for women. Neither
did the women in the revo1utionary movement aspire for this right.

In 1905, an American anti-imperialist, Mr. F'JSke Warren, was reported to

have suggested to a young F'ilipina, Concepcion Felix, that a political party be
organizt:d in order to work for the enfranchisement of women. Felix rejected
the idea because, as she saw it, the F'ilipina was stiJJ unprepared to use the bal-
lot. She nonetheless founded an association devoted to social welfare work, and
which encouraged the appointment of women to school boards. This was to be
known as the Associacion Feminista Filipina, which later changed its name to
La Gota de Leche.
Later, in 1912, feminist Mrs. Carrie Catts, an American, and Dr. Aletta
Jacobs, a Dutchwoman, spoke before Filipino women to attract their interest
in suffrage, but, again the response was not enthusiastic. Nevertheless, another
association of women was formed which also engaged in social work. This was
the precursor ofthe Manila Women's Club.
Thus, although no Filipina had, by this time, spoken for enfranchisement,
many educated women joined in t~ssociations engaged in civic and charitable
work. Inevitably, these activities drew the Filipina away from home, children
and husband, and swept her into situations wherein she was encouraged to take
interest in public and political affairs and to use her talents and education for
the country's welf~re.
While women were engaged in these civic activities, many politicians spoke
for the benefits of female suffrage, including Rafael Palma, a member of the
Senate, and Manuel L. Quezon, President of the Commonwealth. In 191!>,
women finally endorsed the move in the Philippine Legislature to enfranchise
women. At the same time, they conducted a massive and continuous education-
al campaign through newly-founded women's associations to convince other
Filipinas of the merits of suffrage. Pro-suffrage groups at this time included the
Liga Nacional de Damas F'tlipinas, the National Federation of Women's Clubs,
the Women's Citizen League, and the Philippine Association of University
Finally, in 1936, the newly-framed Philippine Constitution provided that "the
National Assembly shall extend the right of sufirage to women, if in a plebiscite
... no less than 300,000 women ... should vote afflfiDatively on the question''

National League of Filipino Womer~


(Alzona, p. 95). The women, encouraged by this move, renewed and intensified
their educational campaign for suffrage. When the plebiscite was held on April
30, 1937, 441,725 women voted "yes" to suffrage - more than a hundred
thousand votes beyond the required margin. This won for the F'tlipina, after 20
years of struggle, the right to cast her ballot on election time.

Feminist Demands of Working Women

Much of what have been written about the efforts of F'tlipino women in the
first half of this ceatury concern the suffrage movement, less is known about the
situation of working women. Yet, evidences which show that many women were
in the labor force are slowly emerging. In a recently completed work (Camagay,
1986), it was documented that in the late 19th century, a sizable number of
women had worked outside of their homes. Their livelihood included work as
criadas (domestic helpers), maestras, matronas (midwives), cigamras, buyers,
bordaderas and sinamayeras. Historical records also show that gender dis-
crimination existed even then. For instance, maestras received lower wages than
maestros. Women also suffered sexual harassment from their male amos
(masters), and even from thefrailes (friars). Mention was also made that women
in the tobacco industry, in the latter years of the 19th century, held strikes (or
alborotos) to demand for better wo king conditions.
In 1918, the Philippine censu~ counted ab.:>ut 700,000 women engaged in
various industrial pursuits, ircluding work done at home (e.g. weaving,
dressmaking, embroidery, hatmaking, shoemaking, and laundry). Al7.ona also
reports that by 1!1.30, more than 8,000 women were employed in various in-
dustrial establishments, :\,OO'J of whom \l'ere members of labor organizations.
Evidence of the activity (Jf organized labor activities are also included in the
literature. For one, an Act was passed in 1927 which required employers to
provide seats for women wm kcrs and to install separate "closets and lavatories"
for men and ,-:omen. (Alzona, 1937). In 1930, a grassroots women's organiza-
tion (Liga ng Kababaihang Filipina), was founded (Del Rosario, Chapter
Four). It fought for suffrage and for the improvement of the rights of working
women. Most likely, these women joined male workers, in 1936, in a series of
demonstrations which demanded for "equal pay for equal work" among men

League of Filipino Women


and women, the prohibition of child labor, and for the free education of the
children of the poor (Tribm7 MlVti/0, 1936).
Hence, pens~onadas were not alone in the struggle for women's rights at
this time. While educated women advocated political rights, working women
worked at their side for suffrage and for the upliftment of their own economic

B. The Post-War Years (1945-1970): Studies on Women

Literature on the Filipino woman in the generation foUowing the Second

World War may be characterized in three ways:
One, as anecdotal materials (usually appearing in magazines and journals)
which either extolled the virtues of the Filipina, or exhorted her to do more for
the home and for the nation;
Two, they included sociopsychological conceptualizations, e:..periments and
field observations o~ the roles, statuses, values, attitudes and aspirations of
Filipino women (usually in contrast to those of Filipino men);
Thtee, there was a surfeit of socioanthropologica1 observations on marital
and family relationships, including decision-making processes, power and
authority dynamics, and child-rearing practices (see listing in Angangco et a1.
1980). Few articles were written about feminist views, and most of these were
autobiographical and retrospective accounts of the earlier suffrage movement
(Kalaw, 1952; Castrence, 1957; and Subido, 1955).

Dissection oflbe Post-War Fillplna

Certain common themes emerge from the collection of women's studies in

thirty years following the Second World War.
The ftrst theme revolves around a conflJlJlation by feature writers, feminists,
and scholars alike that the Filipina's main concern is maintaining a well-knit and
orderly family. Fl>r instance, Nakpil (1962) asserted that the Filipina bas the
best of both worlds. She makes man believe that she is pliant and submissive,
therefore keeping him happy, while unobstrusively asserting her own desires,
thereby fulftllicg herself. Pecson (1957), while presenting the platform of the
Civic Assembly of Women in the Philippines, stressed the dual role of the
Fmpina as nation-builder and as homemaker. Flores (1968) reported that

working wives were beset by household problems. In interviews with these

women, they expressed various apprehensions:

~Husband& get up~et when their clothes arc not darned properly. They reel neJiected."

When the boule II not in order, the children not d~U&Cd nutly and the meall not
prepared correctly, wire acts jittery and selro('()Ncious because Jhe ilewarc that her hus-
band Is not happy about the situation. "lnlaws and .. parents criticize women leaving
homemaking to the servant" (Plorca, 1969).

Orosa (1963) ventured to give practical advice to Filipino housewives on how

the objectives ofRizal's La Liga Filipina could be implemented in their families.
These objectives of fostering family unity, patriotism, education and the applica-
tion of reforms, in her way of thinking, could be achieved if women acted as
partners of their husbands in the home, if they exercised thrift and economy,
and by patronizing local products and local markets.
Domingo (1961), Nurge (1965), and Nydegger (1966) did anthropological
observations of child-rearing practices in various Philippine communities. They
confirmed that Filipino women spent a lot of time on work related to the
household and that an important aspect of motherhood centered on child care.
Filipino parents were observed to be over-protective of children and reinforced
sex-related behaviors. Thus, girls were trained to assist their mothers in
household chores and in baby-sitting while pre-adolescent boys were slowly
integrated into farm-related activities.
In her analysis of the gamut of studies on the woman and the family, Sevilla
infers that the "ideal wife" in Philippine literature is:

"a loving and 10)111 mate to her hUband; she is rc5poMible for keeping the marriage in
tact by her patience, hard work, submiiJion, and vir1ue. Aside from whatever outside
employment she mar. hold, 'he is al&o expected to be 1 diligent housekeeper and budgets
the money(for) famly and b01w.bold needs. The husband has the laraer voice in dccitions
involving the family. He h not expected to do houlebold chores, except for occuional
rcp.airs to allow time for m:>rc 'manly' activities like relaxin&, drinking. and iOcializing with
friends out5ide the home" (Sevilla, 1986).

The second theme which emerges from mo~t of the studies of this period
dweUs on the increasing a~rtiveness and expressiveness of the F'ilipina, as op-
posed to her caricature as a passive and inarticulate n1aiden in Hispanic times.
This change in gender character is often attributed to the "positive" influences
which American education and culture provided our womr.:n.
Benavides (1958) reiterates the views forwarded earlit:r by Guazon and AI

zona that the F"ilipina has undergone changes in her status and roles through
history and she emphasized how the American educational system helped open
greater horizons for the modem Filipina through opportunities for higher
education. Nakpil (1952) pursues a similar thesis in describing "The Filipino
Woman," and attributes the complexity of her character to the influences of
pre-colonial and colonial cultures: while Spanish culture produced a "shy, dif-
fident, and puritanical FHipina," American influence "gave her independence
of character" (as annotated in Angangco et al. 1980). Similar observations are
given by Isidro (1969), Castrence (1951), and La\l!'eta (1951).
The third outlook on women which is derived from materials of the 50s and
60s concerns man-woman distinctions and relationships. Many available litera-
ture on this topic, moreover, are social science researches.
In general, the various studies describe how early socialization fosters gender
differentiation among Filipino children (Domingo, 1961; and Flores, 1969).
Not surprisingly, therefore, boys and girls manifested se~related behaviors and
even occupational preferences (Cii.stillo, 1961; Flores, 1969; Gonzales, 1969;
and CYRC, n.d.).
Socialization in sex roles resulted in particular role expectations from men
and women. Women who ventured to go into career work were either lauded
or castigated. Amor (1966) believed, for instance, that a working mother
courted alienation from her children and neglected her "traditional role of
fostering a happy and healthy family atmosphere" (in Angangco et al. 1980, p.
35). Castaneda (1953) averred that "the participation of women in industry bas
adverse effects on the welfare and progress of society'' (p. 22), while Benito
(1952) expressed concern over the negative effects on men's employment result-
ing from women's work. Vice-versa, Arceo-Ortega {1963) and Nakpil (1963)
commended the Filipina career woman, who is able to fulfill herself throuih her
work while helping augment family income, and remained "a tolerant wife and
a good mother" (in Angangco et al. 1980, p. 75).
Men's views on the changing roles of the Filipina are also documented
{Flores, 1969; Castillo and Guerrero, 1965). Husbands of women in th.: profes-
sions tended to be supportive of their working wives, especially if their earnings
were economically rewarding. They perceived each other as "partners," and
shared in most decisions concerning family affairs. Nonetheless, husbands con-
tinued to be perceived as the ones who should be concerned with public and
national affairs, while wives (after work) should look after their homes and

children. Critical decisions in the family vere also made by the husbands.
Thus, women's power in the home was exercised to the extent that she was
~ charge of the children's activities, household budget, and routinary affairs
related to household tasks. Decisions related to the children's education, fami
ly savings and recreational activities were shared with the husbands. In cases
where the wives worked, they expressed readiness to give up their occupations
if their husbands and children's welfare needed more of their time (Sevilla,

Scientific Objectivity In Women's Studies

The bulk of research literature spawned in the 24 to 30 years described by

this section used methods and analytic perspectives popular at the time.
The scholars of this generation, especially those in the universities, were
usually schooled in American scientific tradition and adopted the objectivity-
in-research values spawned by empiricism. In addition, the framework and vari
ables used in examiningAmerica1 culture were used as "standards" for studying
Philippine society. Thus, surveys, anthropological and psychological studies
were employed to obtain information concerning the extent to which the
Filipina, her husband and children were similar or different from men and
women in "modernizing" societies. In interpreting the amassed information, re
searchers chose to remain "close to their data" rather than to develop theo
retical frameworks, or to draw a comprehensive picture of Philippine society.
Hence, descriptive studies were generalized on this level and were some
times compared to other materials with similar objectives. No conscious effort
was made to transcend data in order to make statements concerning the im
pacts of observed gender role on women's rights and potentials. Proposed ways
to improve woman's position in scdety were generally found in articles divorced
from data, as in magazine and literary articles, and maintained the view that the
Filipino woman should seek a balance between her role as homemaker and her
fledgling aspirations for professional fulfillment.
The objectivity stance of social science during this period made women the
objects of research, and the amassed information did very little for her. Thus,
while previous scholars had earlier applauded the Americans for their role in
uplifting women'5 educational status, the American influence on social science
during this generation served to camouflage gender discrimination in Philip

pine society and failed to provide the impetus for adv~dng women's rights.

Continuing Action for Women's Rlgbts

Materials pertaining to the women's movement were scaLt, and therefore

provide few insights about the continuing feminist struggle during the 50s and
In a recent publication of the NCRFW, it was reported that women in the
immediate postwar period felt the need for a duly-organized women's group to
ensure the coordination and consolidation of women's efforts for the continuity
of their action programs for more effective results (NCRFW, 1985). Hence, in
1947, the existing organizations banded together into the "Women's Civic As-
sembly of the Pbilippines,"later renamed the Civic ~mbly of Women in the
Philippines (CAWP). The CAWP acted as an umbrella organization for dif-
ferent groups: the Girl Scouts of the Philippines, the National Federation of
Women's Clubs, Catholic Women's Club, and the Rural Improvement Club.
Through the years, the CAWP bas been engaged in educational activities
(family life, health, livelihood) and in other social welfare and public affairs af-
fecting women.
Tarrosa Subido (1955) also provides information on the continuing activities
of the feminists following the grant of suffrage in 1937. From her book, it ap-
pears that feminism sought expression through women's participation in
In Philippine politics, following the passage of the Women Suffrage Law,
several women won seats as mayors and councilwomen. In 1947, President
Roxas invited the CAWP to participate in the Independence Day ceremonies,
and more women consequently found themselves in responsible positions wit~
government. Women's groups likewise aligned themselves with political par
ties, such as the Women's Auxiliary oft be Liberal Party and the Women's Mag
saysay-forPresident Movement.
Subido also credits the efforts of the older feminist groups and newer
women's associations for the passage of legislatioJU favorable to women. These
include among others: The Charity Sweepstakes Bill (to subsidize welfare agen-
cies); Paraphernal Property Law (empowering a married woman to dispose
freely of her paraphernal property); Women and Child Labor Laws; and, most
importantly, the passage of the New Civil Code in 1950, which removed or

modified an antiquated provision adopted from the Civil Code of Spain that
restricted the affairs of married woman. At the time she wrote her book,
women's groups were lobbying for the creation of juvenile and domestic courts,
a bureau for women and children and further improvements in the Election
Code. Since then, these recommendations have been implemented.
The cleavage between feminists of the ftfties and sbtties and women scholars
of the period may partly be responsible fol" the sc.arcity of materials on women~
advocacy during this peri<XI. It also explains why most o! the documented gains
were in social services, Jaw and politics (the women activists were engaged in
these concerns) rather than in the social, cultural or economic spheres of the
Filipina's life.

C. The Development Decade: The Seventies

The decade of the seventies generated new views of society and social
responsibilities brought about by the increasing polarization of developed and
underdeveloped economies. Many so-called "Third World" countries emerged
as newly-liberated states (freed from colonialism), but found themselves in dire
need of social, economic and po\itica\ reforms.
The consultative process for development became a mandate among the
developing and underdeveloped nations since past experiences showed that a
'felt needs' strategy and 'popular participation' were critical for the success of
developmental programs. Aware of the explosive possibilities of these new out-
looks for development, the countries of the F'ust World geared to retain their
influence O\'er former colonies by offering "development aid." Thus, foreign as
sistance poured into Thirld World countries for infrastructure improvement,
for social innovations in technologies and institutions, and for social develop
ment research.
The low regard for women's position in many traditional societies was ob
served by the United Nations in the early 70s that it passed a resolution declar-
ing the year 1975 as the International Women's Year, and the nextlO years as
the International Decade for Women.

The goals of the Declaration were threefold:

1. To promote equality between men anci women;


2. To support the integration of women in the total; economic, social and

cultural development effort; and
3. To recognize the contribution of women to the promotion of friendly rela-
tions and cooperation among nations and to lhe strengthening of world peace.

Tbe Focus of Women-In-Development Studies

In the Philippines, the government assumed the position that overpopula-

tion, poverty and unemployment were restraining factors to its development as
a modern industrializing nation. Hence, it was important that systematic steps
be taken to reduce family size, to generate income, and to create employment.
It was in this context that many new studies on the Filipina were undertaken.
Altogether, studies which aimed to examine the conditions of women in rela-
tion to their development are called Women-in-Development Studies.

Conditions Related to Women's

Participation in Development

The plethora of social science techniques for social research helped con-
siderably in generating a substantial body of literature on women during the
seventies. The F'tlipina was studied from all angles, and her portrait differed
drastically from the old caricature of simpering Maria Clara.
What new image of the FiUpina emerged?
To begin with, the new wave of studies showed clearly that the Filipino
woman was not a unitary being. Rather, her characteristics and situation in life
were affected by a plurality of variables (Bautista, 1986). Castillo re-evaluated
the average statistical observation conceming women by presenting diversities
brought about by geographical origins, marital status, labor force participation
and other social factors (1976). A similar approach was used by Aleta, Silva and
Eleazar (1977) when they reconstructed the Profile of f'tlipino Women on the
basis of sketches drawn by different researchers.

Among the many observations derived from these studies are the following:

1. Women tend to have fewer children if they live in rural and agricultural
communities, marry early, work only at home and live in nuclear

households. However, children were valued by most women who usual-

ly had more children than they originally planned to have.
2. Men and women in the Philippines are at par in terms of literacy a'ld
educational attainment. However, there are sex differences in career
3. In 1975, women made up a third of the labor force, with a greater propor-
tion coming from rural areas. However, while the absolute size of the
female labor force increa.o;ed over the years, the labor force participation
rate (LFPR) of women declined oYer a 20-year period, especially for
rural women. Educational attainment was also found to be related to
LFPR of women, and certain occupations were more feminized than
other. Thus, women were frequently found in services (as domestic hel-
pers), in professional, technical and sales
4. Almost half of the women in the labor force, are married. Nevertheless,
about a third of single working women stopped to work after merriage,
and married working women would stop if their husbands earned enough
for the family.

While a considerable number of conducted researches dealt with the

abovementioned factors, an almost equal volume of studies were devoted to
other concerns. Other studies analyzed the conditions of women's lives in
terms of the foUowi.tg factors: LFPR and fertility; fertility and family deci.;ion
making; migration and employment; tl;.e status, role.s and problems of specific
sectors (e.g. rural women, tribal women; working women in professions); proftle
of women's participation in development pr<'gl'ams; legal status of women; and
women i'l public/political affairs. (See Angangco, 1980, for a partial list of bib-
Another important fmding from the WID studies reveals, in most cases, that
F'ilipinas were content with their lot and accepted the traditionally ascribed
roles of home makers (CutiUo,1976; Montiel and Hollnsteiner,1976; Licuanan
and Gonzales, 1976; Aleta et al.19n; and Manalang, 1983).
Over the years, from one generation to the next till tbe seventies, Filipinos
were socialized into the firm belief that womanhood was equated with home,

Unfortunately, a more thorough discuaion on the f.eld of women's studies durin& the Devel-
opment Decade ia not poaible in this paper.

husband and children. Even work was secondary to this concern. The norma-
tive force of this view is best seen in the prescribed law that "the husband is
responsible for the support of the wife" while "'the wife manages the affairs of
the household" (Romero, 1971).
More recently, a study commissioned by the NCRFW discovered that women
from various Philippine regions still clung to "pre-modern" values (UPS-CE-
NCRFW, 1984). Manalang attributes the fmdings to the F'ilipina's orientation
for home and family. Instead of many life worlds, they have one principal life
world; their defmition of reality are focused on the family and its survival; they
take their identity from being mothers and wives ... Nor do they distinguish be-
tween a pubUc and a private life (Manalang, 1984, p. 13).
Eviota {1978) reacted tc this gender role with alarm and argued that
housekeeping isolated women from public affairs, thereby diminishing the
scope of their soc= at power to effect meaningful changes for themselves. This
role, moreover, obscured the possibility of organizing them for feminist goals:

"Identification 1~ith one's own sex and alliances ba:oed on shared lntereili, ilmilar per
sonal needs, and th: Slime grievances against men arc often perceMd by women as outiide
the fnmework of h)UKhold responsibilities and as conflicting with the traditional female
role. (Ibis) is aggnvatel.l by the belief that Providence ordains that their place is beside
their husbands. Thu.;, women have an apparent monlj11stifJCation for n:fusalto admow-
ledge female solidari;y" (E\iota, 1978, p. 154).

These findings, therefore, emphasize that women require alte1 native roles
which will dissi.,ate their efforts away from household chores in order to take
direct interest in their development (Makil, 1981; Aleta et al. 19n; and Eviota,
A real contribution of the WlD studies is found in the devdopment of in-
novative measures of women's contributions to society (C-astillo, 1976; Illo, 1985;
and Miralao, 1980).
Miralao's fmdings {1980) demonstrated how an analysis of the use oftime by
men and women can shed new information on their contributions to household
and economic activities. Measures of effort or time-inputs, for instance, show~
that in many comparisons, women's total production time is higher than thator
IUo arrived at the same conclusion using a different measure (1985).1n her
analysis, the value of woman's production is seen to be higher than that of man's
if one were to consider rbe production of use values as the criterion rather than

the generation of exchange values. In this conceptualization, women's activiti~

in the home (cooking, child t;Are, etc.) are given values in the ssme way that
man's farm labor inputs are evaluated.

Tbe Impact of WID Studies

1. Earlier, it was stated that the rationale for WID Studies was to generate
information so that these may provide the benchmarks for developmental
policies and social instrumentations. As a result, many government &g~ncies
engaged in programs or projects geared especially to the needs of women. For
example, livelihood projects were spearheaded by the NCRFW, the Rural Im-
provement Clubs, and other women's organizations in order to provide addi
tional sources of income to women and thereby also draw them out of the
confinement of household work. On the legal front, legislative and codal
reforms were drafted, proposed and enacted, such as an improved Child and
Youth Welfare Code, and specific provisions protecting women workers in the
Labor Code (NCRfW, 1980; UP-. lH Workshop on Women, 1986). Too, skills
training and literacy programs were initiated by women's groups, while an in-
tensive population control program was launched in order to provide married
women with a broader !attitude in defining their family aspirations (Aleta,19n;
NCRFW, 1984).
2. Despite these moves, both the Official Country Report on the Acrueve-
ments of the Decade for Women and the NGOs' Alternative Country Report
point to the continuing problems of Filipino women in various sectors. Likewise,
feminists fmd the WID framework inadequate because it focused on "efficient
development which implies simply the infusion and increased productivity of
'neglected sources' such as women" {Salinas and Liamson, 1985). Hence, ques-
tions of gender relationships in the home and work place have not be.en ad-
dressed. Alternative employment strategies have also failed because women
have not been relieved of their household chores. Instead, the economic crisis
has led to further degradation of women, who have been lately used as cheap
sour~ of labor in garments and electronics manufacturing (Del Rosario,
1985), and as cheap entertainers for foreign tourists on sex tours (DelaCruz,
3. In addition to these impacts, the WID efforts have opened the vistas for
further efforts in women's studies in two ways.

F'U'Sl, the women scholars who have sought to describe and understand the
situation of the F'ilipina have, to a great extent, become feminized. A greater
appreciation of women's conditions (as women) has emerged, as evidenced by
innovative approaches to the study of the woman question (IUo, 1985 and
Miralao, 1980) and explicit recommendations that women must seek public ex-
posure and organize into associations with common goals in order to advance
their positions in society (Eviota, 1978; and Castillo, 1985).
Second, the fmc details on the situation of women which the research litera-
tme provided in the seventies has also been useful to feminist groups who are
now able to reinterpret these informations within their own frameworks for ac-
tion (PWRC, 1985). Moreover, women's groups have started to use research
tool'> themselves as an instrument for educating and organizing various women's
Unlike the situation in the earlier period, therefore, the developmental con-
cerns of the seventies served to draw out the gender issue in Philippine society
through research and analysis. This situation helped to build 11ew alliances be-
tween scholars and advocates of women's rights.

D. 1be Eighties

Tbe Impact of Development on Women

Del Rosario calls women studies in the eighties as Impact of Development

on Women (IDW) Studies. These investigative efforts have found expression in
various forms including (1) situationers on the conditions of women in specific
sectors, like female migrant workers, women in industry, or women in agricul-
ture (PWRC monograph series # 1, 1985); (2) case studies of women in various
localities and circumstances (Pagaduan et at. 1986; Bautista et al. 1986; Cooke,
1986; Samonte; and Carlota, 1987); (3) comparative studies of women within
different geographic regions (Castillo, 1985; and IUo, 198_), and (4) critique3
or assessments of national development outlooks and strategies in terms of their
impacts on women (Maranan, 19J5; PWRC, 1985; and Illo, 1985).
IDW studies note the following conditions of women resulting from

1. Scholars and women organizers alike point out that the introduction of

modem technologies and ameliorative programs during the 70s have not
diminisbe.d poverty in the nation. On the contrary, re5earches demonstrate that
in many instances, these developments have increased the gap between the clas-
se::.. They have even marginalized the status ofwoon~n further.
In agriculture, Castillo (1985) and Bautista (1986) stress that new farm tech-
nologies have been designed primarily for men. Thus, while mechanization of
ric.e production reduces total labor requirements, more females tht:.n males, in
fact, have been displaced In Bulac:an, Bautista and her associates observe that
women's participation in rice production had become generally confmed to
weeding, reaping, and stacking since women's traditional tasks - transplant-
ing, harvesting, and threshing - had been skipped altogether, taken over by the
men, and become mechanized, respectively.
Apart from these, a new activity called pomarnagpag bas evolved from the
use of the mini-thresher, which is performed solely by women. It involves the
catching of stray hay and grains churned out by the machine. WhateVI~r the
women collect are used for home consumption. Gender ideol~ deepens the
problem since owner-cultivation state a bias for hiring male farm laborers who
are "stronger than women.''
Maranan (1986) amply discusses the failure of two economic programs of
tbe Marcos administration to in! prove the conditions of women. She posits that
the Balikatan sa Kaunlaran (BSK) Movement and the Kilusang Kabuhayan at
Kaunlaran (KKK) Program failed for five reasons: 1) unreasonable inter.est and
conditions on loans; 2) inappropriateness of targeted livelihood progr ~ for
the concerned women; 3) lack of consultative mechanisms; 4) politic:al con-
siderations, and 5) traditional patronage practices.
Del Rosario (1985) demonstrates bow the export industrialization program
of the New Society !ed to the degradation of female labor in tbc Philippines.
Women were enticed to enter the labor market for garment manufacture, tex-
tiles and electronics. They were given minimum wages, exposed to substan-
dard working conditions, and, as in the Export Processing Zones, were
discouraged from unionizing. Apart from factory work, many other Filipinos
serviced the export-oriented economy as domestic outworkers - women work-
ing at home without minimum wages, labor organizations, or regulate~ work
hows. Export industrialization has therefore, not helped dignify the work of
women; rather it has cheapened and abused their contribution to the Philippine

2. An inadequate understanding of women's role in production bas resulted

in development programs favorable to men.

To begin with, gender ideology identifies men as "household heads" rather

than men and/or women, and assumes that the principal breadwinner and
decision maker in the household is the male (JUo, 1985). This discrimination bas
created broad implications for women.
The household bead is described as the "person responsible for the organiza
tion of the household ... (and who) usually provides the chief source of income"
(NCSO, 1975, quoted by Jllo, 1985). Studies have consistently demonstrated
the critical role of women in production decisions (Castillo, 1985; Illo, 1983; and
Bautista et al. 1986, among others), as well as the fact that many Filipino
households are supported by the income contributions of either or both spouses
and even of their children. Thus, the gender bias for males as household heads
denigrates the actual role of women in the control and support oftheir families,
and consigns them to "secondary earners" (Maranan, 1985). In consequence,
the procedures for seeking development assistance, like loans, training on new
methods and skills, and participation in organizations, are earmarked for males,
and women are considered as second-priority or (wor~~> as mere proxies for
disabled husbands, fathers or brothers.
Technological developments, as mentioned in the earlier section, have also
tended to favor men. The new production technologies have considerably dimi-
nished women's contribution to production while it increased labor use in
typically male activities such as land preparation and fertilization (Castillo,
1985; and Bautista et al. 1986). In industry, women are engaged primarily in ser
vices, wholesale and retails trades, which require traditional skills or simple
technologies, while men are in transportation, storage, communications, min
ing, and quarrying industries (Facts and Figures, 1985).
Development strategies have also been biased towards organizing males -
be they peasants, fishermen, landless workers, industrial workers, or other seg
ments of the disadvantaged class (Pagaduan et al.1986; Bautista et al. 1986; and
IUo, 1985). The preconditions for these have already been discussed. However,
the limits set on mobilizing women for skills training, work and organized ac
tion have dire consequences on their development as persons and as a coUec
tive. Ultimately, it restricts the women's outlook and attitude towards the
community and society, and reinforces their domestication. Thus, the "double

(or triple) burden" is borne as a "fact of life," rather than questioned and un-
3. Development programs have failed to minimize the domestication of
women. The various researches consistently point to the persistence of tradi-
tional values concerning women's rolc.s.

a. In 1983, 54% of unpaid family workers were women while only 31% of
own-account workers or wage/salary workers were of this sex (Facts and
F'tgUres ... 1985). Empirical evidence related to these statistics are
provided in the literature.
b. Technological developments and export industrialization deepen the
double burden of women. Bautista and Dungo describe how the women
in Bulacan, who lend to farm production also tend to household chores
(1986). In addition, technology has relegated them to do marginalized
tasks meant to be extensions of the domestic responsibility to "make
ends meet." In industrJ, the double day is also still apparent. In fact, it is
a deteuent to the politicalization of women workers (del Rooario, 1985).
c. Sexual politics pervade relations between men and women. SeX\tal harass-
ment is not uncom.mon in places of work (de Ia Cruz, 1985). It bas also
become the tool of the militarized go\'ernmentto 'punish' male offenders
and to subjugate progressive females (Pagaduan et al. 1986). Orozco
(1983) also notes that the Labor Codt: bas limited the maternity benefits
of female workers, thus cheapening her contributions to society through
her reproductive role. Gender discrimination creeps as well into hiring
and firing policies for women which Maranan {1985) describes to be "th'~
last to be hired and the first to be fired."
4. The fruit.s of development arz unevenly distributed a.rnong women of dif-
ferent :socioeconomic cla.sses.

Althoutth national development programs are meant to bridge the rich-poor

gap, the re.ility is that more underprivileged groups unable to cross the pover-
ty line. For instance, it bas been shown that new agricultural.tecbnologies favor
better-off men and women (Pagaduan et al. 1986). The landless workers (espe-
cially landless women workers) have most seriously been displaced by
mechanization and new production technologies {lllo, 1983; and Castillo, 1985).
Again, in industry, it is seen that wage levels are ~owest for lowly-skilld jobs re-

quhiog minimum education. The&e are Ut;uaUy occupi~d by wcmen (Maranan.,

1985; del Rosario, 1985; and Facts and Figures ... 1985).
The harshest observation that can be made on class differences in gender ex-
ploitatioa, however, is in the increasing conunoditiz.ation of poor F'illpinas -
as prostitutes, "economic refugees," or "mail-order brides" (Samonte and
Carlota, 1987; David and dela Cruz, 1985; and Orozco, 1985). The attraction of
these fairly lucrative. "occupatioos" is apparent, especially when viewed from
the: perspective of an underemployed domestk: outworker, a machine sewer, a
landless peasant woman, a lowly paid teacher or a saleslady. Unfortunately, the
government and the media have conspired to depict a rich environment for
women's oonunoditi.zatton in thi& country, as in the encouragement of services
for tourism, a systematic program for the export of manpower, and media play-
up on the attractiveness of the "submissive and loving Filipina" who is touted
to be a good homemaker to boot.
The popular opinion that ruipinas are not an aggrieved sex in Philippine
society, therefore, is largely untrue. In fact, social mobility, prestige and power
are enjoyed only by the educated Filipina, which in 1985, meant eight percent
of the population who had gone through tertiary educatic.a, and who have the
opportunity to be (by choice) executives, managers, and professional workers
(see Facts and Figures ... 1985).

The Impact ofKeseqrcb on Women's Developmen1

The increasing exchange of ideas between women scholars and activists

during the decade of the eighties bas enriched both knowledge and action con-
cerniDg the rilipina.
Research, on the one hand, has helped to clarify the sources of gender ex-
ploitation in this society (as in Maranan. 1985; and PWRC monographs, 1985).
St\ldies have pointed to three actors which are responsible for women's op-
pression: gender inequality, class domination, and national subservience to
foreign interests (PWRC, 1985). On this basis, the feminist movement in the
present decade chooses to struggle for the improvement of women's rights along
these three dimensions. The Philippine Women's Research Collective which
evolved in 1985, formulated a framework for the women's movement in the
country in order to assess the situation of women in different circumstances:

wA wocncn'a!IIO'Iemellt wbldllporcl netioaal and c&. qucltionl will remain limited,

lnccccuaf and llolated from .. the motive forces wblc:h are the IOU~te~ ol ltnldural
ct~anae. On the other hand, wocnca'a movement whlc:ll per111ltathe releptlon ol M~~nen's
llluea to the blctpollnd II In fM:t clcllyiiiJ or neptlliJ'the fulllibelltlon lnd empower-
ment ol women - an t.nd ltlllned (by) the finel uproot inc ol idea and lftlfitutlons
wbkh pcrpel\late Inequality betwten the aexca ..."

On the other band, the movement for women's rights has opened tile eyes
of scholars to the validity of organizing goals for women. Gelia Castillo (1985),
one of the country's foremost researchers, and awarded the National Sdentist
in 1986, observed:

"... expel'kn~ point out the untapped pocentilll ol women . 11 farm managers,
entrepreneurs, orpnlzer.: and leaden. What do we need to do to allow these potentiaLs to

.. in our orpniutional efforts for agrkultulll projecll, the door must be left wide
open for the entry of women .. ulelder~, orpnlzersand tninon."

These views have been echoed by younger social scientists, like Jeanne IUo,
Cynthia Bautista, and Nanette Dungo. Their observations describe that women.
when given the chance, are effective leaders in production, irrigation and creclit
organizations. Thus, they, too, propose that grassroots organizations of women
should be formed so that they may "discuss ways and means of making ends
meet and effect the programs they come up with." (Bautista et al. 1986).
Similarly, del Rosario (1985) bats for increasing the opportunity of women
workers to orgaruzc themselves:

"llle fo~nt<t tat 0( in<fUitrial women wort.ers, C$petially thOle working in export
oriented indUitriel controlled by'I'NCI, is to unicniu .. Women workel'l, delpite lMir
<foub!e burden, mUll exert errort,~pcnd time in unio.l activitiel, and support and attend
mu1 activitlec wbkb truly uphold their lntere~ll .. "

The emerging scholarship on women h&S also become an arena for innova
tions in research, primarily represented by a movement away from a strictly
quanlitative method, and toward (1) thematic analysis of"tbe state-of-the art,"
(2) in-depth analysis of material manifestations of gender ideology, and (3) ex
ploratory research.
The previously-cited studies of IUo (1983 and 1~5) and Castillo (1985) rep-
resent state-of-the-art researches which elevate data to meaningful concepts
regarding gender relationships. The pamphlets of David and de Ia Cruz (1985)
and of Orozco (1985) present detailed analyses of gender images and values
evoked by print media, television and cinema. Meanwhile, Samonte and Car

lot!l attempt to infer the values of men and women through their personal ad-
vertisements in newspapers ( 1987). Beyond these developments, the new think-
ing in the eighties bas led to the rise of participatory research in women's studies.
Using this approach, women organizers combine investigative and educative
techniques to: (a) broaden their knowledge pertaining to the problems and
perspectives of particular women's groups; (b) make the women themselves
aware of their needs, ideas and potentials as weU as the context of their gender
problems; and (c) to work out new vistas, solutions or actions for the involved
women - both the researchers and their 'subjects.'
The research of Pagaduan and her colleagues at the University of the Philip-
pines represents the participatory approach (J9&i). Their documentation of
women's consciousness is presented against the backdrop of the Philippine na-
tional situation while yet analyzing the personal circumstances of rural women
according to gender ideology. As researchers and organizers, this group
chooses to understand the problems of the Filipina from what may be called a
l.iberative-feminist framework.
Other studies of this natwe are reportedly being undertaken by the feminists
in the movement. Unfortunately, the documentation of these experiences were
unavailable at the time of this writing.

E. Unity of Theory and Practice in Women's Studies

Women's studies in the present decade are concerned primarily with under-
standing the particularities of the situation of filipinas in different circumstan
ces. To the extent that these are undertaken by feminists, the impl.icit framework
is that "women in the Philippines are at a disadvantage." Whatever the
methodology employed, conclusions are coached to demonstrate the nuances
of this inequal.ity. Unlike earl.ier studies, therefore, the researches reviewed in
the eighties are prescriptive rather than descriptive, committed rather than ob-
jective. The new framework thus requires novel approaches to obtaining the
needed data - including unobtrusive methods, content analysis and partici-
patory approaches.
Trends in the Philippines evoke the notion of advocates-as-scholars and
vice-verl\8 in feminist research (Papanek, 1984). D<tta arc a.lsG evaluated in
terms of their value to the women's objectives for gender l.iberation, and the gap
between the feminist reserches and the feminizing 'researchee' is slowly clos-

ing-up. In sixty years, women's studies and the women's movement have gone
full circle. The scholar has again become an advocate.


The foregoing review of women's studies in the Philippines has been under-
taken to determine the extent to which feminist goals are reflected in the studies.
In summary, the folloYving patterns have been deduced.
First, the motives and framework for women's studies in this country have
varied through the past three generations in relation to social phenomena which
influence scholarship and feminist aspirations. However, women's studies
began in response to the women's movement of the 20s and 30s, and are now
becoming aligned Yvith contemporary feminist demands. In interim years,
women's studies were geared to either academic interests or governmental goals
for development.
Second, the nature of the women's movement in the Philippines has been in-
fluenced by both internal and external sociopolitical forces. In the First Feminist
Mo.,em:nt, the point of unity of women was suffrage. In the present decade,
women are being encouraged to fight for gender, class and national liberation
1hird, Philippine scholarship on women have largely been premised on
gender differentiations. More efforts are needed to evolve measures, methods
and analytic frameworks which are gynocentric rather than androcentric. Ini-
tial attempts in this direction have been made and should be studied closely for
Studies about the F'tlipina Ql1 be used in many ways, as they have been in the
past.It is time, however, to declare that womer1s studies should continue to ad-
vance the welfare of the F'llipina. Therefore, scholarship must be linked close-
ly with the needs and aspirations of the various sectors of women throughout
the nation.

Ma. Lu!aa T. Camagay

A review of works pertinent to the history of women reveals that Filipino

woman became the object of study in the late twenties and thirties. Prior to this
period, mention of women could be culled from early Spanish accounts of the
missionaries. Of these early Spanish accounts are those of Colin, Plasencia and
Chirino - all of which have been translated into English and are now part of
the Blair and Robertson Collection (1903-1908). Caution however must be
taken when using these sources as they were Mitten with a religious bias. It is
noted for instance; that the early missionaries seem to overly emphasize the
sexual freedom enjoyed by the f'llipino woman which contrasted with the
restriction required of the Spanish woman during the same period.

Early Images of the FWplna

The f11st work which chronicled the development of the f'ilipino woman was
Maria Paz Mendoza-Guazon's The Developn!QJI cmd Progms of the Filipino
Woman, published in 1928. This book desaibes the role and status of women
during the Pre-Spanish, the Spanish, and the American periods. Citing e.arly
Spanish accounts, Mendoza-Guazon mentions the respect accorded to women
prior to the coming of the Spaniards. She further adds that the Filipino women
enjoyed an egalitarian status with the f'&.lipino men. But the coming of the
Spaniards forced the f'ilipino woman "to control her emotions and also to view
the world as populated by devils" (Mendoza-Guazon, 1928). Furthermore, her
educatiou involved the acquisition of skills and knowledge relevant to the world
she was said to belong to, i.e., the church, the kitchen, and children. The book
also dwells, lengthily, on the activities of the Filipino woman during the
American period which saw her involvement in civic and humanitarian en-

deavors, and which C\: lrninated with the right to vote.

A. The Changing Social Role of the llUiplna

This framework. adopted by most contemporary works, identifies the chan-

ges in the social role of the F'dipino woman durins the three historical prtiods.
The historical perspective is found in the works of Isabel Aleta and <f.hers en-
titled A Profile of Filipil'lo Women (1977), and in Oelia Castilb's Filipino
Woman as Manpower (1976).
In her book The Filipino Woman: Her Social Economic and Political Status
1565-1933 (1934), Encarnacion Alzona contended that the F'tlipiDo woman
never led a sheltered life during the Spanish period as asserted by Mendoza-
Guazon. The Filipino woman, according to her, fr~ly participated in the in-
dustrial, political, and religious affairs of the country.
Her egalitarian status during the Pre-Spanish period was established by At-
zona (1934, pp. 15-16) by enumerating the rights she enjoyed as follows:

1. She was treated as an equal by her husband.

2. She could retain her maiden name.
3. She could share the honors of the husband.
4. She could dispose freely the property that she bad brought into marriage.
5. She was consulted by her husband about his affairs.
6. The husband could not enter into contracts or agreements without the
wife's knowledge or approval.
7. The wife had the right to divorce the husband in case of non-support and
8. She could assume the headship in the barangay.

B. The Economic Participation of the Filipino Woman

The Filipino woman was denied political rights and an enlightened educa-
tion dwing the Spanish period. Alzona, however, opined that the F'ilirina com-
pensated for it by actively participating in the ecoaomic life of the country. She
"controlled retail business. administered farms, practiced crafts of commercial
value, and engaged in business on a large scale" (Alzona, 1934, p. 128).
Moreover,tbe economic activities did not require her to leave the bouse. Shops

were put up i.a the houses aod crafts were done at home. Some of these ac
tivities i.acluded weavi.Dg, dressmaking. embroidery, hat making. and slipper
making Alzona statcc:J further that foreip visitors i.a the 19th century noticed
and commented on the entrepreneurial skill of the F'dipi.ao woman.
The chapter on the Rewlutionary (Period 1896-1899) is very brief, and men
tioned only a few names of F'dipino women - these bei.ag confmed to women
whose parti( ipation ranged from humanitarian activities to foiling the enemy
(Alzona, 1934).
Based on her premise that the F'dipino woman consistently played an active
role i.a the affairs of the country, Alzona developed the foUowing themes: the
acquisition by the F'dipino woman cf tertiary educat;on, her assumption of
careers other than teaching. her political enfranchisement, as weD as her mem
bership in labor unions.

C. The FiUpino Woman's Sociopolitical Involvement

The works of Mendoza-Guazon and Alzona, pub&hed in the twenties and

the thirties, attempted to document the growing political awareness of women
and to justify their demand for suffrage.
Immediately after the war, in the 1950s, members of the Feminist Movement
in the Philippines recalled their campaign for women suffrage. P..Jra Vil-
lanueva-Kalaw related this historical moment in her two works: How the
Filipilul Gol the Vote (1952) and Filipino Women- The Cludltngt They Meet
(1951). Tarrosa Subido authored The Feminist Movemml in the Philippines
(1955), a book commemorating the golden jubilee of the Feminist Movement
in the Philippines.
A dearth of historical studies of women persisted in the 1Wi0s. The few works
of this period demonstrated the F'dipino woman's involvement in national
development. Of the recorded events, the achievements of the Feminist Move-

Thil ume oblcrvation , . hoed by Maril Paz.Quuon: "wheneftr a ramily riaca rrom tbe
lower 111nki ol IOciety to a (IOiition ol compe1111ive affluence and IOdal importance, it is
U5ually found to be due to tact, enel'Jf, and dole attention ol lbe feJMic member ol the
r.1atrimonial pertnenhip" (Mendoa.Ouazon, tm, p. 33).

ment in the Philippine~ was reviewed by PIZ Polic:arpio-Mcndcz in an article

entitled "The Progress of t.bc F'illpino Woman During the LastS~ Years."
Valentina Isidro's "The Cbansia& Attitudes of the F'alipina" (1969) in Kma.r
touched on the "development in the status of F'ilipino women front their con-
fmement to the home to their active involvement in the social development of
the country." Another article worth mentiooing is that of N'tootcbka Rosca-
Peiia's ''Woman's Changing Role in a Changing Society" (1968) which depicted
the woman's involvement in the national strusgle. The decade of the sixties also
saw the printing of The Women in Early Philippinu and Among 1M Cultural
Minorities by Teresita Infante. Thls book is a pioneering work on women of the
different ethnic groups.

Women's Participation in the Uberation Struggle:

An Historical Gap

The brief review of historical studies on women, reflects the absence of works
documenting the participation of women in the liberat'ton movement of the
country. As mentioned earlier, Alzona described in a few pages the participa-
tion of women in the Philippine Revolution. The F'ilipino women's involvement
either during the Philippine Revolution or the Japanese Occupation bas been
reduced to biographical sketches of women persooalities. This trend is evident
in the compilation of oiographical essays of outstanding F'ilipino women in
Women of Distinction (1967) by Varias de Guzman ct al. LDd in Heroic Y'upns
and Women Patriots: FtnUIJe Patriotism During 1M laptJMSt Occuptllion (19n)
edited by Alfonso Santos. No work bas yd been documented on the role of
F'illpioo woman in the liberation moYCment of the country. The feminist move-
ment in the Philippines, on the other band, abounds in literature written by
members of the movement.

A Suggested Frameworker for

Historical Studie8 on the Fillplna

A better understanding of the development of the F'llipino woman from his-

toriul perspective requires us to identify the turnins points in the life history
of the F'ilipina. The turning points should not limit us to one per historic.al puiod
as presented by MendozaGuazon, which bas persisted to the present

times. The turning points, determined by events initiated by the Filipina herself,
brought about a new change in her being. and a vision of herself.
The following events are considered the turning points in the history of the
Filipino woman:

1. Her entry to the world of work as she got employed in go\-emment-owned

tobacco factories. {1781)
2. Her clamor for a more enlightened education. (1888)
3. Her admission to the teaching career. (1894)
4. Her involvement in the liberation of the country. (1896)
5. Her admission to the University of the Philippines. (1908)
6. Her interest in pursuing careers apart from teaching. (1908)
7. Her being sent abroad as a Pensionada. (1903)
8. Her involvement in the Feminist Movement. (1906)
9. Her campaign for women suffrage. (1912-1933)
10. Her admission to labor unions. (1932)
11. Her politicalization in the 1970s.
12. Her feminist crusade in the 1980s.

The entry of woman into the world of work in the 19th century marked t~Je
systematic employment of women in the factory system. The Fllipino, woman,
for the ftrst time, Was engaged in an activity DO longer an extension of her
household chores. Thus, it required her to go to a defmite place of work with a
defmite working hours, be subjected to supervision, and be paid a regular wage.
The clamor of the Filipino woman for a more enlightened education was
drama:ized when, in 1888, the women ofMalolos petitioned Governor-General
Weyler to allow the opening of an Academy to enable them to learn Spanish.
This move elicited praise from Jose Riza~ in his letter to them, for their laudable
project. The letter encouraged them to cultivate their minds and be inspiring
wives and mothers. Marcelo H. del Pilar was more broad-minded when h~ urged
the Filipino to develop the woman's mind so that she could impart her
knowledge to her fellowmen. In other words, Marcelo H. del Pilar viewed the
Filipino woman, above all, as a citizen more than as a wife and mother.
Towards the lattel .. 4J1 of the 19th century the Filipino woman, capitalizing
on her natural and instinctive role as a teacher, was allowed to pursue a career
in teaching. Thus in 1894, 16 women graduated as mtuSITtl.s superiores from the

Assumption Convent.
The coming of the Americans ushered in an era of a university education to
the Filipino woman. The University of the Philippiales admitted women to cour-
ses like medicine, law, b'beral arts, nursing. pharmacy, and dentistry. Teaching
was no longer her typecast profession. Eventually, the increasing number of
women students in the University called for the establishment of the Office of
Dean of Women in 1916. Moreover, when the American government instituted
the pensionada system in 1903, she wat given the same opportunity to prove
her worth. The flrst batch of women selected as pensionadas were Honoria
Acosta, Elizabeth F1orendo, Eleanor de Leon, Genoveva Llamas, and Luisa
The Filipino woman's education and her career made her socially and politi-
cally aware. She became receptive to the feminist movement introduced by
those from the United States. At the onset, her involvement in the social life of
the country took the form of humanitarian and civic activities. When Pura Vil-
lanucva-Kalawfounded theAssociacion Feminista 1/onga in 1906, she included
woman suffrage as part of its objectives. Between 1912 and 1933 various legis-
lative measures were introduced to extend suffrage to women. The issue ignited
a lively debate between the Filipino males and the members of the Feminist
Movement of the Philippines. Unfortunately, there were also some wo>men who
fought the idea. Bul it was gratifying to know that some Filipino males were
very supporthe of this campaign, and one of them was Rafael Palma.
Arguments against woman suffrage ranged from fear that it would pose a
menace to the family and society, and that it was said to be incompatible with
tbe "natural modesty and reserve of women." Politicians also admitted that ex-
tension of such right to women would greatly enlarge the electorate; hence, it
would make the election campaign long and expensive. Fortunately, the politi-
cal equality sought by women was flnaUy passed into law in 1937.
The Feminist Movement in the Philippines had not only won suffrage for the
Filipino woman; it also accomplished for womea the right to occuvy political
positions, as weU as demand ar.1elioration of her working conditions. It was in
this context that the Filipino woman joined labor u'lions. Her disadvantaged
position before the law was initially corrected with the passage of Act 3922

1be l)'ltem ol J.telfsloluulo-ihip Will inatituted by the American pMmment in 1903 in order
to prepare the 111011 promisinJ youth for Jl\'blic and private ~ervice.

known as the Paraphernal Property Law in 1932. This law empowered the wife
to alienate, encumber or mortgage her paraphernal property without her
husband's consent. It was a ftrst major triumph for the feminists, the credit of
which belongt".d to Claro M. Recto who sponsored the bill.
The politicalization of women was clearly evident in the 1970s. They joined
in the protest movements against imperialist control of the Philippine economy
and neocolonial politics. At this point, the women's political struggle was not
yet feminist, but national in scope. As women got more involved in national
struggle in the 1980s, they realized that unless they confront issues directly af-
fecting them as ;:,men "their full and equal participation in the movement for
democracy and ec( )mic emancipation will not be possible nor their liberation
as women be ensured" (An "Overvic;w of the Militant F'ilipino Women's Move-
ment During the Decade for Women" by Fe B. Mangahas). What is evident in
this development is that the nationalist movement for the Filipino woman has
also become a liberation movement.
The question posed now is: "Whereto from here?"

Judy Carol C. Sevilla

Among aU the domains in which the Filipino woman participates, it is per-

haps in the home where she enjoys the highest stature. The Filipino wife is said
to be queen of the household; consequently, family and home take precedence
in her life. This role has been ascribed to her by centuries of tradition, and this
partly explains how the value "wife is for the home" has persisted even into the
A sizeable number of past studies have examined the role of women in
Filipino families. In this chapter, findings from these studies will be synthesized
as they relate to 1) the woman's roles in the household, 2) husband-wife rela-
tions, 3) working wives, and 4) fertility patterns and decisions. A summary pic-
ture of the Filipina within the family setting will then be discussed, to be followed
by an identification of selected issues that need to be researched further in this
area. A look at some theories from the field of psychology, sociology, and politi-
cal science is first presented below, as a backdrop against which the particular
case of Filipinas in the fa.m.ily situation may be viewed.

Theoretical Perspectives on
Women's Roles in the Family

Roles may be defmed as sets of behaviors prescribed by society for particular

groups of people acting in certain situations. Roles determine proper relation-
ships between persons ("role takers") and represent positions within the social
structure. The sum total of a person's various roles is referred to as statw;.
Sex roles specifiCally refer to the distinct groups of behaviors which society
considers appropriate for men and women. Most behavioral scientists asree

that sex roles are not inherent but rather learned. Holter (in Eviota, 1978), says
that sex roles are "acquired by contact with sociocultural agents ... ar1d not
primarily influenced by biological factors" (p. 193). Learning begins at a very
young age through continuous exposure to role models within the family (e.g.
mothers and older sisters for female children) and through society's reinforce-
ment of gender differentiation. Once internalized, the "male sex roles" and
"female sex roles" that develop are extremely difficult to change. Mechanisms
of social control further strengthen, maintain, and sanction these roles.
Male sex roles are usually associated with concepts of masculinity and at-
tributes such as dominance, assertiveness, and instrumentality. On the other
hand, female sex roles involve appropriate concepts of femininity and related
traits such as submissiveness, modesty, and nurturance (Gonzales and
Hollnsteiner, 1976). This pattern of sex-role bias in favor of men has been found
in most societies, particularly those which have not yet made the transition to
full modernization.
Eviota (1978) states that while sex roles may not be unchanging, the process
of change is vf(ry slow. For example, females have continuously monopolized
the housekeeping role in the Philippines. Males put in much less to housekeep-
ing tasks, and only to a limited number of chores. Furthermore, housekeepers
represt:nt the largest single category of women in labor Etatistics (Castillo,1976).
That tbis distinction will prevail for at least another generation is indicated by
findings, even as late as 1976, that unmarried college students of both sexes per-
ceive child rearing and housekeeping as the wife's major responsibilities (De
Jesus, 1976). Even where wives seek employment outside the home, this situa-
tion is perceived by husbands and wives themselves to be mainly a result of
economic pressures, the ideal being for the wife to stay at home (Guerrero,1965;
Porio and Fernandez, 1974; Conaco et al. 1m; and Sycip, 1982).
The household-centered role of women in society bas been a source of dis-
satisfaction among various sectors, primarily among feminists. It has been said
that changes in women's roles may have to be systematicalJy pursued and con.
sistently supported if changes in the structure of the larger society are to be eu-
pected. Women are a tremendous resource for nation building; bowevt;r,
women's full potential has not yet been adequately tapped by national develop-
ment efforts (Angangco et al. 1980). Similarly, Eviota (1978) cites both Marx
(in Burns, 1966) and de Beauvoir (1968) as postulating greater participation for
women in the productive work of society only when they are freed from. the

household through basic structural changes. In the Philippines, research indi-

cates that the underutiliz.ation of women may be ascribed to poverty (Gonzales,
19n, and Castillo, 1976), a situation which forces women to spend most ohheir
time in home production activities rather than in gainful employment.
Finally, while women's status in the Philippines bas been the object of re-
search especially in the past decade, a theoretical framework is still lacking that
would provide an historical and structural view of the Filipina's position in
society. In the past, many social scientists have tended to concentrate on dis-
tinct aspects of status, tre:tting each as discrete phenomenon not logically re-
lated to the other aspects or to a greater societal structure (Angangco et al.
1980). A holisticframework would not onlydefme, explain, and assess women's
status, but also delineate specific issues and insights related to improving this

The Household as the Fillplna's Primary Setting

Filipino society strongly encourages marriage as the ultimale destiny of

women, even as higher education and literacy rates, increasing female participa-
tion in the labor force, and improved socioeconomic status delay women's
decisions to marry. Whereas most marriages at the turn of the century were con-
tracted fairly early, more and more single people today are delaying marriage.
As of 1973, the mean age at fust marriage was approximately 23 for women (up
from 1fJ.7 in 1968; Smith, 1975) and 25 for men (National Demographic Survey,
1973; cited in Castillo, 1979). As a whole, urban dwellers tend to marry about
three years later than their rural counterparts.
Monogamy is the rule, as prescribed by custom, by religion, and by law (Men
dez, and J ocano, 1974). Church rites solemnize the large majority of marriages,
with solely civil marriages accounting for only 16% of all maniages (Castillo,
1979). The specific customs associated with marriage vary from place to place,
and anthropological literature is rich with desaiptions of beliefs and practices
related to courtship, weddings and marriage among the cultural minorities and
ethnic groups. Children, however, are considered as the seal of marriage bonds
and the fust child usually arrives between 9-24 months after the wedding (Con-
ception and fl.iegcr, 1968).
It has been commonly observed that the woman in the Philippines wields
power in the family because of her many housekeeping and child-beating

responsibilities. Ao; keeper of the bouse, her major concerns are the manage-
ment of household affairs, the needs of the family and organization of the
family's economic, spiritual, and physical (health) life. It is said that if the value
of women's housework - encompassing a number of simultaneous jobs every
single day of the year - were to be computed, its volume "would break the com-
puter." Yet their services are considered not as an economic activi~ ~ut as a
labor oflove which needs no quantification or reward (James, in Carreon, 1985).
The specific household activities the wife engages in include washing and
ironing, cooking, housecleaning, bathing and feeding children, e.nd sewing. It
is also the woman who holds the family purse strings. She determines daily ex-
penditures for basic items, does the marketing, and keeps whatever savings have
been accumulated (Liu and Yu, 1968; Bustrillos and Tornta; 1976; Bautista,
19n; and Gonzales, 19n). Bautista (1m) found that rural women nationwide
have a high time allocation/utilization for domestic chores relative to time spent
on income-earning time on the farm. Bustrillos and Torreta's (1976) study of
100 Laguna hQmemakers likewise shows that housekeeping was their main ac-
tivity. About eight hours are spent on total household chores, four hours on
personal care and meals, and ten hours for rest and sleep. Data from Gonzales
(19n) differ slightly from the above. In a study of 300 low income mothers,
mean time spent on household chore~ was found to be8.7 hours. Rural women's
household work consumed 11.1 hours, and urban women's 8.8 hours. It may be
that these urban mothers have greater access to servio:s or utilities such as
water, gas or electric stoves, and pre-cooked foods, which can cut down the time
spent on routine chores. Less time allocated to household work may also be a
reflection of the urban wife's double burden of combining household md
employment responsibilities. Gonzales indicates thai as a consequence of
household activities, most of the non-worki.og mothers are unable to engage in
gainful employment because they just do not have the time for it.
Men, on the other hand, perceived their role to be economic in nature, i.e.,
as breadwinners of the family. They do not fe.el that they have a home-manage-
ment role even when several of them perfonn household chores (Gonzales,
19n). Bautista (1m) shows that 35 percent of husbands reported helping
rt"gularly in household tasks; 61 percent help only under special circumstances;
and 4 percent do not help at all. Mom involvement is reported when wives are
t~mployed. In the nalional sample, husbands assist their wives in looking after
children, washing clothes, and dishes, and in cleaning the house. In rural areas,

the heavier household tasks are also assigned to husbands: fetching water,
gathering/chopping firewood, gardening, house repair and maintenance
(Guino, 1980; Santiago, 1980; and Contado, 1981). Perhaps, as Castillo (1979)
suggests, it is the availability and the lAbility to do the work rather than gender
that determines the assignment of chores.
When women themselves strongly believe that their place is at home, they
become household-centered. The material and psychological needs of their
husbands and families assume greater importance than their personal needs
(Eviota. 1978, and Pineda, 1981). Household needs, in fact, become defined as
the wive's own needs. She tends to view her world solely in terms of home and
family. Her own opportunities for advancement give way to her husband's or
her children's personal development (Neher, 1980), an action which a husband
is hardly expected to take for his family. While the husband forms and main-
tains friendships (usually male) outside the home, the wife is more likely to as-
sociate with her own relatives, i.e., parents and siblings, and friends (usually
female) in that order. However, her family and husband remain the flfst
preferences for sharing her time (Bulatao, 1978). This household orientation
expectedly acts as a barrier to active and meaningful participation in community
or social activities that improve her lot.

Husband-Wife Relationships

1. Conceptions of tbe Ideal Husband and Wife

The ideal Filipino husband and wife tandem bar. been described by inves-
tigators like Bulatao (19(;8), Lynch and Makil (1968), Mendez and Jocano
(1974), Licuanan and Gonzales (1976), Gonzales and HoUnsteiner (1976), and
The wife's role is to be a loving and loyal mate to her huslland. She is respon-
sible for keeping the marriage intcu--.t by her patience, hard work, submission,
and virtue. Aside from whatever outside employment she may hold, she is also
expected to be a dilige11t housekeeper and family treasurer, budgeting family
and household needs. 'The husband in tum has the obligation to protect his wife
and family. Being the m2.in and often only breadwinner of the household, he has
the larger voice in decisions involving the family. He is however, not expected
to :io household chores after work, except for occasional repairs of household

appliances and gardening, to allow time for more "manly" activities like relax-
ing, drinking, and socializing with frientfs outside the home.
The roles are modified with the birth of children into the family. The hus-
band now assumes the added role of disciplinarian and authority figure to the
children. He works ever harder for his growing family and occasionally helps
out with caring for the younger children. He is still bound to be morally good
by being faithful to his wife, though he is not expected to be religious. The ideal
wife, on the other hand, is now also expected to be a loving and caring mother
who attends to her children's meals, health, clothing, school needs, and moral
religious development. She remains a good household manager, and puts her
own weUare below that of her husband and children.
These ideal images, however, are diflic\lh to re:illre in everyday living, espe-
cially for the men (Lynch and M:tkil, 19t'JJ, and Gonzales and Hollosteiner,
1976). Husbands fall short of their duti.!S and obligations more often tha.1
women do. The reason is seen to be the~ "innately" weak nature, - irrespon-
sibility, immorality and vice - that diminishes their ability to provide properly
for the farnily'_s economic and ero~ional needs. It falls to the wife then to be
self-sacrificing for her family ar.d to make up for her husband's delicitmcies.
The.se traditionelly unevea patterns of spousal expectations, however, may
be undergoing a gradual dJange. For example, men, themselves, now perceive
that having a good provider is a better gauge of masculinity than is the large
number of children in the family (Psychological Assessment Development Cor-
poration, 1980).

2. Affective Relattonsbtps

Mendez and Jocano's (1974) study of urban and rural families provides us
with a picture of affective or loving behaviors between husband and wife. Rural
couples, though deeply in love with each other typically do not demonstrate
their affection before other people even in their own home. Kissing in public is
not considered proper; even the use of endearing terms is rare. The couple sleep
together on the floor under a mosquito net, usually with their youngest child be-
tween them. Urban couples, perhaps because of wider exposure to Western
norms of behaviors, arc more demonstrati~ with each other whether by them-
selves or in others' company. This is especially true among middle and upper
income groups. These same groups also tend to have separate sleeping arran-

gements for the couple and their children, owing to the greater availability of
space and the learned value of conjugal privacy. On the other hand, Mendez
and Jocano also note that conflict between the <'.ouple is often made public
among wban middle class groups by either or both spouses. Shouting, wailing,
throwing, and breaking of things are sometimes heard in the course of the
couple's arguments. In contrast, rural oouptes seem to be as subdued in their
domestic disagreements as they are in their affections.
That wives are companions to their husbands even outside the home is shown
in the marked preference of husbands to spend time with th.eir wives rather than
with friends (70%). Wives, on the other hand, prefer to be with their children
(38%) or with both their husband and children (36%), with the rest (26%) want-
ing to be with their husbands alone (Bulatao, 1978). Porio, Lynch, and
Hollnsteiner (1975) also present data showing that the majority of married
couples in their study shared recreational activities at least occasionally, either
by themselves or with their children. These included going to the movies, pic-
nics or outings. Special occasions such as weddings and fiesta celebrations,
going to mass, and attending to economic concerns were also enjoyed by hus-
bands and wives together.
At least one study takes note of Filipino wive's tendency to protect their
husband's egos. Neher (1980), in an assessment of the political status and role
of Cebuano women, ooncluded that husbands' tacit disapproval deterred wives
from engaging in politics, cons1der~ to be a masculine domain. One female
respondent from the elite class elaborate<!:

Men are afraid that iftheirwivesare too much in the limeli&Jit they will become too in
dependent. The hiiSband's ego will suffer. Arter JII, he manied you to have a family and
not to have you get involved in politics. Men d-".A!'I want their wives in men's activities be
cause they become threatened and la&e ftc', with other men. (p. 117)

Responses like these point out the woman's tendency to consciously accede
to her husband's wishes. It is interesting to note, however, that these data
gathered in 1978-1979 do not seem to be consistent with the current prominence
of certain women political leaders. It may br: that these latter women emerge in
their own political right only if and when their husbands enjoy even higher politi
cal status than they do. Perhaps more striJ;ing, family background seems to be
a major impetus to women's participation in mainstream political activities.
Three of the fow female provincial mayors in Neher's sample were married to
their predecessors, while a woman candidate for senator was herself the

daughter of a famous ex-senator. The fact of being "public figures" as

politicians was view!d as legitimately derived from these women's family con-
nections and therefore stiU consistent with their traditional role.
That family relationships are indeed important to women has been shown in
a group of studies done in the Bicol River Basin Area (IIIo, 19n, and IUo and
Salazar, 1978). Family relationships - a composite of women's feelings regard-
ing child rearing, family size, marriage, and household decision making -
strongly influenced women's overall satisfaction in life and gave them high
satisfaction relative to .six other priority areas. More significantly, marital har-
mony was found to be a woman's primary concern and therefore a good deter-
minant of her overall happiness. Other important concerns of women pertain
to housing and household possessions, social services or benefits, their own
education, job and income, and the family's health. All these preoccupations
are directly related to the wife's function as a homemaker responsible for her
family's weUare.
Data from a 1976 national survey on the status of women in the Philippines
showed husbands reporting that they treated their wives either quite well or very
well, an assesSment corroborated by their wives. Couples also generally ap-
peared to be intimate, discussing the husbands' problems as often as the wives'
(Bulatao, 1978). Despite their relatively disadvantaged position in the mar-
riage, wives rated their marital satisfaction as very high (21%), higher than
average (37%), just about average (39%), or low (3%). An acceptance of her
homemaker role, being able to share in the decision makint, and having indirect
power to get what she wants perhaps combine to produce marital happiness.
This third element is manifested - whenever wives cannot get their way with
their husbands - in the form of crying, sulking, being aloof, going home to their
parents, and similar others (Bautista, lm). That these behaviors succeed is
indicated byContado's (1981) fmding that men, rather than women, tend to take
the first step to end a domestic conflict.

3. Dectslon-nuUring Pallems

Research cited earlier emphasize that housekeeping is the main a.ctivity of

Filipino wives. To what extent then are they "managers" or "treasures" of the
household or, on the other hand, mere "implementors" of their husbands'

An earlier review (CastiUo,1979) of research on the multiple roles of Filipino

w0men concludes that Filipino wives as housekeepers actually function as "co-
managers" of the household rather than being totally subordinate to their
spouses. A clear example is in the wife's accepted roles as the family treasurer
(CastiUo, 1965, 1979; Guerrero, 1966; and Mendez and Jocano, 1974). Cultural
norms dictate that the husband tum over his earnings to his wife to receive in
return a daily allowance for his daily expenses such as transportation, cigaret-
tes, and the like. As a rule, the wife plans household expenditures by herself
(Porio and Fernandez, 1974); stretching the peso becoming mainly the wife's
problem. The decisions to save, how much to save, and when to repay loans are
more of the wife's independent decision. Another important role is setting a
limit to debts incurred by the family (Guerrero, 1966). Among rural families,
she is consulted in many farm related decisions by her husband, particularly in
areas pertaining to the allocation of money or other r~urces (Dimaano and
de Guzman, 1966, and Illo, 1985).
The extent of the wife's involvement in decision making varies, depending on
specific areas of family life. A national survey (Porio and Fernandez, 1974) of
about 3,500 respondents shows that joint parental decisions are made in the
areas of disciplining children (the parent of like sex tending to enforce discipli-
nary measures), choosing a school for the children, deciding on family invest-
ments or business ventures (see also Liu and Yu, 1968, and Mendez and J ocano,
1974), and family planning (Contado, 1981). Among Guerrero's (1966) rural
sample, husbands and wives also jointly decided on production and consump-
tion loans, crops to plant and renting land. Decision-making patterns in Filipino
families have consequently been characterized as egalitarian rather than
While the above view of decision-makinfj patterns has been supported by the
empirical literature, a number of studies that have looked into the decision-
making process itself report certain nuances that must be considered in assess-
ing women's roles and status in the family. These are:

a. The emphasis of tradition on the woman's dominance in the household

may lead to response bias on the part of survey respondents. A tendency to
respond in the socially desirable or approved way can be discerned in the Men-
dez and Jocano (1974) urban study which indicated that sometimes the wife
makes more decisions than the husband, although such decisions arc attributed

by her to him.

b. Bautista's {1977) fmdings suggest that even while F'llipino women keep
the household money, their husbands have a greater share in decidit.g where
the money goes. This stems from the fact that husbands tend to be the major
(if not sole) breadwinner in the family, espec\aUy in the rural and urban
depressed areas.
Despite their lower status in decision making, however, women report being
satisfied with their ffiarriage. Bautista (1977) attributes this findiug to the
husband's practice of consulting their wives on many decisions affecting the
family. This consultation may, in effect, hav~ been enoneously understood to
mean a sharing in the decision-making process.
Related to the definition of "joint pattern" a study on the power dynamics
among rural families (Contado, 1981) indicates that knowledge of who makes
the decisions gives only il partial picture o.f family power. While the joint
decision-making pattern dominated among he1r sample, Contado found that the
wife exercises.more authority in that she makes decisions (either alone or with
her spouse) in more domains than her husband does (either by himself or
together with her). In addition, when only joint decisions are considered, wives
tend to influence the futal decision more than tbeir husbands.
These two studies, while providing contrasting data, lherefore caution the
reader against making the generalization that joint or democratic decision
making refers to equal (quantitatively and qualitatively speaking) contributions
from both spouses. Furthermore, considering the ftrSt point above, the fmal
decision seems to be (or reported to have been) made by the husband in most
cases, regardless of whether the decisionmaking process was carried out by
either spouse exclusively or both spouses together. It is evident then that future
studies on decision making in Filipino families should note and incorporate
these concerns, e.g., by looking at various dimensions and subprocesses rather
than simply the final result of decision making.

c. Certain variables are noted to affect decision-making patterns and wiU

have to be considered by researchers in this field. Urban-rural differentials, for
one, i.:.dicate that as place of residence br.c.ome.s more urbanized, women's par
ticipation in money-related decisions decline.~ (Bautista, 1977}. This is perhaps,
because of their smaller contribution to family income that in tum arises from

the lower work participation of urban women (Gonzales, 1971) relative to their
An increase in the level of educational attainment also improves women's
status in decision ruaking. This result is especially seen in low-income families
who have experienced increases in income (Bautista, 1971).
Contado's (1981) fmdings emphasize the importance ohhe family life cycle
in determining the exercise of power within the family. The wife's dominance
in the decision-making process was observed to increase from an initial low
during the beginning family stage, peaking at the child-rearing and child-leav-
ing stages, and declining thereafter. The husband's dominance is most marked
at the beginning stage, but gradually diminishes during the later phases. On the
other hand, joint decision making is most typical during the childbearing stage
where there arc stiU young children below nine years old in the family. These
trends are interpreted to mean that wives derivr: their influence from the
presence of children in the family.
For most Filipinos, household income is usually less than mat is needed.
Exigency, therefore, decides where the meager sum showd go (Hollnsteiner
and Burcoff, 1975). Not surprisingly,low-income wives report that they do not
budget at 1\ll. The moot pressing needs, among the many, get the funds, and
rarely is any left for savings (Gonzales, 1971). The role of family treasurer may
therefore be a very circumscribed one in reality, despite the many functions it
is said to encompass.

Working Wives

J. Definition and Patterns ofWorlt

It seems ironical that while 70 to 80 percent of married women consider their

main activity to be housekeeping (the numerous tasks are specified above), the
National Census and Statistics Office (NCSO) excludes housewives from its
definition of the labor force. Thus, the term "working wives" refer only to those
women who arc gainfully employed (at work or 't\ith a job), underemployed (at
work but wanting additional work), and unemployed (those who want to work
and arc reportedly looking for work on a full-time basis). Under this defanition,
married women make up almost half {47%) of the female labor force, with more
working wives in the rural than in the urban sector. The majority (60%) of rural

wives arc farm workers in crop production who tend to work oo a part-time
(seasonal) basis, while their urban counterparts (61%) arc more likely to be
fully employed as wage and salary workers in various occupations (Castillo,
1979}. Castillo also r1otcs that women who have at least 5(\CJlC high school educa-
tion tend to continv.e working despite marriage and a family, unlike tlrose with
fcv.~r years of schooling.
'n1e reason reported by most wives for taking on or continuing emplo~r'Dlent
is C4;onomic need (e.g., Guerrero, 1965; Layo, 1m; and Sycip, 1982} - that is,
to earn money for a living and to supplement hw.hand's income. Castillo (1979)
prCS<nts demographic survey data indicating that. unlike the popular concep-
tion of husbands as the principal breadwinners in the family, family income for
the maj(\rity of Philippin:: households comes from multiple sources, notably
from husband, wife, and unmarried children. Contrary to another widely held
belief, the more affluent and urbanized regions (e.g., Metro Manila) have fewer
households where the wife contributes to family income. More rural wives play
the (supplenJentary) breadwinner role, while very few wives are the sole bread-
winners in the families.
Despite this profile of women's economic participation, studies have consis-
tently shmvn that women's jobs pay much less than similar jobs held by men.
Within most occupational classes, women's prestige is also below men's (Social
RCS{:a.rch Laboratory, 1m, and Lauby, 1978). The situation has been traced
to the generally lower level of education attained by women compared to men.
Also responsible is the traditional sex-role stereotype of culturally "ap-
propriate" female occupations which continues to delegate household (e.g., ser-
vice), socialization (e.g., teaching), and nurturance (e.g., nursing) tasks to
women (Eviota, 1978).
Layo (19n) reports that during the fll'st cine years of marriage, relatively
few marrl" ~ women work, since childbearing and child-rearing tasks keep
mothers at home. Wives who had stopped working mentioned family-related
reasons such as pregnancy and the need to spend more time with the family
(Castillo, 1979). These trends seem to suggest that the media image of the
Filipino as a versatile combination of career woman, wife and mother is hardly
supported by the empirical data.

2. Altitudes Towan:l Worlrlng Wives

Because labor force participation (FPF) is seen as important in raising

women's status (Eviota, 1978), tbe factors which either facilitate or obstruct
LFP have been the object of a number of researches. Layo (1977, 1978) notes
that for a married woman, the best predictors ofLFP is husband's approval (see
also Castillo, 1961), followed by residence in a smaU urban area, own mother's
employment, at least vocational education, and low income. Married women
seek to maintain compatibility l:dween the home and work roles in order to stay
in the labor force.
Filipino society generally approves ofworkinJ wives; the low-income groups
tends to approve more strongly than the middle and upper classes, the y;,unger
more than the elderly respondents, and females more than males (Castillu,1961;
Guerrero, 1965; and Ventura et al. 1979). The majority (75%) of respc,ndents
in a national survey are also of the opinion that it is good for women tu work,
and give 'financial, psychological, and professional reasons for their OJiin.ions.
Only 54 percent, however, believe that women should occupy positions beyond
that of Slrictly housework (Porio, and Fernandez, 1974). Most studiei on at
titudes toward working wives show that, because of the important financial con
tribution of the woJ"king wife to the family, husbands generally approve of their
wives' working (e.g., in Guerrero, 1965, and Porio, Lynch, and Holl11steiner,
1975). However, if the additional income were not necessary and if they had a
choice, husbands would pref~r to have their wives stay at home.
Am_ong Sycip's (1982) college-educated sample, good marital relarjonships
were fcund to exist because working wives were perceived as equal! of their
spouses; These husbands were also more tolerant and understanding of their
wives' numerous obligations inside and outside the home. Husbands also as
sisted in more household tasks when they had working wives titan if their \loives
were purely housekeepers (Bautista, 1977).
Most working wives, on the other hand, say they would stop if a:;ked to by
iheir husbands or if the economic pressures were rr.moved (Ucuanar. and Gon
zales, 1976, and Gonzales, 19n) - a renection perhaps of the demeaning type
of work women USI.!"'llyobtain, as well as, of women's desire to reduce the double
burden of work and home responsibilities.
Wrves who enjoyed their jobs, howe.ver, were much k..s willing to stop work
ing than those who were working to augment their family incomes or to utilize

their education (Castillo, 1979). Jayme (1976) observes that younger women
more than their mothers give self-fulftllment as a reason for working. a ftnding
which may indicate changes in the perceived value of the family to coming
generations of women. Bautista (1971) meanwhile indicates that the wife's
employed status gives her greater freedom to do various activities without
h:.tving to ask her husband's permission.
A number of studies take note of the tendency among middle and upper in-
come working wives to hire domestic helpers or maids in order to relieve the
pressure of career and family (e.g., Guerrero, 1965; and Sycip, 1982). Other
wives rely on older children and the extended family for assistance in domestic
and child-care duties.

3. Problems and Coping Strategies of Working Wives and Mothers

As may be expected, the major problem confronting married women at work

is how to meet the numerous and often conflicting demands on her from fami-
ly members and career. Among the problems the working wife faces are: making
bot.h ends meet for her family; worry over the family's health and well-being
especially when she is at work; career-related troubles; lack of time to personal-
ly supervise the children end h.lusehold; and psychosom;~.tic illness (Sankharik-
sha, 1967; and Sycip, 1982). In contrast, full-time housewives' difficulties are
more likely to revolve around their families (e.g., in-laws and husbands) and
household members.
Coping strategies primarily include hiring domestic helpers and obtaining
the assistance of extended family members to assist in attending to household
an.d child-care duties. Other strategies reported by working wives include: en-
gagingonly in part-time or home-based employment, wise time-budgeting, shar-
ing household responsibilities with husbands and re-setting of family priorities
(Sycip, 1982). It is not su:prising to find that, given her multiple responsibilities,
the w0rking wife tends to neglect her own health, sometimes to the extent of
feeling guilty for "pampering" herself by taking a much needed break.
Fertility Pattt~rns and Dedslons

As noted in an earlier section, an increasing prevalence of delayed marriage

has been evident during the last two decades, particularly in the urban centers.
While this trend may potentially reduce overall fertility levels, they unfortunate-
ly remain high as women lend to have most of their children during the fust few
years of marriage - thereby offsetting the influence of delayed marriage. Thus,
although there were fewer young married women in the youthful sector (15-24
years old) during the mid-1980's than five years earlier, these married women
were having more children than their predecessors (Smith, 1979).
Castillo (1979) notes that among the many distinguishing attributes of the
Filipina is her "prodigious capacity to bear children." Completed family size is
4.5 on the average during her approximately 20 years of reproductive life (UPPI,
1984). Differences in marital fertility exist, however, among various subgroups.
In terms of regional variations in fertility, non-Manila women generally ex-
hibit a higher peak level of fertility, and both an earlier start and a later end to
childbearing than Manila women. It is also consistently the case that women
residing in farm households have higher fertility than Metro Manila women.
High fertility is likewise associated with migrants rather than native residents;
with nuclear households; and with women who have completed less than seven
years of schooling (Stinner, 1975; and Jayroe, 1976). Women who do not work
and those engaged in work activities which do not create conflict between the
mother and employee roles have high marital fertility. The presence of this role
conflict and of improved living standards, on the other hand, depress fertility
rates. Income can affect fertility in two ways. F'ust, in less-developed areas in
the Philippines, an increase in income results in higher fertility. Second, in the
highly developed centers like Manila. upper income wives have lower fertility.
How many children do Filipino mothers desire to have? In general, the data
show that women consider three to four children as the appropriate number,
with urban and younger wives preferring less children than do rural and olde1
women. No one desires childlessness, for children are considered essential to
marital harmony and are gifts from God. Castillo (1979) however notes that
studies have found the rural F'ilipino definition of a "large family'' to be much
higher (8.4 children) than that among other Asian countries (4 to 5 children).
The "small family," likewise, is defined as an average of3.7 children, in contrast
to only one to two children among other Asian families.

Thus, households with five to six children are the norm in the Philippines,
with larger families found in rural and depressed urban areas (e.g., Porio, Lynch
and HoUnsteiner, 1975; Ucuanan and Gonzales, 1976; and Decaesstecker,
1978). Despite the disparity between ideal and actual family size, however, mar-
ried women are satisfied with the number of children they presently have. This
is because of cultural and economic values regarding children, the family's.
ability to somehow manage to support their children, the joys of family life, and
the feeling that they have no choice but be satisfied because the children are al-
ready there (GonzaJes, 1971).
It is evident from the above th11t family planning is an area of ambivalence.
Although more than 80 per cent of couples favor the limiting of family size, only
a quarter actually practice some form of family planning (Gonzales, 19"n).
Metro Manila couples report the highest birth control level relative to the rest
of the population (Stinner, 1975). This foUov s from their greater approval of
and knowledge regarding family planning and its associated techniques (Lynch,
and Makil, 1968), as well as the higher visibility of family planning cam.paigns
in the city (Poethig, 1968). The husband's support and high level occopation
are also two important motivations for continued family planning (UPPI, 1984).
Family-planning decisions are reported to be made jointly by husband and
wife (Contado, 1981). Yet, a national demographic survey (1973; iu Castillo,
1979) indicates that slightly more than 4 out of 10 wives have never talked with
their husbands about the number of children they would like to have altogether.
Again, more rural than urban wives mention this absence of communication
with the husband about family size.
Research and action programs on family planning knowledge, attitudes and
practices have, by and large, focused on wives as the primary target. However,
the observations that 1) it is the men who initiate sex and make decisions on
sexual matters, and that 2) wives' use of certain family planning techniques is
contingent upon their husbands' approval, both point out that husbands have a
major role in famil~ planning. Population control campaigns now therefore
urge husbands and wives to discuss together whether or not to have children,
how many, and when (e.g., Lozare, 1976, and Corpuz and Nunez, 1982).
Together with studies on household functions and decisions cited in earlier
sections, the research in the area of fertility patterns thus underscores the co-
centrality of childbearing (and child rearing) along with housekeeping for
Filipino wives. Cultural pressures for couples to have children - and the more

the merrier - further burden the wife, if she has opted to be employed outside
the home in order to augment family income. Although women might be ex-
pected to dominate in fertility decisions because of bet childbearing roles,
studies suggest that husbands may have the major say even in jointly made
decisions on family planning. The impact of modernization (higher education,
employment rates and family income among married women), however, is to
depress fertility rates and presumably to allow greater participation by women
in fertility decisions.


This chapter started off with the popular image of Filipino wives as queen
of the household. The various studies reviewed here, however,lead to the con-
clusion that despite the respect and authority accorded to women in the home,
their husbandc; occupy the Icing's throne. This statement is based on three lines
of thought evident in the research literatun~.

1. First there is the strong influence of culturally appropriate sex roles on the
woman's position within her family and household. Thus, there are certain tasks
or activities that only women can do (e.g., childbearing) and should do (e.g.,
keep the house neat and clean). This implies some mutually exclusive domains
even as both husband and wife work together in a numbe1 of others. To men
belong the task of providing for their families, a role which is perceived as ac-
tive, instrwnental, and extremely important to the survival of the family unit.
On the other hand, women are expected to direct their efforts inward to the
family: her husband, children and their home life. By comparison, the nature
ofthis role is less conspicuous, tending toward family nurtw-ance and household
maintenance - more prosaic therefore and, by extension, of less import than
the husband's role.
The prevalence of egalitarian decision-making patterns among the research
findings indicate that women do not ::;hare just certain activities with their hus-
bands but also collaborate with them in several areas requiring commitments
to be made (e.g., as in borrowing and lending money). But even where decisions
are reportedly arrived at jointly, the roles played by each spouse i4 the decisic.n-
making process and their relative contribution to the final choice have not yet
been properly defined. Disciplining children, for example, is reported to be an

area in which husband and wife work together; yet, data show that fathers are
responsible for disciplining their sons, and mothers their daughters (Porio;
Lynch; and Hollnsteiner, 1975). It has also been indicated thtd women may per-
ceive themselves as having shared in decision making when their husbands con-
sulted them on certain matters (Bautista, 19TT). Yet, it is the husband who
makes the ftnal decision with which the wife and children have to abide. The
men are also perceived as making the "more important" decisions related to
economic security.
Degree of participation in the decision-making process is premised on equal
knowledge about the various aspects of a decision, opportunities for voicing out
agreement, disagreement and reservations, awareness of alternatives, and ac-
ceptance of resporu.ibilities or consequences following from the decision made.
The question of the wife's degree and quality of participation has led Castillo
(1979) to state that the larger issue that should be raised is whether the women's
involvement in decision making and her being consulted is ceremonial or sub-
stantive. She notes: "Where she has expertise, we would expect her role to be
substantive; where she is naive, perhaps her participation is ceremonial."
Aside from expertise, presence of resources may be another factor. Some
authors contend, for example, that despite the wife's acknowledged role as fami-
ly treasurer, the low-income majority is very often unable to exercise the power
and resource allocation aspects of this function simply because the choices have
been pre-determined by the demands of survival (Hollnsteiner and Burcoff,
1975; and Licuanan and Gonzales, 1976).

2. A second trend related to the abo.,e is that, in their partnership with each
other, wives generally tend to give way to their husband's wishes; after all, a
queen is still subordinate to her king. It seems that even in decisions and ac-
tivities related to the home and children, the frnal say may rest with the husband.
For example, Valdecaiias and colleagues (1981) found that the choices of
whether to breastfeed or boule feed and for how long, are markedly influenced
by the husband's approval and support.
While the preding discussion has pictured the husband as the power and
head of the household, it is significant to note that women are rather protective
of men's egos. They take pains not to appear dominant in the household (Men-
dez, and Jocano, 1974) or in public affairs such as politics (Neher, 1980) for fear
of causing the loss of face of their husbands. It might be interesting for re-

searchers to study the reasons for women's assessment of their "real" strength
in the face of their stereotyped weaker fe~nine status.
Castillo (1979) sums up these two points in the observation that the Filipino
wife "walks a tightrope" in the exercise of her role as wife-partner. She is neither
pitifully subservient to her husband nor domineering over a henpecked spouse.
The wife-partner concept seems especially appropriate, for one cannot rightly
discuss the wife in isolation fmm her husband.

3. F'mally, the notion that the wife has "institutionalized power," indirect
though it may actually be (Castillo, 1979), seems to arise from three sources.
First, the wife rather than the husband influences more aspects of family life in
her capacity as sole decision maker and as consultant. Also, the wife has ac-
cepted and internalized such role expectations as losing in disagreements with
her spouse, awaiting the husband's economic decisions, and asking permission
to engage in most activities. Lastly, the wife believes that she shares in decision
making (though her role is merely ceremonial) and that she }>;;,s power (because
she can indirectly get her way) (Bautista. 1977). Bautista says it is thus not
surprising that "despite evidence of lower status along a llinited number of in-
dicators, Filipino women continue to believe that, unlike other Asian wives, they
have an equal status in the home."
What is in store for the Filipino wife in the next several yea_rs? Based on \he
empirical data, a number of predictions may perhaps be safely made.
The continued decline of the country's economy as reflected ir increasingly
high prices relative to wages is likely to force more married ;::-~11en to look for
paid employment in order to augment household income. This is more prob-
able in the urban areas where income-generating opportunities may be found,
and where there is a larger pool of qualified women in ter111S of education and
literacy. Whether or not the wife finds work, she may be constrained to opt for
fewer children for economic reasons, a decision which may be relatively easy to
implement in urban centers where population control campaigns have made the
greatest headway. The difficulty of obtainillb :tffordable and trustworthy domes-
tic help also affects her fertility and employment decisions r.trongly. Increasing
mechanization of household tasks may thus become more pronounced par-
ticularly in the middle and upper classes. Where she is unable to fmd a job, the
woman may choose to channel her energies into membership in community or-
ganizations. More than ever, the cooperation and involvement of her husband,

children and extended family members becomes important in the smooth

aanagement of her household. However, both the husband's greater involve-
ment in household and childrearing activities and the wife's increased participa-
tion in the decision-making process are likely to improve communication
between them, thereby enhancing marital harmony and satisfaction.

Conclusions and Recommendations for Research

This discussion of the roles of Filipino women in the family is obviously

limited in S<'-Ope. For example, the situation of daughters as well as mother-child
relationships have only be.en briefly mentioned becaus.e oft he emphasis on fami-
ly roles relative to husbands. Local research, however, is rich with data on these
and other aspects of women's married life (e.g., Sevilla, 1982): health, member-
ship in community organizations, political involvernent, psychological constitu-
tion, and status of work.
Angangco et al. (1980} remark that methodological i.lladequacies have
limited the existing studies on women's role in the family. The weakness often
lies in the tendency for analyses to be ba~cd on cursory observation and
stereotyped images of the Filipino woman, instead of on systematic empirical
methods. No less than a thorough social inquiry into the status of women in the
country is therefore needed. Such a study not only relate the data to social struc-
tures: "these structures must themse\ves become objects of examination" (p.
xxii}, for the inequalities in family wles reflect inequities in the la.rger society.
One. direction suggested by Angangco and colleagues is to cQmpare the fami-
ly roles of women from opposite groups: urban vs. rural, wealthy vs. poor,
minorities vs. lowland Christians. Attention is also due to women in marginal
and non-productive occupations - prostitutes, househelp, entertainers,
elertronics workers and the like. Studies on emergent family structures are also
illuminating for their insights into changes in wives' roles. 11te recent study of
Go (1985), for example, touches on decision-making trends among wives of
overseas contract workers at three poinb: prior to husbands' departure, during
their absence, and after their return from abroad. Her results showed that wives
tend to assume greater responsibility for deciding on a wider range of concerns
in their spous.es' absence. Nevertheless, husbands were consulted by mail
regarding major decisions that bad not been agreed upon before they left. Once
they returned, decision making was again relinquished to them.

In addition, a few other areas are recommended for future research. First,
the nature and extent of wives' participation have not yet been resolved by so-
cial scientists; elaborating and refwing the broad concept of decision making
are the pre-requisites in determining power patterns within tile family. This
area is important because it bears on the wide &.nay of decisions made by
families, e.g., consumption patterns and fertility decisions, that may affect the
community's and eventually the country's well-being.
More innovative methods also have to be developed in order to obtain data.
For example, the dependence on surveys and interviews may be complemented
by participant observation, unobtrusive measures, behavioral checklists and
rating scales based on observations of specified behaviors, and group discus-
sions. The use of any or a combination of these may allow researchers to get
direct information on such areas as: responses to marital or family crises, the
wife as single parent, effects of the life cycle on wives' roles, cases of marital in-
fideHty and dissolution and the situation of widows and elderly married women.
The end goal to these investigations, however, must be the evolution of a
theoretical framework against which to view women's position not only in the
family but also in other aspects of Philippine society (Angangco et al. 1980).
This framework should define, explain and evaluate woman's roles, underscore
salient issues, and be able to suggest ways of enhancing her position in society.

Rosario del Rosario

An analysis of the studies that have been done on rilipmo working women
is no easy task. A proper understanding of the formal literature require.s an ap-
preciation of conditions in society at the time these studies were undertaken.
Thus, the present analysis will interpret not only the fmdings of research, but
also all such materials and indicators which will bring more perspecthe and
meaning to understanding the Filipina woman. The latter set of materials in-
cludes legislative acts, economic and political demands, position papers and
reports on historical events. Trade union demands of a certain period, for ex-
ample, would reflect the existence of previous studies and discussions on work-
ing women's conditions; and de.scriptions of prevailing conditions of a particular
period could e.nhance the understanding of studies done at that time.
In analyzing the various studies, attempts have been made to discern general
and specific trends, issues and implications and, wherever necessary, to make
lengthy quotations and references from the materials themselves. Use of the
historical approach was also inevi,able in this review. Within this framework,
an analysis of women's studies from 1913 to the present reveals the following
issue-concerns for each stated period:

1913-1946: Demand for de jure recognition of working women's equality to

1947-1971: Demand of working women for the right to be employed;
19 rl-1978: Women should be partners of men in development;
1979-1985: Women's participation in development plans results in more ex-
ploitation, unemployment, and poverty for them and their families.

This chapter will discuss women's studies in the light of the above issues, re-

late these to prevailing situations at a particular time, and bow these have af.
fected working WOJnen.

1913-1946: Demand For Dejure Recognition

of Working Women's EquaUty to Men

On the flfst of May 1913, representatives of workers' organizations declared

the Congreso Obrero de F'ilipinas (COP) or Workers Congress of the Philip-
pines, and formulated the following demands: an 8-bour working day, protec-
tion for the labor of women and children, and social insurance (Kurihara, 1945).
Such demands indicate that working women's issues were being discussed at
the time, and that positions were being formulated based on such discussions.
They were also an indication of the fact that Filipino women were very much in
the world of work in the early years of the present century.
Other evidences of women's participation in the labor force may be gleaned
from the following materials. Statistics on women in industry were reported in
the Philippine Census of 1918. Earlier historical accounts oft he mid-nineteenth
century also include reports of women, numbering about 3,000, employed in
several cigar factories (Carpenter, 1925).
From Encarnacion Alzona's book The Filipino Woman: Her Social
Economic and Political Status, 1565-1937 {1934) glimpses of the issues concern-
ing Filipino women worker~ are given, l:irca the twenties and thirties. In 1923,
Alzona mentions the enactment of Act 3071 (or what was popularly known as
the Woman and Child Labor Law) to regulate the employment of women and
children. Among others, this Act required employers to provide seats and
separate toilets and lavatories for their women workers. It also forbade the
employment of women in mines (Alzona, 1934:129-1.30).
The demands aired by Filipino women workers during this period were
economic and political in nature. The women's suffrage movement was a raging
issue in these years, aligning both men and women along either side ofthe debate
(Alzona, 1934; Palma, 1919). Alzona hailed the victory of the suffrage move
ment as evidence that a "new Filipina had arisen-confident, enlightened,
strong in mind and body; in a word, a woman eminently qualified to bold her
place in a modem intricate society" (Alzona, 1934: Author's note).
At the same time, mass actions for increased rights for working women were
held on other fronts. In 1930, a grassroots women's organization was founded,

called Liga ng Kababaihang Filipino (u.ague of Filipino Women). This group

fought for both women's suffrage and the rights of working women (verified
from personal interview with R. Espiritu). In May 1936, newspapers report a
picket held by the women workers of the Alhambra Cigar Factory (Tribune
Manila, 1936). Soon afterwards, in July 1936, about 10,000 men and women
workers joined in a demonstration at the gates of Malacanang Palace. Their
demands included: equal pay for eqlUll work of men and women, the banning
of children younger than fourteen years of age from employment, and the grant
of free education to children of the poor (Tribune Manila, 1936).
Despite these collective actions for improved rights of workers, Sheperd
(1941) reports that women who did work at home (because no regular employ-
ment could be found in factories) did so under adverse conditions. Their
embroidery work and hat weaving involved the whole family (thus utilizing un-
paid family labor) . For these efforts, the women received pay equivalent to that
obtained by women agricultural laborers, who were receiving half as much as
male agricultural workers (who themselves were already receiving 2-3 times less
than workers in factories). They worked 14-16 hours a day, often at night and
by the light of the moon or a kerosene lamp (Shepherd 1941).

1947-1971: Demand ofWorklngWomen

for the Rlght To Be Employed

For the majority of F'llipino women, therefore, the i.-.sues went beyond suf-
frage into the more pressing economic spheres, and the granting of suffrage,
while long overdue, objectively paled beside the basic issues of employment and
equality in employment.
The closing of the sugar and tobacco enterprises during the Japanese oc-
cupation created massive unemployment, spavm.ing conditions wbkb continued
during the postw&r period. The work of women and children were the lowest
paid, 3-5 times lower than the average level (Pilla~ 1947; Kurihara, 1945). Un-
fortunately, it seemed but natural to society at the time that W(Jmen ~hould get
Exasperation at this state of affairs can be detected in a career woman's
feminist protests:

"Well enoup COt' )'O'IIO bellow DOW, 'A 'II'OiniA'a place il in tbc bome.' You did11't
holler it so loud durin& the Japanese OVpatioll lben it seemed pelfectly natural, even

obliptory, for a woman to brin1 home her l'lile for Ihe ~r iMUffiCient rice bowl . There
were m~Atb too many women in the buy~nd.fellt111de, ~ uld. It didn't seem womanly
... This uftMliMnly .. IO!Mn came borne: to ao incre.inpy fnaplllble, and lo children
whose clothel were dole tu Rt.A ud it ' ' ,he 1l'tKR lnaenuity helped check the one and
mend the otiKr .. The nr hu given~ NOmen an increacd IWII'eDea ol bask: physi-
cal and moral need& of the lndividu.rl ... And iftl!~lboc!dwish tocanythiswildom and
maturity into ftekl5 outside tt'.e home, rmo is Mere man to deny her that privilege?" (Bona
de Santos, 1941).

The succeedinB y~:us saw great activity among workers, including the
women, in their collective efforts to improve work conditions in industry. Or-
ganized strikes gradually achieved for them an increase in the average level of
wages, from P3.27 ~r day in 1945 to P?.69 per day in 1948 (American Cham-
ber of Commerce, 1949 & 1950}.
The year 1949 marked the peak of workers' unity, as the Congress of Labor
Organizations (CLO) managed to unite under its umbrella 70 trade unions with
100,000 members (Levinson, 1957). In this same year, the largest strilce broke
out in a sugar plantation where women were also working. The workers'
demands revolved around political and e<:onomic issue.s -from poverty to alien
domination (Levinson, 1957). The CLO continued to grow in force aod the
state began to suppress it. It was ftnallybannrrd in 1951. Soon after this clamp-
down, the number of strikes immedia~ely feU to half their nuruber (Ofreneo,
In 1950, women formed the majority of workers in the textile and sewing in-
dustry, and in the weaving of hat; and rnats. Half of the workers ia the tobac-
co, shoe, brick and furniture industries, and two thirds of household servants
were also women.
By 1954, no less than 4-5million workers and peasants, out of a total work-
ing population of about 8,280,000, were unemployed for the whole year or a con-
siderable part of the year (Manila Chronick, 1954). Of these unemployed
persons, women constituted about 38% (Industry and Labor, 1955).
The Philippines Free Prtss describes the nation's condition thus:

"Young men and WOfllell in the province llriYc to ICRpe up a little mooey to 10 to
Manila, bopinathat there it wiU not be dilfiC\IIt to find .on. Bu Kl\lally, 1oWUJa Ia not
~I itloob like in their provincial dru,n. ... The It nap for CldRcnce bal there readied
such 5balpneA . WbeR ill our country il it pogiblc to lee 10 ~U~~Y...U ~ ud airk
rui'IIIMpnc in 1rNh ca1111 in tbe delperate hope ol fiGdiiiJ amidit the rer~~~e IOIDCI.bifta to
eat?" (~ FrM PrYu 1%S:l).

Streams of surplus population came to Manila from the rural areas, swell

ing Manila's population by 100,(XX) persons in the years 1952-54. The number
of unemployed throughout the country amounted to about1-1.5 million. even
according to official data (I...evinsoo, 1957:9).
In sUIIliiWizing prevailing cooditioos in the fafties, J. Carabuena has this to
say in his letter to the PhUippina Free Prtss:

"1. 'The majorily ol our mea aad women cannot find "WOrt; 2. ~a ravll ol this un
employment, the majorily ol the families at the praent time are in hunger; 3. 'The paver
1y existing among us is the cause ol pr'O'titulion among our women and ol the many criminals
among our men; 4. 'The majorily ol thole ol our men and women wbo hrJe "WOrt receiYe
everywhere ... slave wap" (Phmppl-i FrH Prns, 1956).

Even the Department of Labor (in its 1953 report) admitted that "the living
standards of the people in the Phili[.>ines is much lower today than 20 years
ago." In 1955, a Manila journalist wrote: "We should face the frightful fact that
unemployment is growing headlong, a.nd that the poor are becoming poorer"
(Surukly Times Magazine, 1955). The massive unemployment situation resulted
i.n less work opportunites for women. Thus, despite the fact that Republic Act
679 (passed in 1952) established for women equal payment with men for equal
labor, and required employers to grant their female employees a 14-week
maternity leave with 60% of their salary as payment, it became apparent that
such an Act had become "detrimental to the employment of women ..." as
"employers began adopting hiring policies preferential to men" (Fidelino,
From academic studies of women workers like those of CaMaiieda (1953)
and Benito (1952) , we perceive a discouragem~nt of women's 1:mployment:
"The participation of women in industry bas adverse effects on th1: welfare and
progress of society" (Castaneda, 1953:22). Benito, on her part, e':pre-~ con-
cern over the negative effects of women's employment on men's. employment
(Benito, 1952), and Castaneda commented that "working wives often ,ievelop
a feeling of superiority over their husbands" (p. 23). Such views reflected
gen~ral social beliefs that woman's primary role was homemaki11g. and I hat, if
men and women bad to compete with each other over scarce jobs, it should be
the men to get these frrst.
These opinions seemed to prevail throughout the fifties and !axties. While a
study by Marquez in 1959 suowed that women work primarily for economic
reasoas (Marquez, 1959:61), &lttitudes toward working women in 1960 were still

largely negative:

"Today the vltimate result of vDChecked .wrice in wiwa il that many of them will 10
out and p:t jobc ror the-elva, luvift& imalJ children-aqleded It home, and under DO
cornpeUina necaaity" (SocHJIW"cri 1960:394).

Ideal that IOCial illllike j~n"enile delinqueocy ruulted rrom worting were not uncom
mon either (SodiJIW"cri 1967).

Guerrero's "An Analysis of Husband-Wife Roles among F"ilipino Profes-

sionals at the University of the Philippines, Los Banos Campus" (1965) and
Flores' "Career Women and Motherhood in a Changing Society" (1969},
typified studies at the time which concerned th.:mselvr..s with the problems
created by a mother who worked, husbands' attitudes toward a worhlng wife,
and coping mechanisms of working mothers with regard ~o child care (Aleta,
1977:137-138 & 148). Rural \\omen's l'eactions to such traditional attitudes were
publicly expressed en masse by the Samahang Progresibo ng Kababaihang
Pilipin.11. (SPKP) or Progressive Organization of Filipino Women in its 1970
Constitution. This organization had for its memben; the wives of tenant farmers,
agricultural women wage workers and cottage industry female workers. From
interviews with former members, it appears that the: issues the SPKP upheld in-
cluded feminist and egalitarian demands: "Woman is not man's slave" and
"Woman has the right to be recognized as man's partner in work and politics."
The SPKP also worked to create a common emergency fund for its women mem-
bers. SPKP membership reached 8,000 in 1971. However, with the declaration
of Ma1tial Law the foUowing year, the SPKP was forced to lie low (Katipunan
ng Bagong Pilipina, 1976:41).
Urban women's reactions were expressed publicly by the women's organiza-
tion Malayang Kil~ ng Bagong Kababaihan (MAKIBAKA) or Free Move-
ment of the New Woman which was fomwly launched also in 1970.
MAKIBAKA protested a society which defined women's functions "primarily
as childbearers and housekeepers" (Maranan, 1984:6) and among iL'i action
progams, it organized a "mother's core" in which a few women workers were
involved (Collegian, 1971).

19721983: Women Should k

Partners of Men In Devdopment

The Martial Law government declared in 1972 adopted an economic

development scheme globally promoted by Transnational Corporations, and
went into an export drive in the garments, electronics, handicraft, and footwear
manufacturing sectors, necessitating massive borrowings from the Wotld Bank.
and other tending agencies. "Among its many investment incentives to attract
foreign investors were the promise of very cheap Philippine labor ... especial-
ly that of Philippine women who make up the bulk of the workforce in most of
the export-oriented manufacturing industries" (del Rosario, 19&5:2).
Thus, to attain its objectives, the participatiou of women in such plans was
necessary. The period 19121978 was. marked by efforts at encouraging women's
participation in the labor force. To support this process, studies were conducted
to ftnd out more about women. "Government initiatives have taken on
predominantly WID (Women in Development) goals, i.e., to ensure integration
of women in the present context of government development thrusts and
r.ttategies" (Salinas and Liamzon, 1985:29).
In 1973, the Asian Trade Union Women's Seminar on Population and Na-
tional Development stressed the iinportance of a population approach to the
problem of unemployment and women's participation in the tabor force (DOL
& USAD 1973:83). Many sludies on women's labor force participation (LFP)
emerged, generally trying to determine the factors associated with it. Woman's
fertility in relation to her LFP was one of the main factors investigated. Man
gahas and Jayme-Ho (1976) found that the care of children at infancy and pre-
~thool age had a negative effect on women's LFP. Similar fmdings we1e arrived
at by IUo (1971) who asserts that women's participation would increase by
reducing cbildcare and housekeeping time (Aleta 19n:116). Thus, these
studies fueled the governments thrust to increase national (and women's)
economic activity by reducing her fertility.
In 1976, the UN Decade for Women was declared, ~ving stiU more impetus
to women's studies, and more focus tc. wom~.:n's issues. Situationers on the
woman question were written, not:;.ble of whkh arc ~he Sr'ltus of Working
Women in the Philippint'.s published by thli' Dureau of Women and Minors in
1975, and Aleta, Silva and Eleazar's A Profile of Fill pino Women (lCJn} which
was the result of a USAlD Asia Bur~u Missi(V, que.\tiorw.-l:re on the current
PIW'INO WOW".:!!2:.WO.....,..NJ!N=-.-----------
status of wotnell in development in the Phllippioes.

"lbe I".#IIIUJI'ufF oC iDictt:at inldvancina lbc dcW)Qpmcnt offt'OfJtUl a.od ioeteu

iq tbeir ,_.rtklpationln rommunil)' frairs 1111 allo I'Cflllled ill a realizatiol! tllat they can
and Jbc>.,l4 beCome efrectiYe pAnMr1 of men ht dewlopment enduvora. Women ere
tberef'Jfe ufFd 10 reftaiJI from COflfillinc fhem~Civu 10 the borDe I'Jid .bouubold wort -
thei< soci&l, ewnomic:, 'f'O'itiu\ .00 ~\i~ ~~ t(>\\\6 'oe a\\ei!Oe4 to.

1Cprogra1111 to imp~ the c.~bilitieco( Pilipinowomenrc loj:)rinclt~<X~t tllede5ired

change, pltlJrlm planners and impkl!l(nton ml~Jt know tbe ,..xiitinJ con6ilionl o( woman
within the coatezt ol their IOriery lind cuJMe. Suclt tnowfedse will ~ult in tbc planning
ol program& that mut the nw3a ol women Jnd mXimiu their devek~ment" (Aklll,

However, the Women in Development framework began to be increasingly

criticited. In their evaluation of WID efforts several years after the Mexico con-
ference, development organizations and major donor agencies admit "insuffi-
cient progress, in raising the status of women. Among the constraints to
progress cited was the lack of quantitative and qualitative information on
women (Salinas and Uamzon, 1985:1).
Femini&s in particular felt tbat the WID framework was inadequate in ad
dressing the women's question. because it focused only on "efficient develop
ment which implies simply the infusion and incrused productivity of neglected
resoUtces such as women," rather than on equity and women's power (Salinas
and Liantoon, 1985:2).
By the late 1980s; WID studies tale on a more concerned view regarding the
Filipina's various roles and functions perhaps because of criticisms. Virginia
Miralao's Women and Men in Development: Fincb'ngs From a Pilot Study (1980}
showed that wornen are among tbe St"-ctors ob:~oerved to be at the greatest disad-
vantage in th~ distribution of economic growth (contrary to the tenets held by
Keynessian Theory). Her study, which invest~~ated bow equal the participa
tion of men and women in the various spheres of socioeconomic life is, falls
under the "measurement" type ol studies Oil women.
Another WID :;tudy in this category is Imelda ft-ranll's "Work-Hour l.osses
and Fertility: A Case Study" (1981). Sbe tried to measure the factors that pos.e
a problem to industrial productivity in the BEPZ, and r~tl11llended "elimina
tion of biases on the part of the en?ployers regarding the .~mployment of womea
with children" (Fer ani\, 19%1~19).
leanne IU<>'s "Wi~ at Work: Patterns of Labor Force Participation in Two--
Rice Panning Villages in tbe Philippines" (1983) is another measurement study

of female participation ill the production of food and goods Uter the introduc-
tion of mechanization. She found that with mechanization, (which represented
development) "the workers' .share in tbe fwvested paddy declines" and \~ecause
working wives from landless households need at least the customar>' total
amount of paddy wruch they bad taken home . , "even before mechanizaliLQ,"
... they underr.tandabty tend to work longer (and in more farms) forlower houc
ly (cash equivalent) wage rates" (IUo, 1983:19).
By and large, therefore, WID studies pointed out more starkly the obstacles
posed by Fhilippi.ne society to the Filipina's full participation in its economic
life. They emphasized the sad fact that sociaJ and institutional support for work-
ing women had not improved much from the earlier years oft be century .In fact,
"progress" seemed to produce a negative effect.

1979-1985: Women's Partlclpadon

Ju Development Plans Has Only Resulted
in More Exploitation, Unemploymmt,
and Poverty for Them and ThelJ:' Fatnllles

It was clear, by the 1980s, that the promise of a better lite through women's
LFP in development was not forthcoming. Unemployment and underemploy-
ment iu 1984 stood at 30.9%, with prospects for greater unemployment still.
While. women's LFP bad increased, so had her unemployment .fate (del Rosario,
1985:11). By the last quarter of 1985, we bear of about two mi.\lion women out
of ?,job (Business Day, 1985).
It is no wonder that almost all of the studies which emerged during this time
r,aint a grim picture of women's conditions:

"N. the c1ec&de for women COOie5 to an end, the problems of the women work~rs be
come moR and more appaRn!: unemplorment, un<JeRmployrnent,loMr qgesdue to in
nation and llC\Itc competition OYer low-Killed, e1ep0rt-<>riented job~, more c.tploitatio.1 in
the YrOrk placet. no alleviation from chikkare nd holl6eworll, 1)0 rul opportunities for
self-deve~nl nor for meaningful inwlvemcnl in trade unionl, more ditloeation (par
ticullrly for ...orten in tbe EPb), and aa CNtrall decrcale in the itandlrd 100 -'iJnity of
livinj' (lkl Rcf.ario, 19t\S:l6)

... thollp proilhution has al'nyl been with ua, it is nowsucb pwvily as to identify lbe
whole country and ita WI">Men as sud!. Whereu before they numbered about 16,000 and
mainly ron<"entratcd in the re41igtlt di$\rictl or ~nd militarybMt:a in Subit Sly, 0\on
ppo,and. Oar\: Air Bale, An&eles. Pampanp, they now tofllij;t al huftdreda of tboulafl~
of ~n who col11iwly become the thiro lafFSI 1011n:e 0( forei~ c:xcha11ge in tM
country" (Alllrron 6cla Cn.-z. 1985:7-8).

"The l.ivea of lbe P'iliplna mipnt worten duriiiJ the ~CYCJ~tiel up to the ejpliec reYUI
a marted di&reprd of the CCMrnment ror their plipt. In m<l51 caaa, they are only ron
ddered u milkliiJ COli'S ror tues - uource of dollan and notbiliJ more" (Orozco, 1SillS: 1).

Motivated by a desire to review the effects of the decade on women, studies

on working women from 1979 can generally be categorized as Impact of
Development on Women (lOW) studies. Most of these studies were the outputs
of women's organizations with a grassroots orientation. Thus, these groups were
not interested in mere research, but undertook the reseaches as aids to more
immediate action concerns- education, mobilization, political demands. IDW
studies were manifested as situationers, case studies, and comparative studies.

A Sltuattoners

Studies on women workers in the late seventies and early eighties began as
short situationers depicting working womc.n's double burden of work in the fac-
tory and at home.
One of the earliest was the situationer, "Filipino Working Women (1979)"
prepared by a women workers' organization, Samahan ng Kababaihang
Manggagawa sa Pilipinas (SKMP) or Organi7.ation of Women Workers. The
Alternative Report ( 1985) on women industrial workers (del Rosario, "Life on
the Assembly Line"), on Filipino migrant workers (Orozco, "Economic
Refugees"), on prostitutes (Azarcon dr.la Cruz., "Filipinas for Sale"), and on
plantation workers (Pineda-Ofreneo, "Women of the Soil") was a series of
situationers by the Philippine Women's Research Collective (PWRC), which
was coordinated by PILIPINA. This report was presented in Nairobi at the
NGO alternative international women's conference. in July 1985. It documents
the "experienr,e of women from the grassroots as they comprise the majority
and most disadvantaged and would ultimately be the measure of the Decade's
gains." The report is within a feminist framework and considers that nation,
class and gender are the three fundamental and integral dimensions of women's
In the same year, the Kilusan ng Manggagawang Kababaihan (KMK) or
Movement of Women Workers, presented a situationer on F'Llipino women
workers in its first Congress (Datos, Enero-Maroo, 1985).

B. Case SttUites

Thes.e were characterized by more detailed prescriptions of different S~Xtors

of women workers (domestic out-wt,rkers, industrial women workers (workers
in the BEPZ, electronics, garments and footwur) service workers, migrant
women workers, women agT\cultural wage workers (in sugar and rice areas).
Pioneer in this area was R. Vergara Pu\eda's "Domestic Out-Work for Export-
Oriented Industries (1981)," a micro-lllacro treatment of women engaged in
sub<.A>ntracting, describing their conditions and problems. The t.tudy ooncludes
that with the prodding of tbe World Bank, goVernment policies to encoutage
industrial home work through subcontrac.\ing drew "more and rome Fillpina.s
into production as domestic out-workers under the international dimion of
labor. They get a mere pittance in exchange for their labor which is being har-
nessed by foreign global interests and big loca1 manufacturers/exporters to
amass superprofits. They work under harsh conditions, are deprived of their
right'S as workers, and are hardly aware of the l'oots of their oppression. Without
their knowledSe, they are being used as wt.aP')ns against their sisters in the or-
ganized manufacturing sector when the latter .\.eelt to acquite what is due them"
(Pineda. 1981:64).
Impact studies began to move out of Luzon to areas like Mindanao, with
Voices ofMirutanao Women (1983) done by th~:. Womt.n's Studies and Resource
Center (WSRC) based in Mindanao. It depicts the harsh conditions women
workers of a Transnational agribusiness oorj)()ration are being subjected to.
Orozco's Women in the World of Work (1983) goes beyond the borders of the
Philippines in analyzit:g the conditions and ?light of migrant Filipino women
workers abroad.
Studie.s of other sert'ice workers, parti:ularly i.n the entertainment sector
ltave been done by tb~ Bureau of Women and Minors (BWM), by tbe Third
World Women Ap.tinst Exploitation (TWWAE) and by the PWRC. The
Center for Women's Resources (CWR.) has conducted a survey among 2SO
women workers of garments, textile, ei<!Ctronics and food industrie-s, results of
which were presented in the book MtJtso.B 0(1985) meant to serve ns an educa-
tional and organizational guide to women workers. This &ame format and at.
tion-oriented report approach i~ at present bc.ing used by the: WSRC in
Mindanao, through the conduct of a surn:.y among agricultural women workers.
An action-oriented approa1~h is likewise the orientation of the Samahan ng

Kababaihang Manggagawa sa Pllipinas (SMKP). The results of the report

"'Documenting the Struggle of Filipino Women Workers Engaged in Strike Ac-
tion in Export-Oriented IndU&Iries" (1984) were used to train women workers
in research, educational and oganizational tasks. 'l'hese trainees are now in-
volved in conducting the research "Documenting the Struggle of Filipino
Women Workers in Export-Oriented Industries" which is a comparative study
of married and unmarried militant women union members in. ditrf'tent export
oriented industries with and without strike experieDce.

C. Comparative Studies

Comparative 6tudies of different Asian women wor!&ers have been the result
of the colllJllon experiences they have had under the industrialization sch,me.s
that the World Bank loans have enC<luraged to promote global capitalism in
One of the comparative studies was conducted by Bala.i in 1981. Its "Com-
parative Stu4y of Workers in Asia,,. compared the foUoNi.ng factors: wage.Val
lowances, deduction/benefits, cost of living. statistics, other data, main
problems of tlec.tronic:s women workers, incentives given electronics factories
in free trade zone. problems of electronics women wor'kers, and law decress
passed to protect the electronics industry. Th<: comparisons were done among
the countries ofJapan, Taiwan, Hongkong, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand,
Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Virginia Miralao made a comparative studyofTbai, Singaporean, Malaysian
and Filipino woll'len workers in "Young Women in Export-Oriented Manufac-
turing fndustries" (1983). She studied trends in wotnen's employment, cbarac
teristics of women workers in these industries, oocial consequences of
employment and resourcec and support services available for upgrading their
PlLIPlNA, the secretariat for the Asian Women's Re.search and Action Net
work (AWRAN) did a comparative study of 14 Asjan rountries, published
under the title.~tfimt Women Speak Out -A 14-Counti)'Aittnuuivt Asian Repott
on the ltnpQCI of/he VN Dade for Womm (1985}. The objecti\'e of the report
wa.s "to evaluate the women's decade from lhe poiot ohiew of equality and jus-
tice, rather than mere growth" (A WRAN, 1985:3).
While the different Impact of Development on Women &tudies xnay differ

from each other in ftner aspects, they have the foUowing points in common:

1. They are an indictment of the effects of global capitalism on Third World

countries' women workers and of development programs as adopted by the
present Philippine government;
2. They see women workers' problem aggravated by her double burd~n which
is rooted in traditional gender discrimination of society.
3. They believe that something must be done to alleviate women wmkw;' op-
pressed and exploited condition.

Trends 1n FutUI'e Women's Studies

The most recent trends in ~tudies on working women have been to focus on
topics which can raise feminist consciousness and hasten organhational wotk.
The Samaban ng Kababa\hang Manggagawa sa Pilipinas (SKMP), already
mentioned above, has anempted to document women workers' experiences in
relation to these factors. Their !.tudy, "Documenting the Struggle of Filipino
Women Workers Engaged in Strike Action in Export-Oriented Industries"
(1984) stated the problem thus: "Given the many traditional roles that Filipino
women have tL play inspite of the fact that they ate also income-earners, how
do the:; manage to still join unions and strikes? What factors have led to their
increasing militancy as labor leaders? What factors have held women back from
further pursuing their struggle a5 worker~?" (Pineda-Ofreneo & del Rosario,
1984:1-2). The study's findings point to the fact that "the most significant con-
straint to women's active participation and real power in the uniol.l is the doubte
burden" which "is related to their husband's minimal participation Qn the home
front. Another important constraint is the disaffection with the union leader-
ship aggravated by the absence of regular union activities and concerted actions
which can raise consciousness and spur committed involvement" (Pineda
Ofreneo and del Rosario, 1984:34).
In terms of research and ogranizational implications, the study stressed that
"the feminist aspect of the struggle of women workers d~rved immediate at
tent ion and conscious development. Filipinas working in factories have shown
that: they are capable of militant action and sustained participation, despite the
burden of home, when their interests as workers are at stake. This capability
should be carried ovel' to a related and equally vital sphere: the advance of their

interests in their progressive empowerment as women" (Pineda.Ofreneo and

del Rosario, 1984:35).
This point of view, whlcb is common among alllDW women's study groups
~s the inseparable relationship of commitment, research and action to libera(e
Filipino women in general.
Corollary to these commitments, in projecting future action, the new crop of
Filipino feminists foresee working in three directions: dissemination of already
collected information; continuity of research in areas where there are gaps (as
for example, studies of tribal working women); and action to alleviate tbf' !'light
of woman workers (as for example, the creation of women's centers for educa
lion, skills training, daycare, information, counselling, etc). Networking seems
to be a trend in realizing all these, and participatory methods are high on the
agenda on how to better conduct future researches (Philippine Women's
Research Collective, 1985).
The new trend in these studies is heartening for the Women's Movement.
The increasing number of studies on women workers - both in asriculture and
industry - indicates the growing consciousness of Filipinas concerning the
sources of their oppression. The advocacy role taken by the feminist scholars in
the women's organizations is also a clear affirmation of their growing commit
ment to study women in order to effectuate fasting changes in the status of the
Filipina, and to lind common cause with her sisters in other nations as well.

Ma. Cynthia Rose Baruon-BautJsta

Women studies, which touch on Phlllpplne sociocultural dimensions,

cover a wide range of researches. They include a) the literature on the
ascribed and achieved social roles a.nd statuses of Filipino women ln general;
b) researches on the status of spedfic subgr<>ups of women: women workers
(e.g. in the textile industry and expon procP.SSing zones), female overseas
mlgra.nt workers (e.g. domestic helpers and entertalnr.rs), ethnic women,
women in agriculture (e.g. women ln rice production), women ln profes.
slons, and mall-order brides; and c) studies on the perceptions. and images
of Filipino women which are held by the general population and by women
themselves. The last group of studies include dJscusslons of cultural values
affecting people's views of women which are reinforced, lf not gem:rated,
by existing sodetallnstltutions Uke the family, mass media, and edtca.Uon.
A review of selected social science materials produced <>ver the last two
decades, reveals changing trends in resea.n:h concerns, theoretical orienta-
tions, and techniques of data collection and analysis. This paper aims to dis-
cuss the shifting methodological and theoretical trends in the sociocultural
studies of W<>men. It does not attempt to provide a. comprehensive and
detailed survey of the literature since many of the articles on the sociocul-
tural dimensions are encompassed In other papers In this book. Moreover,
Angangco, Samson, and Albino's bibliography on the statuS of women tn the
Philippines (1980) provides an excellent a.nnotadon of the relevant litera-
For purposes of this paper, shifts ln methodological trends Involve chan-
ges ln any of the folloWing: 1) assumptions which have l.rnpUcations for the
focus of the study; 2) conceptualW.tion; and 3) techniques of analysis.
mmm or woMEN IN TEIUls or

Olanges in theoretical orientations, on the other hand, refer to shifts in

analytical framework and main variables used to explain the documented so-
cial role-s and statuses of women.

Changes fn Research Concern

Apart from historical studies which spcd6cally explore the social position
of women in different periods of history (Alzona, 1934; Benavides, 19S8; and
ProsiaPena.. 1953) and some social SCience articles on the family (Bulatao,
1970), the multiple roles of women (Castillo and Guerrero, 1969; Amor,
1966), and womm and education (See ankles in Vlardo, 1970), social sden
tilic attempts to document aspects of the status of women prior to the rnJd.
70s were adjuncts to the more general goal of implementing particular
development programs. In her review of women studies in the Phlllpplnes,
MaJd..l (1980) notes that CamUy planning studies in the late 60s considered
women's coles or activities, as weU as perceptions oftdea.l fa.rnlly roles to be
critical factocs in fertility Jxhador. Later concepwa.li.utions and researches
in the mid-70s which ha,re had impUcat!t)ns for nutritional poUcies (Floren
do, 1980; Evenson et al. 1980) also included variables Uke the social
psychological attributes of the other, and the occupation and contributions
offann and non-farm based mothers to family income.
The declacation of the International Decade of Women ln 1975 was a
watershed in women studies In the country. It resuJted in a plethora of 50
dal sdence researches designed primarily to look Into the position of women
in Phillpplne soctety. Gender-related l.s.sues such as the inequality between
men and women in the workplace, Jn decJ...,lon maldng Jn the home, the com
munJty and ocgan.lutlons, Jn law, poUtics, access to economic and socW
resources and the fruits of development, became central concerns in most
of these studies. Unl'.~e the articles written In earlier decades which ac-
cepted the division of labor between the sexes as natural and which
proJected the relative equality in status between Filipino men and women
on the basis ofpubll~hed historical accounts and the woman's position as
family treasurer and holASehold manager, studies after the mkl-70s qualified
the earUer observations by JooldnB more closely at what women do. They
directly or lndlrectly dted areas where women are at a disadvantage relative
to men.

Minla.o's study (1980) ls one case in point It indicates that women bear
th<: brunt of housewot1l rq;ardless of marital and ~ploytM:nt status, utd
developmental stage of communities. It funher notes that whUe men with
working wives share more of the housework compared to those whose wives
remained at home, male and f~ house-work shares within marriage are
generally unequal, with the former devoting only about a third of their wil'eS'
time to house chores. Mlralao's study further shows that in marriages with
working wive$, the men contributed less time to market activiti-es compared
to the women.
A more recent study by the author (1986), of women in two agrarian com-
munities argues that while women participate in the decision-making process
in the home, hold. the purse strlnws, and in some casn negotiate prices for
commodities, the critical Issue IS: with a few exceptions, women, regardless
of the relative position of their households In the viUages, carry the brunt of
shortfalls in cash, and the ultii'1ate responslbiUty for the subsistence of
housc:ho\d. 'They differ OtWJ in \he {ont\$ of 'i.Ctiviti~ they undertake to
reproduce their households at a patdcular economic level. The nine case
studles of women representing landless and fannholdlng households In the
villages all had heavy, albeit differing workloads; all had responsibility for
borrowing monq either for production purposes or to tide the household
over. The fact that their control over household decision making enhances
their position vis-avis men -ioes not hkk the fact that thq must al5o suffer
the responsibility for reconciling J,..Jget and o.sh shortages.
The relative inequality In sharing resporulb'Jitles for housework and for
making ends meet for the family, is reOected in other a.ceas a.s weU. Although
women have a significant rote in dectsion making in the home, wives par
tidpate mainly l'l deciding on lssues which are within the U"ad.itJonally con
sldered female concerns: household budgets, child rearing, and house}\old
matters (Mendez and]ouno, 1974).
ln the law, Cortes (1975) ~ that legal Statutes still dJscrirnlnate
against women. She mamQJns that despite the legal advances women have
made towards equality with men, some prLvisJon, partku1arly those apply
ing to m:uTicd ~ (e.g. rights relating to conjugal property} reflect Inc
quality before the taw. lt should be noted further that discrimination In the
legal profession goes beyond statutory provision. A research monograph
published by the 1-lational Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (1982)

notes that while at the hypothetical level, men and women lawyers believe
they do not hold stereotypes of women lawyers, they generally discriminate
against these lawyers in practice.
In poUtics, empirical data show that the partkipation of women in pubUc
affairs has been Umited. This observation is borne by the 6nd.ings of the UPS.
CE-NCRFW research on values of rural women in different cultural settings
(1984). Although the women In the sample are politically aware and
knowledgeable, they refrained from participating in politJcal decisions and
organizatJons. This is pa.rt!ally explained by the fact that they have intemal
ized the idea that government and pubUc decision-making positions are basi
caUy for men. All other things being equal, the respondents would rather
vote for a man than for a woman.
Most of the researches condu -:ted after the mid 70s have been sensitive
to gender-related issues. However, \hey have also been basically academk.
They sought to describe what women do and "my they perform the roles
they play. Those which attempted to combine <k:velopmental concerns with
a closer and more systematic look at the roks and poslti<m_s of women
stopped shon of recommending concrete changes in the status of women
in the communities they studied, notwith.stancling the section on implica-
tions for policy In their reports.
In recent years, however, the lnfluenc~ of alternative theoretical ~dons
(I.e. frameworks enh,,'Hened by the categories of political economy) and the
dislUi.lSionmt:nt with the non-partieip.uory nature or development efforts
have resulted in research undertaJdn,15 which focus on different aspects of
women's status within an agenda of either maJdng the women in the study
partidJYte in changing their conditions, or raising the reader or researcher's
cons<.1ousness of the plight of women in various 6elds in order to enjoin
them to organize. A pactldpatory research on peasant women undertaken
by Pagaduan et al. (1986) of the Forum for Rural Concerns, a coalition of
peasant support groups In the Philippines, represents the first type of agen.
da, while the monograph produced by the Phlllpplne Women's Research
Col!ectlve (1985) represents the second.
74 --------------------------

Methodological Trends

A. Change ln the Ast1umed Homogeneity

of fillplno[) WoDK:n

l!arly historical studies and jourmlllstk accounts of the roles, statuses,

and Images of FtJlplno women have assumed wJtllngly or unwhUngly that
women constitute a homogeneous c~tegory. ThJs a.~umpuon l.s evident In
general statements about the equal posiUon "iYOmcn hold with respect to
m<"n (Fox, 1963) lrt gcncrall7.atJons about the changes ln the role~ and per
sonallty traits of Filipino women throup)lout history (Aizona, 1934; Men
doza-Guazon, 19S 1), and In the dcscrlpUons oftlJe Images (e.g. the fcmlnlnc,
and shy Marla Clara Ide~ versus th<: exclllng. Independent and Intelligent
contemporary Ftllplna) and soclcwJ expectations of women (e.g. main
tenancc of the dual role ')(housekeeper aml professional Bagtas, 1970; pal'
tlclpaUon In national development efforts as a humanizing element llm,
1llc assumption of the homogcnclly of Flllplno women WiLS a startmg

point ln Initial altempts to focus attention on women as a group separate

from men. However, many oftht! studies fell into the trap ofmaldng sweep
ing generalizations about the roles, statuses, percep!.ions, and aspirations of
women without the necessary empirical base. In their survey of the litera
lure, Angangco, Samson and Albino (1980) observt! that historical and
psychological studies have been pa.rtJcularly guilty of unsupported abstrac
Uons since most historical writers have made conclusions about the pre
colonial and colonial women in th1! absercc of sufficient data on women in
different ethnic groups and class categories. Many wrlters who draw con
elusions about the Filipino women's psyche:, on the other hand, base much
of their analysis on cursory observations and not on weU-conducted sclen
tific investigations.
The danger or s-weeping gencraUutlons about women who are assumed
to be homogenous cannot be underestimated. Images of the Fillpino woman
such as the ideal, reserved and fcmlnlne fillpina may have appUed to the
upper class mestizo woman or the Spanish period. These Images, however,
have crystallized In the popular mind and may have had consequences for
the lifestyle. values, aspirations, and beh:lVior of men and women who do

not live under the siUlle clrcurmtanccs as the group from which the popular
Ideas were abstracted.
The systematic social scientific focus on the 'woman question' In the 70s
and 80s veered away from the homogeneity assumed by journalistic accounts
and earlier studies. Even the macro level attempts to synthesize the existing
literature on the status and roles of women recognize the variations existing
iUllong Flllplna women.
Castillo's d~riptlon of the Flllpino woman as wife, mother, worker, and
citizen (1981), for Instance, carefully qualifies the average statistical obser
vatlons by presenting the variations brought about by the marital status of
women, by geographic and urban rural origins, by Income, employment, and
educational status. In her discussion of the Filipino woman In childbearing.
she notes that although the aver.lgC number of children born per woman
ages 4549 Is 6.4, more children tend to be bom to women who live In rural
areas and agricultural communities, who are not employed outside the
home, who married early, who live In nuckac households, and who have In
creasing <'ducational attainments up to a certain level. Cortes (1975),
likewise, co11cludes that there Is a need to look into the actual situation of
women wh'l belong to different social and economic strata In her descrip
lion of the ,,tatus of women In law. She states categorically that any sugges
lion for changes in legal statutes, which fall short of an understanding of the
structural constraints Imposed by the different social and economic factors
affecting various groups of women on the Implementation of the law, will
not effect the desired upllftment In the status of women.
Researches, conducted on the status, perceptions and sociocultural
characteristics of women after or Immediately before the declaration of the
International Decade of Women, have built the assumption of the
heterogeneous groupings of Filipino women Into their studies. Concerned
with the detennlnants of variations In labor force participation, In decision
making activities, and In psychological traits, the national survey on the status
of women undertaken by Bulatao et al. (1977) in 1975, under the sponsor
ship of the Philippine Social Science Council, Included the usual
demographic, socioeconomic status (SES) and geographic variables (rural
urban) In the interview schedules. The multivariate anatys.es done by the
researchers showed the effects of these variables on speclfic operalionaliza
tion.'l of women's status (e.g. decision making and power ln the home). The
~76.;::._ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _..;F1~U'-'-P~IN~WOMAN IN I'OCUS

\nd\\5\on o{ slmUu varta.b\es ln other surveys ha.s allowed other researchers

to make ~~omparaUve statements about women belonging to different sub
groups. Using the 1975 UP Population Institute Work Force Survey, Fennll
(1975) concludes that rural women had higher participation In the work
force compared to their urban counterparts although the latter had higher
unemployment rates. ln a slm\lar veln, the UPNCRFW research on the
values of rural women In different cultural settln~ r~ that ethnollnguls
lie affiliation and education Wl~re the key variables related to the political,
economic, and rellglousfaesthetlc orientations of the women in the sample.
A number of researchers were sp designed to test the hypothesis that
variations In roles, statuses, sociocultural and psychological characteristics
or perceptions exist for different groups or women. 1he crucial differentia\
lng variables vary from one study to another. Three such studies lltustrate
this point. In 111o's (1983) discussion of women In rice farming systems, the
critical variable affecting wom<>n's work Is access to resources, operational
!zed In terms of Irrigation and mechanization. She noted that women In
families with irrigated and mechanized rice farms rarely Joined paid harvest
ing teams but instead engaged In more profitable self-employed work.
Miralao (1980), on the other hand, used the developmental stage of a
community as one of the variables accountlng for differences In housework
shares between men and women, apart from marital and employment status,
One of her findings Is that while the developmental stage of communities
does not appear to significantly alter women's time In housework, husbands
who participate In housework In the more modern communities tend to
devote more time In domestic chores than their rural counterparts although,
a number of husbands In the more modern communities are also shown to
drop out completely from housekeeping chores.
With a different objective, I.e., to compare the domestic, public and
ideological orientations In two villages, Alctd (1982) also used the level of
development of the community as a crucial wfferentlating va.rlable. Classify
lng women a.s strictly traditional, tradition-oriented, oscUlating between
directions, progress-oriented and modern, Alcld concludes that women In
the semi-industrial setting manifest more modem characteristics In all three
orientations although the domestic orientation \ends to be sltong in bo\h
The acceptance of the assumption that women do not constitute a

homogeneous group need not Imply a comparative analysis among various

groups of women (e.g. rural versus urban: agricultural versusindusttial). On
the contrary, a recent wave of completed and ongoing studies focuslrlg on
specific subgroups or women: e-.g. women lndtLStrlaJ workers (delltosarlo,
1985: Samson, ongoing) women In agriculture (lllo, 1983: Pined~Oircnco,
1985; Ilautlsta and Dungo et al. 1986) overseas migrant women (Orozco,
1985; Arclnas, ongoing), mall-order brides (Cooke, 1986) explllitly recog
nlze the heterogeneity of Filipino v.omen by focusing on particular types of
11illplnas whose statuses, roles perceptions and aspirations are definitely tied
up to the specific economic, social and political circumstances surrounding
them. A number ofthese studies spring from theoretical perspectives which
view the status or special groups of women within the context of constraints
composed by a wider social, economic and political structure. More will be
said about the trends In theoretical frameworks In a later discussion.

B. Tremb ln ConceptualhatJon and

Techniques of Analysis

Many sociocultural studies of women conducted on or about the Inter

national Decade, bencfiteu from the use or social science research tools. In
a sense, the way variables were concep\UOL\lzed and \he techniques of
analysis used in the Investigations reflected the methodological trends in the
different social sciences themselves. Quite a number of empirical studies on
the roles of women, their level of partlc:lpation In decision making In the
home, in communities and political organizations, their participation In the
labor force, and their perceptions and aspirations, utilized a survey design.
This Is understandable In the light of the dominance of qualification In the
social sciences, especially in the 70s.
The use of staUsUc;~.l analysis has resulted In more refined operatlonallza
lions of specific variables as social scientists devoted time to rigorous con
ceptuallzation. The refinements are reflected In the methods developed to
measure and coUect data on women's participation in particular spheres.
Enlightened by the methodological developments ln household
economics without necessarily accepting the underlying logic that time-use
rellects individual preferences and differential rates of return, some socJaJ
scientists have come to sec tlmcallocation da1.a as a good Indicator of the
71 - - - - l'lUPINO WOMAN IN~!!!

overall aHocaUon of household labor by age ?.nd s.ex; the nature and extent
of pJ.rtlclpatlon of women relative to men ln domC!U: and market acUvitles;
and 1he roles women In different groups play. Mlralao's (1980) study of
women \n development used time allocation data to generate the fin'.llnw.
on the share of women In housework and income generating actlv!tle!. cited
In various parts or this paper.
The conceptualization and operationallzalion of variables related to \a bor
force participation and domestic acUviUes have not oo~n matched by m:1re
refined opcratlonallzatlons of other variables like partidpatlon ln the
process of decision making, cultural values, perccptlon5, and asplrallons,
which arc relevant to a more compn~hensive understanding of the soclocul
tural dimensions of the status of women. This Is partly due to the difficulty
of quantifying processes and aspects of huroan consclousnc~iS. This difficul
ty has not prevented the few researchers of values, pcrccplJo.ls, and atll!udes
towards women (e.g. UPSCEHCRI:W; Red, 1974) from t.tll\zlns a survey
design and !>ta~lsllc:U analysis. However, sole reliance on !.\allsllcal analysis
limits the number and depth of significant insly)lts which indirect qualitative
observations and detailed probes can provid\~.
The rec<Yplitlon of the limits of quanUfica.llon In soc1a.11 sclencl." research
has led to the Increasing attraction of quallt~tlic method:~ of d<J.ta gathering
and analysis to complement or replace survey methods. This trend Is
reflected In attempts to undertake case studle:s of women In particular sub-
groups (del Rosario, 1985), and to usc a qualitative ~alysls ofthe content
of mass media projections (David and Azarcon-dela Cruz, 1985; and Oroz.
co, 1985). It ls Important to note, how(:ver, that qualitative techniques of
analysis can further be refined anct made more rigorous to prmide the in
sights they are meant to generate In a systematic fa.shlon.
The recent trend ln the social sdences to combln~ various methods of
an~ Is appropriate to the problem at hand Is also manlfested In studies on
the roles of women and the Impact of development effortt. on their economic,
political, social, and cultural activitle~. ~fwo studies of women in agriculture
(lllo, ongoing; Bautista md Dungo ct 1\1. 1986) rely on statistical procedures
to provide information on macrokvel ttends In the vlllage and on oral his
toriesfca.se studies, aud ob!>ervallon., to provide a comprehenslye Idea of
the status of women In fanning areas..
As noted in the discussion of changes iu research concern, participatory

research, whkh ls slowly gaining legitimate grounds In acadernlc social

sdence practice, w.u ulillzed In one study of peasant women ( Pag.tl!uan ct
al. 1986). One of the merits of this resurch lies in its inten\lon to shift th1:
orientation of women studies from the academic to the more :u:doo-
l,rlemed; from merely seeking understanding of the plight of women to a<:
U1cly ralslng their levels of consciousness and organizational capacl!lcs.
MelhodologlcaJJy, partlclpatol}' resc:u-ch shares much In common with the
more problem-oriented, multiple methods petspecUvc, althouy)l those
engaged In the study arc still in the process of documenting methods which
arc emerging from their experience.

Tbeo1'ellcal Trends

In their assessment of the literature on the status of we men be fmc the

1930s, An(l,3.ngco, Samson, and Albino quesllon two related observations
which arc good organizing points for the discussion of theorcllcal trends.
The first has to do with the factors deemed to li.Ccount for the st~tus c.f
Filipino women. 1nc reviewers ldentllled three factors which prevail in the
literature: woman's biological (I.e., physlc.ll weakness and specific
childbearing and nurturing role) and p:>)'Cho\ogka\ constitutlon; woman's
social psychology (i.e., her altitudes, values, perceptions of society's c.xpec
tations, nom\S and V4ltues as embodied In the notion of the ideal Fillplna);
and the degree and quality of woman's participation in vo1rlous Institutions
like the family, polJUcs, the economy, and law. They further note the lnslg
nlficance In the writing of socioeconomic determinants. Th.ls observaUon,
however, needs to be qualilled.
While it is \.rue that moot of the studies reviewed by the three ar.1thor~
hardly touch on socioeconomic f1<etors, a number of surveys In the ndct 70s,
H>me o~ whlch were mentioned e:uller (e.g., the Bulatao survey), dld \ndU(k
sodc...ecor.lomlc variable~> in their llst of dct~~nnlnants. 1ne noUon of sodiJ
ci<Jss undnlying these studies corresponds to the concept as used conven-
tionally in dlsclpllnes Uke sociology. In it.s convcnUona.l usage, social cla.1s,
operationa1Uzed In tenns of Income, educ.tUon-11 attainment, or occupatlon,
tcfiects re\'luve poslt\on In a scale. 1\5 such, it l.s used more as a J;radatlon-
al rather than a relatlona.I concept (I.e., a P'~rson':1 cla5a position Is defin . ~d
in terms oflts relaUon to other classes). Seen in this light, the quantltaUre,
-- ..---------

empirical studies of the mld."]Os did attempt to test the effects of

socioeconomic varbbles and ewn of class on the specific aspect ofthe status
of \\'(.men they were looking at, but from a perspective different from that
envlslc.ned by Angangco ct at wht:n they raised a second conclusion based
on their survey of literature.
'I he auth.)rs stressed the: need to explore the Issue oftheory and perspec.
tlve i Iter enumerating the llmlt~.tlons of the studies they revlewt.:d. lhey as.
sert thatlostln emplrlclsrn, researchers, particularly In the 70s, concentrated
on a diMinct ,tspect of !,tato.J~ (e.g_ decision making In the home, partJdpa.
tlon in t~ommunlty affairs, l'.l politics, In the labor force etc.), treating It as a
dlscr.;-te phenomenon not logically related to the other aspects or to the
grea.t.~r social stn1ctme. 111e authors' concern for relating women's iss~es
to wider social stn1ctures In shared by researchers whose studies were not
included In the blbllc.graphy because they were cllhcr ongoing, unknown
to th< authors, or W(:re lnl\lated after 1980.
Enlightened wiuin~Jy 01 unwittingly by the categories ofMandst and neo-
Marxht political r.c:onomy and by the recent wave of books and articles link
lng the Issue of ~,endcr to class and wider political economic concerns, a
number of researchers In the 198(is have begun to sHuate the specific
aspects of the .vomen's stttus within the contt:xt of a wider social structure.
The rc:scarchr:rs bclong.nll to the Philippine Women's F.esearch Collectl.ve
are: In the process of doing a more structural analysis of women's Issues.
Within their lh1mcwork of analysis, three dimensions of women's oppression
are fundamental: national c.pprcsslon (since women c:omprlse half of the
Filipino people stiil vl<:timlzed by impcrl~list powers In the economic, politl
cal and cultural spheres); dais oppres.sion (because women lc:>..d the brunt
of an exploitative system dominated by foreign corporations and the local
elite, as Industrial and ag\icu\turo1l workers, as peasants, landless poor and
other marginalized sectors); and gender oppression beca1JSC cutting across
dass 1\nks Is Inequality between the sexes which Intensifies the suffering of
!VaSs\'oots Filipino women. The members of the research collective use the
overall framework in their attempt to study either marginalized sectors of
women (e.g. ov.-:rseas women workers, women In the tourist industry,
women lndustnal workers) on the Images of Filipino women as projected ln
The monographs produced hy the Philippine Women's Research Collec.

live arc Important lh~cause they expose the readcts to a critical and wider
perspective for an~J)7ing the concrete plight of women in particular sectors.
llowevcr, there are limitations In the articles which reflect difficulties often
times obSt~rved In political economic studies. One such difficulty lies either
in an Inadequate specification of the structure, of the phenomenon under
study, or of the mechanl~ms which link the macrostructure to the subject of
To illustr.ate, In providing an explan~.t1on for the export of male and female
labor, It Is not sufficient to simply allude to the contemporuy economic
crisis, the pattern of the country's economic dcvclopm<~nt, and the nature
of the job market and technology, unless the content of each havt! been
s(l'.::cificd, substantiated, and linked to each other In a previous work. With
respect to the phenomenon undel' study, the gender-specific Issues must~
well delineated. In the monograph on migrant women workers (Orr~zco,
1985}, some of the statements on the working comlltions and prosrA!cts of
women (e.g. the Inability of nurses to move up in their profession) may not
be due to their sex but to the overall nature of the job market, the relative
strength of the local labor unions, and the ethnic or radtl ardtudcs prevail
lng In the host country.
While the monographs attempted to specl.fy and d.x:ument the wider
structure and the conditions of women In the !;ector 1mder study, the causal
mechanisms linking the macro and the micro rem:'.ln blurred. Thus, some
of the statements tend to be simplistic, rcductlonlst and thetorical. For In
stance, the more widespread sale and exploit~tlon of Filipino women and
children accompanying the tourist promotln111 program of the state cannot
be explained solely by the program of th~ economic circumstances of the
victims. There are Important Intervening and reinforcing factors which have
to be specified among which ;~.re th~ values held by the 'victims', their
families, and communities. This point Is also applicable to studies of mall
order brides (which the collecllvt>. has not yet c:qJiorc.d), migrant enter
talneiS, and domestic servants.
The limitations associated with the use of a political economic thcoreti
cal framework by no mean5 unJermlnes the importance of using a structural
pen.pectlve in women studlr.s. Such a framework ('all help avoid the frag
men ted and disjointed cha.~cter of the past Investigations which looked at
separate aspects of the sll'.tus of women (Angangco et al. 1980).

Concluding Remarks

'Ibis paper attempted to discuss some orthe methodological and theorctl

cal trends In women studies touching on sociocultural dimensions. It shows
how the researches ohhe 70s and 80s have benefitted from the methodologl
cal development.'l In the social sciences. In an attempt to provide aood em
plrical evidence for assertions about Filipino women, there Is now a
tendency to combine the rigors of quantification with the insights of quallta
live methods. 'n1e paper also discussed the trend towards a more structural
analysis among some researchers In the 80s. The current limitations of such
an analysis have been spelled out In the previous section. ll1esc limitations
suggest at least three points which may help chart the dlrcc.Uons of future
Hrst, just as social science studies In the 703 identified specific research
Issues on the status of women and provided systematic: empirical support
for the statements which were once based on cursory observ.\tlons and ln
adequate data, the more structural and critical dlscussl:ms of the status of
women ln the 80s need empirical support. The use of a. structural and his
torical framework need not suggest an exposition of aU the aspects of the
wider structure at each point. While the framework can guide the process
of posing the relevant questions, micro-level and first hand studies should
be undertaken with the rigor required of studies using different perspec
lives. The findings of such studies can help qualify the wider framework and
provide ideas about the causal mecharllsms which can link the micro to the
macro level. Only when there are enough studies of women ln various sec
tors, guided by a wider framework, can more sustantive conclusions and syn
thesis be made.
Second, apart perhaps, from the attempt of the Phlllpplne Women's
Research Collective to study the Images of women ln media (David ar~dAzar
con-de Ia Cruz, 198S; Orozco, 1985) ar~d women ln Uterature (Pineda
Ofreneo: ongoing), the analysis of women's Images, perceptions, values, and
aspirations using a political economic perspectlve has been neglected. This
is partly due to a number orfactors, among which arc the difficulties inherent
In explorations of the contours of consciousness, the overall underdevelop
ment of the sociocultural area within political economic theory, and the rcla
lively few reS<'archers who are working within the problematic. The study of

consciousness ha.s much to offer by way of qualifying and modifying the

structural perspective. After all, If wider structural variables ever have their
effects on human subjectlvltlcs, they are mediated by fil.ctors In the realm of
FiPally, the methodological developments In the socla1 sciences have
much to offer the researcher using a wider and more crltkal perspective.
The critical use of both quantitative and qualitative methods can help
provide the Insights needed for the comprehensive picture of the status of
women In cont('mporary Philippine society.

lion. Rafael P.ilina

Mr. Prl!sldent and Gentlemen of the Senate:

I have seldom felt so proud of being a representative of the people as now,

when it gives me an opportunity to advocate a cause which can not be repre-
sented or defended in this chamber by those directly and particularly affected
by it, owing to the level of prejudice that the beliefs and ideas of the past have
lct in the minds of modern man. The cause of female suffrage is one sure to
strike a sympathetic chord in every unprejudiced man, because it represents the
cause of the weak who, deprived of the means to defend themselves, are com-
pelled to throw themselves upon the mercy of the strong.
Eut it is not on this account alone that this cause has my sympathy and ap-
peals to me. It has, besides, the irresistible attraction of truth and justice, which
no open and liberal mind can deny. If our action as legislators must be inspired
by the eternal sources of right, if the laws passed here must comply with the
divine precept to give everybody his due, then we can not deny woman the right
to vote, because to do otherwise would be to prove false to all the precepts and
achievements of democracy and liberty which have made this century what may
be properly called the century of vindication.
Female suffrage is a reform demanded by the social conditions of our times,
by the high culture of woman, and by the aspiration of all classes of society to
organize and work for the interests they have in common. We can not detain
the celestial bodies in their course; neither can we check any of those moral
movements that gravitate with irresistible force towards their center of attrac-
tion: Justice. The moral world is governed by the same laws as the physical

Address delivered In support or Bill# 23 othe Senate in the ~ions held by said body
on the 22nd and 25th or November,.l919.

world, and aU the power of man being impotent to suppress a single molecule
of the spaces required for the gravitation of the universe, it is still less able to
prevent the generation of the ideas that take shnpe in the mind and strive to at
tain to fruition in the field of life and reality.
It is au interesting phenomenon that whenever an attempt is made to intro
duce a social reform, in accordance with modern ideas and tendencies and in
contradiction with old beliefs and prejudices, there is never a Jack of opposi-
tion, based on the mainte.nance of the status quo, which it desired to preserve
at any cost. As was to be expected, the eternal calamity howlers and false
prophets of evil raise their fatidical voices on this present occasion, in protest
against female suffrage, invoking the sanctity of the home and the necessity of
perpetuating customs that have been observed for many years.
Frankly speaking, I have no patience with people who voice such objections.
If this country had not been one of the few privileged places on our planet where
the experiment of a sudden change of institutions and ideals has been carried
on most successfully; without paralyzation or retrogression, disorgani7..ation or
destruction, I would say that the apprehension and fears of those who oppose
this innovation might be justified.
However, in less than a generation, our country, shaken to its very founda
tions by the great social upheavals known as revolutions, has seen its old institu-
tions crumble to pieces, and other entire\y new institutions rise in their place;
it has seen theories, beliefs, and codes of ethics, theretofore looked upon as im-
movable, give way to different principles and 'llethods lased upon democracy
and liberty, and despite all those upheavals and changes which have brought
about a radical modification in its social and political structure, or rather in COil
sequence of the same, our people has become a people with modern thoughts
and modern ideals, with a constitution sufficiently robust and strong to
with~tand the ravages of the struggle for existence, instead of remaining a sick-
ly and atrophied organism, afraid of everything new and opposed to material
struggles from fear of the wrath of Heaven and from a passive desire to Live in
an ideal state of pear..e and we\l-being.
In view of the fruitful results which those institutions of liberty and
democracy have brought to our country; and considering the marked progress
made by us, thanks to these same institutions, in all the orders or national life,
in spite of a few reactionists and ultraconservatives, who hold opinions to the
contrary and regret the past, I do not and can not, understand how there still
are serious people who seriously object to the granting of female suffrage, one
of the most vivid aspirations now agitating modern society.
I remember very well that in the past, not so very long ago, the same ap
prehensions and fears were felt with regard to higher education for our women.

How ridiculous - \be !arne people argued - it is for woman to study history,
mathematics, philosophy, and chemistry, which are not only superior to the as-
similating power of her deficient brain, but will make her presumptuous and ar-
rogant and convert hu into a hybrid being without grace or strength, intolerable
and fp.tuous, with a beautiful, but empty head and a big..but dry heart I However,
we admitted the women to our high schools and universities and made it pos
sible for them to attain to the degree of bachelor of arts and graduate in law,
medicine, and other profession.~. Can it bt said that those women have per
verted the houl(,, of their parents or that, when they married, they were a source
of disgrace or scandal to their husbands? We are now able to observe the
results, and if these results are found to be detrimental to the social and politi-
cal welfare of the country, it is our duty to undo what we have done and return
to where we were before.
Fortunately, nobody would think of such a thing. From the most cultured
centers of populatil'n to the remotest villages, public opinion fervently approves
and applauds the education of woman, and even the most backward peasants
send their daughters to the cities and go to the greatest sacrifices imaginable in
order to make it possible for them to ascend to the highest pinnacles of
knowledge. Though ignorant rustics, they reason in their own rude [sic] way
that woman and man are made of the same clay, and refuse to believe that be-
cause it has been their fate to have daughters instead of sons, they must con-
demn them to bear the chains of ignorance, incapacitating them from beiug
useful to their families, society, and their country.
Education has not atrophied or impaired any of the fundamental faculties of
woman; on the contrary, it has enhanced and enriched them. Far from being a
constant charge to the family, the educated woman has often been its sustain
and support in times of great need. The educated woman hao; not become a
blue-stocking, that fatuous creature imagined by certain elements, nor has she
lost ?.ny of her feminine charms by being able to argue and discuss on every sub-
ject with the men. On the contrary, it seems to lend her au additional grace and
charm, because she understands us better and can make herself better under-
stood. Thank God, people are no longer r!ady to cast ridicule upon what some
used to consider the foolish presumption of women to know as much as the men,
and this is doubtless due to the fact that the disastrous results predicted by the
calamity howlers, the terrible prophets of failure, have not materialized.
Very well; if you allow the Lnstruction and education of woman in a11 the
branches of science, you must allow woman to take on her place not only in
domestic life, but also in social and public life. Instruction and education have
a twofold purpose; individually, they redeem the human intellect from the periJs
of ignoranCI;, and socially they prepare man and woman for the proper per for-

mance of their duties of citizenship. A person is not educated exclusively for

his or her own good, but principally to be useful and of service to the others.
Nothing is more dangerous to society than the educated man who thinks only
of himself, because his education enables him to do more harm and to sacrifice
everybody else to his convenience or personal ambition. The real object of
education is public service, that is, tv utilize the knowledge one has acquired
for the benefit and improvement or the society in which one is living.
In societies, therefore, where woman is admitted to all the professions and
where no source of knowledge is barred to her, woman must necessarily and
logically be allowed to take part in the public life, otherwise, her education
would be incomplete or society would commit an injustice towards her, giving
her the means to educate herself and then depriving her of the necessary power
to use that education for the benefit of society and collective probfeSS.
I can not resist this conclusion. If woman is given equal opportunities with
man for educating herself; if she is encouraged to learn and study the knowledge
of the world and oflife, it is but just that the doors of public life should be thrown
open to her in order to allow her to play in it the part to which she is entitled.
In backward societies, woman is taught only such knowledge as she requires
for the homt;; that is, she is inconsciously prepared for that gentle, that charm-
ing slavery so pleasing to the masculine sex. 'l he qucstiun now before us is what
system we shall adopt for our women; whether slavery and ignorance, or liber-
ty and education.
Female suffrage is the consequence of the education of woman; it is also the
consequence of her liberty of conscience. The vote is the expression of political
faith,just as worship is the expression of religious faith. There is no more reason
for keeping woman from the ballot box than there is for preventing her from
going to church.
There is no reason why :mffrage should be a privilege of sex, considering that
the duties of citizenship rest as heavily upon woman as upon man. Is woman
under less obligation to strive for the welfare and future of her country becau~
she is a woman? To attempt to c.:urtail the activity of woman in public life is tan-
tamount to declaring that a woman must not love her country and must not dedi-
cate any of her time to her duties of citizellShip; that she must not feel the
affection and de: :>lion which the idea of native land and community awaken in
every weD-born creature.
Physical barrenness is combated and looked upon as a misfortune in woman;
but we condemn her to a perpetual political barrenness, to patriotic barreness,
if we keep her away from exercising the right to suffrage which affords the citizen
the most rffetive means to make his innuence felt in social questions and in the
improvement of the public affairs. How are we to inculcate in our children, that

saet ed pledge of the future of the nal,ion, the cult and w<>rship of native land
and liberty if we do not give their mothers that practical lu::-.ation involved in
the exercise of the right of ~.\lf{r,,~(;~ if they are ~aught that govemmcnt and
politics are strange gods at whur.'. r.!uines t~ey are forbidden to worship; if they
feel upon themselves the stigma of inferiority, of being incapacitated from
speaking to their children about the public affairs and the interests of the na-
tion and the Stale?
All social classes are en tilled to representation in the legislativt: houses and
arc thus enabled to work for legislation favoring their interests: the mer~:hants,
the laborers, the mauufacturers, all can choose one of their own number; but
the women, who are not merely one group or cla.o;.s but a collection of groups or
classes, who represent one-half of the country and have interests of their own
to defend, not only with relation to their sex, but also with relation to their posi-
tion in the faroily, are not allowed to vote and are therefore not permitted to
have representatives to promote and defend laws and measures necessary for
their protection and betterment. Is this just? !s this even moral? Female labor
can be exploited in shop and factory; feminine virture can be made the object
of commerce, and yet woman is not allowed to defend directly the interests of
her sex, owing to one of those aberrations of the moral sense that spriug from
the crass egoism and brutal tyranny of man.
If woman were at feast exempt from complying with the laws! But no; the law
binds the woman as well as the man; the Penal Code menaces man and woman
alike with the sword of justice, and the burden of taxation rests upon both the
masculine and the feminine wealth. Consequently, before the law, their duties
are the same, but their rights are not.
Is it not strange that our laws should contain so much social injustice towards
woman, so much exasperating discrimination, all based upon the theory of the
servile dependency of woman upon man, resulting from her conge~:Jtal mental
and physical inferiority? Moebius is incarnated in our Codes, governs our
policy, and influences all the customs and usages of our social and political Jife,
to such a point that we ought to be ashamed that in the midst of this era of vin-
dication, when all classes have secured their right to liberty and .:quality, woman
has been kept indefmitely upon the same level as i.n the centuries of subjection
and slavery.
True democracy can not exist with one-half of the people free and the other
half in a stage of slavery, with one-half of the people with representation in the
public affairs and the other half without it. The people does not consist of men
alone, but of women as wei~ and conditions being equal, woman should have
the same political rights as man. She should, at least, have those fundamental
rights the exercise of which, like that of the right to vote, requires nothing but

intelligence and capacity, in order that she may have some voice in the decision
of her own destiny and may herself fight the battles for her honor, her liberty,
and other rights neglected or ignored by man on account of the undisputed
monopoly exercised by him over the public affairs.
The injustices and social and juridical discriminations contained in our codes
will not be climinat.!d in a radical manner and the condition of woman will not
improve while man alone legislates and controls all the spheres of public life,
dictating to woman what she must do and what she must not do; and woman
will be incompetent to take care of her own interests and shape her own life so
long as she docs not look higher, so long as she consents to the superiority of
man and believes that her lot is simply that of serving and pleasing man in bed
and home, instead of being his true helpmate and companion, for the progress
and felicity of the human rr.ce.
All arguments that are or may be a~duced again.~t female suffrage tend in-
variably towards these two objects: the confinement of woman to the home and
the perpetuati..:n of her civil and political slavery.
Woman must busy herself with nothing hut her household duties and must
live only for her husband and her children; she has her hands full from the rising
to the setting sun if she manages the cook, cleans the house, and mends the
clothes: this is the great argumellt of the partisans of the old regi01e. Another
is, that it is not in the nature of things that woman should struggle with man in
the battle of public life; that if she enters that struggle, man will cease to look
upon her as a being to be worshipped, as a sacred idol at whose feet be must
knee~ and will see in her a rival to be corubated and overcome, for his own
preservation, and woman will not only drag the pure flower of her \'\rtue into
the mire of political life, but will lose the esteem, respect, and consideratio11 now
tributt:d to her.
I have the most profound respect for all men and women who honestly believe
this to be the case. It is not tb~ir fault that they believe that what bas alw&ys
been so is the best. They do not realize that life is motion and that the new ele-
ments of life and character which are being imperceptibly introduced into
society demand changes and irulovations. Society can not become stapant,
otherwise, il runs the risk of becoming lih st~t water, which generates pes-
tU~ntial miasma. The tbet>ry that woman exists for the home alone has beell a
dead issue for same time past. Womatt has quietly takea her plaa: in public life
and aids and directs m&a, een though lle may not notice it aod may not recog-
nize ber right to do so. ln modem socio:ty, woman participates in the direct.ioa
of (ubHc charity and in the education of the children. she practices law and
medicin(., engages in literary aud journalistic pursuits, occupies many public of-
fices, and takes interest and cooperates in the suppres:;ion of social vice and

Who does not admit that woman has duties towards her home and her hus-
band and children to which she must ordinarily give the preference over all other
duties? However, does this exclude the performance of other duties towards
God, her neighbor, and the State? Like man, woman has many duties to per-
form, and the true merit lies in the (Jrderly and complete performance of these
duties. Docs not ~he Filipina dedicate part of her time, sometimes a very con-
siderable part, to the church and to her so-called social duties, receiving and
making calls and attending celebrations, theaters, and balls?
Has anybody ever complained against this? Has woman even been critici1.cd
for her assiduous attendance of the religious services and the public perfor-
mance of her religious dutie.s in crowded churches, in the public streets filled
with tumultuous throngs of people, marching in a procession behind some saint,
jostled about and exposed to disagreeable incidents, which she bears with resig-
nation because she suffers them for the cause of the public confession of her
faith? Our women go not only to church, but to the theater and to popular enter-
tainments and celebrations, wh~re they may show off their elegant dresses and
satisfy their feminine curiosity. In all this we see no pitfalls or dangers to their
virtue, though we know that the women who go to those places and exhibit them-
selves in this manner are mothers, wives or daughters who have duties to attend
at home.
Now, what is the difference if woman leaves her home to attend or take part
in a political meeting where the public needs or the election of c-andidates for
public office are discussed? In what way is the virtue or purity of woman im-
perilled by her taking an interest in public questions affecting the welfare of the
families, considering that whatever her status may be in life, woman always oc-
cupies some position in the family? Why should we fear that woman wiU leave
the l1ower of her charms on the brambles of politics if she listens to a political
speaker, after having listened to sermons all her life, or if she herself makes a
speech giving her opinions on some subject of interest to t.be family, on the
necessity of remedying some social evil or of providing a home for abandoned
and indigent c.~hildren?
Let us take the case of one of the most vital questions of the present time,
the subject of gambling. Do you not belive that this question has a direct bear-
ing upon the wdfare of the families, especially of the feminine part of them?
Who suffers the most if the father or husband spends the money of the family
in order to satisfy his cravl.ng for gambling? The women, of course, the
daughters who are often condemned to undergo unnecessary pr;vations and suf-
fering because of the conduct of the head of the family. Al)d you try to deny to
woman the right to take a part in political affairs, to enlighten the electorate

with regard to the fatal results of gambling or cast her vote for the candidate
who promises to secure the passage of measures against it? And why should
the opinion of woman on issues like this not have as much weight as that of man?
Should it not be given greater weight, it being she who suffers the consequen-
ces and results of the evil? There arc many questions like this which vitally af-
fect the welfare and happiness of woman.
I (ail to see anything pernicious In the activity of woman in the field of politics.
I even believe that her activity in this respect will be highly salutary and benefi-
cient not only for woman-kind, but for society in general. It will serve to instruct
we man and give her a more extensive knowledge of the world and of life. She
will not be considered as an outsider where society and government are con-
cerned and will therefore not remain indifferent to their shortcomings and
progress. Nothing could possibly be more harmful to society than the presence
in it of foreign bodies absolutely indifferent to its weal or woe, of useless parts
in the machinery of progress.
We are terrified by the 'idea that the impulsiveness of woman and her
fanaticism and narrow-minded ness, according to some, her weakness and lack
of character, according to others, and her unpreparedness and deficient cul-
ture, according to stilt others, will make female suffrage a mere farce and will
convert it into a tool for certain clements and interests. My opinion is that all
these impulses, sentiments, weaknesses, and imperfections of woman arl3 due
to nothing but to the seclusion in which she has been kept. They are the effects
of an educational ~nd social system tottering to decay, of a system that does not
give the natural faculties of woman that room for expansion and development
which is as necessary to life as steam is to electricity and electricity to light. And
those defects and imperfections can not be cured by continuing the system
under which they have formed and developed, but there must be a radical
reform, a regeneration, in ordtr that, as a bird on its first night stretches its wings
and soars forth into space, where there is an abundance of air and light, woman
may have an opportunity to develop to their fullest extent her faculties and in-
stincts and to show the graceful essence of her being.
We must give woman new objectives in life and lofty occupations in which
she can test her aptitude, in order that everything defective 811\d ill-developed
in her character and education may be eliminated in the atmo:;pherc of liber-
ty and publicity, where all defects can be brought to light with,)tll fear or pity
and all vices crushed with iron heel. This is why I desire and demand political
rights for our women. I am convinced that one of the results of this concession
will be to enrich, improve, and develop her aptitude and aspiration to serve the
high ideals of life and society. Woman will devote les& time to dress, fashions,
gossip and aU the other petty and trifling.-; things that are generally the subjects

of their conversation and will endeavor to study and discuss the more serious
queslions of social betterment and welfare.
Politics is not a permanent occupation that absorbs all the time of a person
who has other regular business to attend to. As a matter of fact, not speaking
of political officers and a few professional politicians, most ofthe citizens devote
to politics only the time strictly necessary and which they can spare. Any man
or woman depending for his or her livir.g or fulure upon politics will soon rome
to the convictiQn that politics bring starvation instead of bread.
Po\itks is perfectly compatible with the domestic duties and occupations of
woman, whether she be mother, wife or daughter. An educated woman real-
izes her rc&ponsibilities; she knows how to divide her time and will give, her
domestic duties the preference over any other duties outside of the home. A
woman is not liable to engage in political activity if she is very busy at home, and
when confined to her bed by the labors and cares of maternity, she will be un-
able to engage in politics, even if she were wining. Therefore, when I bear the
argument that woman wm be remiss in her household duties on account of
politics and tha~ .sne will neglect to take care of her husband and children if she
is given the right to vote, I frankly conress that l am, perhaps, too dull to see the
truth of it.
You insist that by divine precept the place of woman is in the home and that
of man in society, and that this is the true and proper division of labor between
the two halves of the human species. 11 this is really the plan of God, wi\l you
tetl me then why all retigious and all schools of ethics coincide in ptesctibing
duties towards the neighbor and teach us to lclVe our fellow-beings? Did the
Lord speak to man alone, and not also to woman when amidst fue and sllloke,
on the quaking mountain, he gave to the world the talllets of the Decalogue and
said: "Love thy neighoor as thyself?" And the universal precept contained in
every code of morals and in every religion, "Whatsoever ye would that men
should do to you, do ye even so to them," - does it refer to man alone, or does
it i.ndude woman aloo? To me, these precepts indicate that man and woman
have duties towards others, that they have duties towards thdf fellow-beings,
and that they must not confine their efforts towards happiness to the home, but
extend them beyond it, to society. wm you tell me whether there can be hap
piness in the h.>mes if society is not happy, seeing that society is nothing but the
extension and sum of aU the homes, and that all the suffering and evils that af-
flict society fmd their echo in the home, just as the happiness oftbe home exer-
cises and influences upon the happiness of society?
You attempt to do something impossible: You try to divide the human being
into halves: one-half that is happy in the home and the other that is happy in
society, or vice versa. You can do it if you wish, but then you will either have to

comign all your codes which confer upon man the government and administra-
tion of the home to the waste basket and make others vesting these powers in
woman, or if you do not wish to do that, )'OU will have to give woman a share in
the public affairs in order that she may, the same as in the home, assi.st man in
building up and strengthening the happiness of that other big home which we
call society.
You say that woman, upon appearing on the stage of politics, will lose the
rcspr,ct and admiration of man; that instead of gaining any advantages, she will
lose all tho~e inherent in her present position, in which she is removed from any
direct struggle with man, is adorable and adored everywhere, and reigns
supreme in her home with the undisputed authority of the wife or mother, clad
in the purple of the grace and majesty with which Nature has endowed her, pure
and undefiled by the mire with whkh political strife and intrigue always bespa~
ter the reputation and dignity of those who engage in them.
I believe I have stated the position of our adversaries in terms both poetical
and precise, and when I speak of our adversaries, I include that numerous legion
of women who still hesitate to a<>k for the right of suffrage, for reasons which,
perhaps, deserve being called selfiSh.
However, the idealistic woman I have depicted will not disappear if our
woman are educated in politics the same as they are educated in the arts and
sciences. A political education, far from being harmful to the natural charms of
woman, will in my opinion enhance these, for the same reason that our modern
education has given woman charms which the woman of the past did not pos-
sess. Unless you argue that education is in itself an evil rather than a blessiug,
and that it vitiates the character instead of improving it, you can not escape the
conclusion that by increasing the knowledge and experience of woman, you give
her more vigor, more energy, and a greater personal charm.
Nothing commands greater respect than education. Education elevates a
person. From the moment that you show that you possess education, the con-
sideration and respect of the others are yours. Education does not know the
bar of race prejudice; through it an individual of a color race can win the respect
and often the admiration of the white man.
Does woman ever inspire man with greater respect than when she is in
structed. when a college education has brought her to bis own level? Was
woman more respected in the past, when sh~ remained ignorant, than she is
now? I am willing to concede that she may have been courted more assidt:ous-
ly, but that does not mean that she was more respected. Do you understand by
respect and consideration those empty forms of etiquette which make a man
bow down to the ground to a woman and regale her with a few hollow compli-
ments. designed to tickle the vanity or turn the head of a credulous arr 'c, :volous

being? Do you call respect the singular habit of certain men to always lind the
eyes of the woman to whom they are speaking divine, to compare her mouth to
a rosebud, her tcelh to a siring of beautiful pearls, and her form to the slender
willow, and other stupidities of that kind? Ir that is the sort ohespect and con
sideration that woman will lose if ~he goes into politics, she ought to be very glad
to get rid of it, because all these empty phrases of gallantry arc like the crowing
of I he rooster who wi5hes to dazzle a silly hen on which he has dr.signs.
And, tell me, how is it possible for weakness and ignorance to inspire
respect? As a matter of fact, when a little cooking. embroidering, and music,
and (he knowledge of the catechism were deemed sufficient to prepar" a girl
for married life, which was then the only career open to woman, she was the
recipient of great consideration and courtesy from man. These, however, were
not inspired by real respect, but rarher by a sentiment of chivalry, because man
thought woman so weak and ignorant that he dLemed it is his duty to show her
that protection, consideration, and courtesy which are due to weakness and ig
norance. Is this the opinion that our women want us to have of them? Respect
is a sentiment engendered by the idea of equality, and unless woman is placed
of the same level with man in the field of politics, we shall continue to bear ig
nominious ~hrnses such as "But, woman, what do you know about these things!
You go and mind your own business!"
Our \\tO men need not worry that if they are allowed to vote, they wiU neces
sarily forfeit the consideration and courtesy accorded to them at present, when
they do not come into direct collision with man on the field of politics, and that
the men will then consider themselves free to attack them as a rival whom they
must overcome and destroy for their own preservation. In the first place, it is a
mistake to conclude that the participation of woman in public life will result in
rivalry between the sexes. The attraction and sympathy between man and
woman springs precisely from the difference in sex. If there were only men or
only women, there might be such a thing as our mutually destroying each other,
because there would be no purpose in life ~d the human race would not
reproduce itself. It is in the interest of one sex not to destroy the other. On the
other hand, politics is not always a personal struggle. In its proper and loftiest
sense it is a struggle of ideas and principles, of theories aud methods. There
fore, if a man is pitted against a woman in the arena of politics, they are certain
ly not compelled to engage in ftsticurcs and kill each other, but each will present
his own views on the points at issue, wit It more or less sound arguments in sup
port of them. I do not believe any man has the right to insult a woman becaUS<.~
she is his opponent, seeing that he has no such right where a man is concerned.
And if in the heat of political strife such an insult should be pac;sed, has aot
woman the right to reply or to pay the offender back in his own coin? This is a
~~AND Till! RIG Iff TO VOTI!

case where woman wiU be given an opportunity to learn to be independent in

judgment and action, seeing that certain persons do not want woman to vote
unless she possess independence of thought and action. I do not want, either
to give voice to the suspicion that many men are against female suffrage be-
cause they fear they might be worsted in a public debate, and what would then
become of the prestige of the strong sex?
In the second place, if woman wants man to adore and idolize her, she can
gel him to do it whether she votes or not. Man does not adore woman because
she has less rights than he has; but he worships her because woman is woman,
the archetype of grace and beauty of creation, and man will forever burn in-
cense at the shrine of that divinity. Remember that it has always been said th<~t
Cbtistianity elevated the condition of woman and gave her greater rights, and
yet it is the Christian countries where woman is accorded the greatest considera-
tion and respect.
Suffrage will not detract from the beauty of the long tresses of woman, nor
will it make her cheeks and lips less rosy and the curves of her body less grace-
ful. On the contrary, it will leud her an additional grace, that of being able to
write a ballot in her diminutive handwriting, and man will always feel for her
that love, tenderness, and adoration which grace and beauty will always inspire
all the world over. Hercules will always bow to Venus because she is Venus,
though Venus be a suffragist.
A political education will provide woman with new means for gaining the
respect and admiration of man. Woman will realize that her duty does not mere-
ly consist in giving sons and daughters to tbe fatherland, btlt in educating and
training them in such a manner that from their childhood on they will take in-
terest in everything tending to improve social conditions, and in inspiring thew
with lhe desire to devote their efforts to a certain cause or party, for the best of
their people. Public opinion will becon1e much broader and stronger when it
shall reflect the sentiments of our women, who are at present a passive element
where the duties of citizenship are concerned, and when in her dark hours the
nation shall need assistance, she will receive it not only from her citizens, but
also ~rom her citi.zenesses, who will not be ignorant and inexperienced in the
tasks and duties confronting the people,l:-ut will be accustomed to the discipline
of organization and to the calls of the public service.
There is no doubt, of course, that it is greatly to the advantage of man to
maintain woman in ignorance, not only with regard to politics, but also where
other matters are concerned. For one thing, it renders it easier for man to satis-
fy his whims and make of woman a toy which be can use or drop according to
his fancy. She is obedier.i, submis.sive, and resigned; she never discusses or ar-
gues; she obeys and ~rves in silence, like a beautiful piece of furniture, differ-

ing from the rest only in that she is animate; she is a delightful doll because she
can speak and has a little sense. I know that this is the ideal of many men, for
the only reason that it suits their convenience.
But that is not woman as she should be; the woman that our century has
redeemed from ignoranw .lnd slav.:Jry; the woman whom God has endowed with
an intellect, a will and a heart, hers to cultivate and petfect in order that she
may be not the servant of man, but his companion; not the subject of the king,
but the queen enthroned by his side to be his faithful and r;on!>tant a\\y from the
cradle to the grave, in prosperity and adversity, not only in the intimacy of the
home, but also in the wide arena of public life. Man and woman were created
to mate and to understand and love each other, to work, suffer, and struggle
side by side for all that is good and beautiful in life, to perpetuate the sovereignty
of human couple on earth, and t\> make it a place of happiness, free from tyran-
ny and suffering and fit to be inhabited by peaceful and intelligent beings and
no\ by vultures and wild beasts.
This is the mission of woman and man on earth as I understand and conceive
it. Until man and woman are placed on exactly the same foot.ing, until they stand
on the same plane, so that there can be an intimate communion of thoughts,
ideas, and interests, life will always be ominous and unhappy for one or for the
Qthcr, and humattity will never overcome thr. evils with which it is now strug-
gling. God made woman as perfect as man, and it is unjust to deprive her of any
of the benefits and advantages which man derives from science, arts, and
politics. PolitkJ i.e; a noble occupation, as it is the art or science of making na-
tions happy, and it is but just that woman should contribute her share to the at-
tainment of that bappine.ss.
Is there any doubt that woman has faculties, sentiments, views, and methods
of doing things of her own, different from thoc;e of man? How often has man,
wheu he did not dare to do a thing. left it to woman to dol She has a personality
of her own and should, like man, be given an opportunity to develop it; she
should be given a voice where her own interests are concerned, and should on
her own account face the risks incidental to life, venturing, e...-perimenting, and
c:liscovering things for herself instead of having man establish an invariable rule
of conduct for her and imposing upon her the methods which she must foUow.
Politics is no longer wlmt it should be; it has become too masculine and is
brutal, selfiSh, and altogether too personal because it Jacks the kindness, the
self-denial, the altruism, and the spirit of sacrifice whkh are characteristic
qualities of the feminine sex. Why should we not benefit by the energy of
woman, by her impulses and her views of things, in order to improve our prac-
tices and tne~hods in public life? Perhaps, politics will be chastened and purified
to some extent by the intervention and presence of woman, just as her presence

at any gathering makes man more careful in language and actions!

Uke a number of other institutions that are now a thing of the past, the
monopoly r-xercised b)' man over the public functions is based on force and
violence, and in order to perpetue~te this monopoly, its supporters take shelter
behind the wall of preiudice erected in the course of the times under the protec-
tion of the established order of things. and from there they hurl the shafts of
satire and ridicule upon all who demand that this violent condition cease.
Ridicule is the most powerful weapon now used against the woman who at-
tempts to obtain iustice and the vin~\ieation of the rights of her ser., some of
which rights, such as that of governing the people, were not even withheld from
them in many of the primitive states.
The result is that many persons have a queer idea of the suffragist. She is
represented as a woman who dislikes. home work and is absent from her home
at all hours ofthe day and night. The most common picture is that in which the
wife addresses a gathering of other women, while the husband is busy Bt home,
sweeping the floor and attempting to pacify a squalling baby. This is the idea
which has been spread by cinematographs and reviews and which has impressed
itself upon the minds of the unthinking masses, who are incapc:ble of risiog above
a suptrficial view of things.
Nothing, however, is farther from representing her as she really is. The suf-
fragist is a true product of our era of liberty. Having received the same educa-
tion as man, she knows and does not shirk her responsibilities towards ber
family; but at the same time she is free from prejudice and deems it her duly to
cooperate with man in all work concerning social reform and the public welfare
of the oommunity in which she Jives. She believes that for the very reason thBt
there are duties in the home which are assigned to woman, she has also duties
to perform in ~ub\ic life. 'The distribution of the work between man and woman
causes no conJlict between them in their home and family life, and there is no
reason why there should be any conflict in public life if each sex is assigne-d the
duties adapted to it.
Being a suffragist does not mean being antagonistic to the family duties. On
the contrary, the suffragist realizes that the happiness of the family is the foun-
dation of the happiness of society, and she knows that social distress and vices
affect the family and tnal she can and should cooperate with man in the relief
of that distress and the suppression of th06e vices.
No, the general idea people have of the suffragist is altogether a wrong one
and it is high time that at least the educated and intelligent correct their views
where they are based on prejudices and ideas belonging to the past. We can
not prevent the uneducated masses from thinking as they did half a century ~tgo;
but the fact that m?ny serious and otherwise progressive per.sotb content them-

selve with the opinion of the uneducated shows that bert we do not go deep
into subjects and allow ourselves to be carried away by the impressions of the
Suffragism is a legitimate aspiration, an ideal of our century. It springs from
the philosophy and institutions of the modern world and from the growing dif-
ficulty of the position of woman in the struggle for existence. It is necessary for
her to protect herself and organize, not to create rivalry and make war upon
man, but to become an asset in the social pro;.' css and protect herself front the
exploitation and iniquity of the other soci~~t e.roups, whose victim she would be-
come if she remained indifferent and took no part in the public life.
As a man of the law and a legislator, I would not think of opposing this aspira-
tion. I consider it as natural as the right to live and the right of self-defence. I
do not consider it premature for the Filipino woman to demand this right, as
her sisters have done, successfully in some cases, in other parts of the world. To
me it makes no difference that the number of those now demanding it is small
and insignificant. It would even make no difference to me if the women of our
country did "ot demand or want it at all. Where rights fundamentally in accord-
ance with the spirit of our institutions and with the ideals of our times are to be
granted, I would not consult those who are entitled to demand them, but would
give them without the asking, becaw ~it would be just and God wants justice to
prevail at all times and everywhere. I am not a judge, but a legislator, and it is
my frrst duty to provide for justice, not to administer it, nor wait for some one
to ask for it and some one to object to it.
It is a wurce of gratification to me that there is a group of women who, voic-
ing the aspirations of their sex, have dared to approach our Lef,islature and call
attention to a void in our statutes. This indicates to me that the consciousness
of that right h&S been born and has revealed its existence in the Filipino woman,
and mo:e than that I need not know. I do not have to count and classify the
women who think that way. When Rizal espoused the cause of the political
rights of our race, his companions were very f~w. because in the majority of his
compatriot5 that consciousness was lying dormant. But it would be a falsehood
and an error to affirm that even at that time Rizal did not voice the cause of his
entire race, and that no attention should be paid to his demands OOca.use he
and those with him were few in number. He knew that his country was op-
pressed, that he was defending a just cause, and that he was fighting for the
rights of his fellow-citizens, and he did not stop to reflect whether or not those
fellow-citizens bad the consciousness oftheir rights.
We must conclude, therefore, that the few women who now speak to us of
the rights of their sex and for suffrage, represeul all the F'ilipino women, unless
we wish to insult our women by saying that they have so tittle rommon sense as

to opiK>s~ the concession to them of rights that will broaden the scope of their
livr-S and of their activity in society. It matters but little that the desire for suf-
frage appears in its initial stage, in the vague form of an indefinite pro~ition:
the fact is, that there has been an indication of that desire, and in my judgement
the plant has germinated, and it is useless to endeavor lo smother it, as it will
grow again. The more we delay female sJffrage, the more shall we suff~r by it,
bcc.ause why should we stifle a budding plant instead of allowing it to grow and
in due season produce delicious fruit?
We need not imitate the older nations who have been so slow in recognhr.ing
women's rights. We have neither their traditions nor their prejudices and our
progress need not come by slow revolutions. We must foster all those peaceful
revolutions of ideas that will result in social justice. Just as we accept the latest
inventions in mechanics, industry, and art, such as the automobile, the dynamo,
and the aeroplane, so must we accept the latest improvements in the social and
political institutions of the most advanced countries.
Female suffrage spells justice and vindication for the modem woman and we
must adopt it forthwith, without unnecessary delay and formalities. The tiber
ty of worship which gave us religious tolerance; the popular suffrage which
strengthened our co~lective conscience; the free public school which eman-
cipated our masses from the tutelage of the cacique: in short, all the achieve-
ments of democracy of which we are so justly proud would not yet be beautiful
realities and we would not be able to enjoy their mature ft uits as we now do, if
we had been compelled to feel our way and make many tentative steps instead
of at once entering fully upon our social and political life. We have to move
quickly and anticipate the aspirations of the feaninine masses, which are as yet
vague, in order to !WlVe us the agitation which otherwise is sure to come and the
justice of which will have to be recognized.
When we are told that ow social condition is such that we are not ready for
female suffrage, and tha~ our women are not sufficiently educated to exercise
political rights, I feel like asking whether we said the same thing when we im-
ported and implanted in our country the democratic institutions that ue the
base and foundation of our present society. Our traditional education was
diametrically opposed to a popular system of government, yet we adopted that
form of government, becalbe we considered it better than the other, more suited
to ow interests and to the ideals of the century, and did not worry about whether
or not we were sufficiently educated and prepared for it.
It is more than twenty years now that the free pubUc school has opened its
doors to the women, and education hlls extended its benefits to them in the same
proportion as to the men. Many of the women ~ucated in these schools are
now wives or mothers, and yet you still ask whether the Filipina has attained to

the I"Jaturity necessary for ber investment with political rights. I am sure there
is no idea of requiring them all to be doctors or bachelors of art before we grant
them the right of suffrage.
A political education can not be acquired except by education, just as you
can not learn how to swim except by swimming. The argument that the Filipioa
is not sufficiently prepared is a justification of the attitude of a country which
never fmc.ls its colonies sufficiently prepared or educated to exercise the right
of sovereignty themselves.
The other day, when I made a flight in a seaplane for the sake of the ex-
perience, I felt - I frankly admit it - some apprehension, a certain fear of the
unknown. but after the first few moments were happily past,l felt perfectly com-
fortable and enjoyed the flight through space and the view of the magnificent
land'icape far below me. Ah, it is beautiful to cleave the air like a swallow and
to ride upon the clouds and the winds of heaven, looking down upon the cities
and human dwellings spread like a relief map upon the crystal sheet of the
waters, to trav '\ se enormous distances in a few minutes almost without notic-
ing it, and to emulate in everythi1 ~the bird and like the bird to alight sudden-
ly, without fatigue and physical hardships. When the voyage was over, I realized
that my apprehension and fear had been unfounded; that it was not more risky
to fly through space on aeroplane than to speed across country on an
automobile, and I then realized the numerous advantages to be derived from
the flying machine, that product of our time which is destined to revolulional-
ize not only warfare, but also the pursuits of peace.
The same thing occurs with all new ideas and reforms of a moral and politi-
cal order. They are adopted with the instinctive fear, the vague apprehension
inspired by the new and unknown. There is much talk of their objectional fea-
tures and dangers for the established order of things. You might think th~ fir-
mament Ylas going to crumble to pieces or the world was threatening to go out
of joint. However, after the iDnovation has been made, it is found to be quite
natural and logical, because things go on in their natural course, the heavenly
bodies continue in their orbits as before aLd the mountain peaks do not slide
down into the valleys. Cowage and hope Me born again in the human breast,
the masses get used to the new state of affairs, and soon even the m06t recal-
citrant would be furious if any one should prorosc to return to the old order of
things. This has happened in ow country before, and has always been and al-
ways will be the way in which progress is worked out.
We must make up ow minds to overcome our scruples and fears. If in dis-
CUS5ing the aeroplane, we were to speak of nothing but ofthe number of aviators
who have 1>--...en killed, we would never accept that invention. We must embark
in one in order to prov.: to outselves that our fears and apprehensions are un-

founded. Sight must not be lost of the fact that suffragism is not a new thing in
the world, that it is far from being an experiment and is already an established
fact in some countries. Exactly the same as the aeroplane: if we desire to be-
come acquainted with the advantages of that apparatus, we do not ask those
who have never traveled in it, hut those who have experimented with it, and if
we wish to know the advantages of suffragism, we must not listen to those who
oppose it as a matter of principle and theory, but must consult countries that
have made experiments with it and have already bad a chance to see its results.
We must take note of the fact that suffragism is gaining in strength every day
and is becoming a general movement in the countries where it has found acceP-
tance. Exactly like the aeroplane. Would it not be perfectly ridiculous to
declaim against the aeroplane on account of the accidents that are liable to
occur, and would we not te stupid to refuse to follow the lead of other govern-
ments who utilize its advantages for defence or aggression in war and for rapid
communication in tirr.e of peace? And is it not just as stupid r d even senseless
to oppose suffragism on speculati\'e or rather hypothetical ~ uunds, instead of
being guided by the experience of other countries in this respect and accepting
suffragism as part and parcel of our modern customs and institutions?
In conclusion, permit me to quoit a few passages on this subject from an ad-
dress which I made at an entertainment given at the Opera House in honor of
Rizal by various schools for young ladies in 1913:

According to the old idu, woman's sphere of action should not extend beyond the
home, beyo<!d her domesti<' '"llpations, and she should be nothing but the glory and
delight of her husband and her childn:n. This is not right. Like man, woman is born and
liYes in &Oo:i:!V, and she can not and ml\l5t not remain indifferent to social distress and suf-
fering. To th.in~ othewi&e would be sdfL&hness and aberration and would leave society a
prey to much sufferiq which only the blessed hand of woman can cure or relieve. Let
woman be tt:n glory and happii!CSS of the home; but do not forget that she must extend her
beneflcient action beyond the confines of the household, t!\at she must make the world out-
side the particip:lnt of the wulth of kindness end charity that bountiful Prorridence has
lavished upon her. Just as 5he sl'.ares the duties of life with man wilhin the home,10 should
she without it, in public life, wre with n1an the ruponsibility of rerredying and alleviating
public disrea and misfortune.

It inery sign ifant that benefJCCn, charity, and morality are feminine virt..es, it being
woman's mission to exercise all these virtues in society. She must take a part, end should,
in my opinion, alwlyl take the initiative, in all wort for the protection of the orphans, the
relief of distress, and the elevation of the standard of public morality. She must strive an<l
suffer, in the society in wllidt ihe is living. for all that i' feminine in life, must with a WIVC
of her hand alto:nuale \he r~erceness of the struggle for existence and must brighten the
gloomy night of h~o~man suffering with her aentle presence. Our country needs not only the
strength of her men, but the kindness and charityofherwomen; she needs not only heroes,
but a!5o heroines. And heroines exi5t and always have existed in the history or humankind;
and there ere and alwlyl have been heroine1 in our country, the special privile&e C': wtlkh,
acrordirtg to serious foreign authors, consi~ls In its women being superior to iU ll!en.

And the aitla wbo today pey homap to Rial end dedicate their 1011p end pri)'Cn to
bim will tomorrow be dtizeQCMC~ wbo 1Villnot, like unhappy Marie Cllra, be medc the vic-
tims ol sodll injultice, but1Vill help to banilll sodlllnjustice end strive for jllltkc, virtue,
ud the storY and creatneu o{ their native land.

Yes; I cherish that hope and have a faith in the liberty of woman. It is not
possa'ble to keep one-half of humanity in the upper part and the other half in the
lower part of the balance without producing disequilibriUDt; tears, and suffer-
ing. Everything tends to reach the same level in life, the same as in death, the
great leveller. Humanity bas seen a new light which will shine brightly, though
error and prejudice may endeavor to shroud it with darkness. Woe to those
who refuse to see the light! The world continues to progress and stops for no
one. He who wished to lag behind is free to do so, but he will surely deplore it
I can not prophesy what will be the outcome of the efforts which the Filipino
women are now making to obtain suffrage; but I know that these efforts must
be to them, and are to us, a source of pride and glory, because they show that
there is no part of our people which has remained indifferent to the grC8t move-
ments of the century. There are persons who scoff at them and many shrug their
shoulders; but this must not discourage our women, because neither scoffing
nor shrugging the shoulders ar~ very weighty arguments. The same persons who
now laugh at them and shrug their shoulders, probably because they do not know
that tht world and society are moving and progressing, will some day recognize
that these women were in the right, just as the men who scoffed at Rizallived
to deplore their mistake and have since made amends.
What we must do is to diffuse the light and spread the new doctrines, in order
to convince those who unwittingly refuse to see justice and truth, the only fllm
foundations of the stability and prosperity of civilized society.
Her Social, Economic,
and Political Status

Encarnacion Alzona

Industry and Labor

The interest and activity of Filipino women in business enterprises have not
diminished in the last three decades. On the contrary, the profitable American
market which has been opened to our products has enlarged many local busi-
ness concerns in which women; ,h'e invested their capital. Women have helped
greatly, in the larger production of native cloth, embroidery, and hats whic~
have become articles for export to America. In the retail trade in Manila and
provincial towns women are conspicuous as shopkeepers and small capitalists,
competing with the ubiquitous Chinese traders. The hope of placing our retail
trade successfully in the hands of Filipinos lies in our women.
Our women laborers may be divided into three groups: agricultural, factory
and domestic workers. Women have worked side by side with men on our farms
since the tirne of disro~e'"l 'ind a large number of them is still engaged in this
occupation, inasmuch as agriculture has remained to this day our major in-
dustry. In the copra industry, women help their husbands husk and open the
nuts and dry meat. These women are not paid wages independently of their

Source: Alzona, Encarnacion. 1934. 1M Filipino WomaH, 1.5651937. Manila: Bra of

Progress, pp. 127-36.
Owing to strong competition offered by the embroldcricl from Pueno Rico, Madeira, and
other foreign countries, the embroidery indUitry in the Philippines had declined markedly
in recent yurs.

husbands, but jointly they receive, according to agreement, either one-third or

one-fourth of the selling price of the copra. The wife keeps this joint earning,
giving her husband only such amounts as he needs. In the rice and sugar in-
dustries women also help in the Jess strenuous phases of the work. According
to tbe 1918 census, 730,102 women were engaged in agricultural occupations.
Factory work of women began in the last years of the Spanish era with the
establishment of cigar and cigarette factories. Since then it has lured a con-
siderable number of wornng women. In 1930, acco:-ding to a survey made by
the Bureau of Labor, there were 3,nt women in these establishments, the
largest number in any single industry. Table I lists the different factories in
Manila and nearby provinces and the number of women working in each.
For the who!e Archipelago, the census of 1918 records 696,699 as the num-
ber of women engaged in industrial pursuits. This fi~re includes women who
work at home, for the domestic system of manufacture is still prevalent in the
Philippines. Weaving, dressmaking, embroidery, hatmaking, laundry, and
sboe-and-slip~r making are largely done at home. The preservation of these
household industries is highly desirable for women. They enable housewives to
contribute to the family income without leaving their homes.
The fust important labor legislation which regulates the employment of
women and children was enacted in 1923, and known as Act No. 3071. It re-
quires employers to provide seats for their women workers and forbids their
employment in such tasks as will compel them to remain standing during the
entire working period. It also requires the employers to pro\'ide separat~
closets and lavatories for men and women and a dressing room for women only.
Women cannot be employed in mines.
A very desirable provision of this act, which has been declared unconstitu-
tional by our Supreme Court, gives a woman worker about to bome a mother
a sickness benefit equivalent to sixty days wages and compels the employer to
reinstate her after confinement. It is of interest to note that recently, in France,
an advance in social legislation was made by the passage oft he Social Insurance
Act in 1930 which has very liberal provisions for women workers who are
mothers, giving free medical assistance, cash benefits and allowances.
Regarding the employment of children, it forbids boys below the age of 14
to work in mines. Children below the age o14 cannot be employed in industrial
or commercial establishments during school days unless they know how to read
and write. The law further forbids the employment of auy person below the age

of 16 as operators of elevators, motormen, or firemen, or to clean machinery,

work underground, or do similar work; they cannot be employed in billiard
rooms, cockpits, dance-balls, stadiums, or race-courses. Night work is
prohibited for children under the age of 16. There is a woman inspector as-
signed by the Bureau of Labor for the enforcement of this law.
An important law passed by the Philippine Legislature in 1933 limits the
hours of labor in factories to eight a day. A survey conducted by the Bureau of
Labor in 1931 revealed that the period ofwutk in most factories was nine hours
per day and less than six hours on Saturdays. The longest per1:-d was found to
be ten hours and the shortest seven.
The wages of women workers vary according to the kind of work they per-
form and their skill. Some factories, like cigar, cigarette, and embroidery, pay
by the piece while others pay by the day. An inquiry into this question bas shown
that the lowest earning of a woman factory worker is P4.00 a week :'Jld the
highest is Pl6.00. Now and then women workers go on strike for better wages.
In 1927, the Philippine Legislature passed the Workmen's compensation for
both men and women workers in case of injury or disability. In addition, there
was a provision for death benefits and medical care. The act contained
safeguards to prevent unscrupulous lawyers from exploiting the claimaJlts for
compensation and entrusted the informaJlt of the law to tbt! Bureau of Labor.
The need for better sanitation in the factories was brought to public atten-
tion by the Philippine Medical Association in 1922. The Philippine Health Ser-
vice responded by including in the course of study for SaJlitary inspectors th,~
subject of industrial hygiene and organizing an office of general inspection
which is authorized to inspect factories and all industrial establishments from
time to time. The enforcement of sanitary regulations in factories bas resulted
in the improvement of the health of workers. The practice now is to require all
laborers to submit to a physical examination upon admission to a factory. The
factory employs a physician to look after the health of its workers. The large
factories have an emergency room where immediate medical attendance can be
given to its employees. The Compania General De Tabacos de Filipinas, the
largest tobacco corporation in the Philippines, capitalized by Spaniards, main-

AI par one Philippine peso is worth one-half Amerkan dollar.


tains in its cigar factory a day nursery where a physician and two nurses are in
regular attendance.
Our factory workers enjoy ample protection today. Two departments of our
govr.rnment, the Bureau of Labor and the Philippine Health Service, cooperate
to protect the workers against exploitation by factory owners and the ravage of
industrial diseases.
Filipino women laborers, like the men, join labor organizations for mutual
protection and benefit. According to the records of the Bureau of Labor, there
are 12 principal labor unions which have women members. Table II is a list of
these organizations and the number of their members, grouped according to
sex. Table Ill shows the membership by provinces of labor organizations and
mutual benefit societies in 1931.
In the strikes which have occurred in the Philippines, women workers have
taken part, showing their loyalty to the organizations and their consciousness of
the need for cooperation in labor movements.
Tmte I. FH lplno Women E~loyed In Various lncilstrlal
Establls'-*'ts Inspected by the BurelllJ of Labor, 1930

Manila No. of No. of

Establlslvnents Workers

Aerated ~ater 9 31
Bags repalrh~ 9 74
Button 2 175
Candle 1 7
Candy 12 133
Cigar &cigarette 23 3,n1
Distillery 8 35
Dressmaking &tailoring 161 438
Errbroidery 31 1,384
Glass 1 9
Hats 23 120
Heql 9 220
Ice creern 2 7
Kapok 3 14
laundry 213 192
Printing press 23 196
Refreshment parlor 51 86
Shirt 22 486
Shoes &slippers 12 430
Unbrella 4 61
Vermicelli 1 1
Others 3 152

TOTAL 623 8,431


Sugar centrals 24 151

Rat Iway 2 5
Oess I cated cocon.tt 3 444
Garflge, truck &autanobus
transportatIon 17 to
TOTAL 46 610

GRANO T(lTA.l 6IH 9,041

NOTE: Minor females no~ lnctuc:Jed.

Tlble II. Labor Ol"gM"~Izatlons, 1931

Total E~loyed ~loyed

N3111e Menbershlp Male Female Mile Female

1. Kaplsenang Panbansa
ng rrea M1ngga911we sa
lndustrlya Graplka
sa Plllplnas 1,002 500 2 500
2. Philippine National
Confeci!ratlon of
Peasants 35,000 33,000 1,000 1,500
3. Tabequeros Unidos
El Oriente 135 75 60
4. Union de Aparatlstas
y Cajlstas, Phl!lp
pine Aranatlc 24 13 11
5. Union de Ci911rllleros
La Alejandria 80 80
6. Union de. Tabequeros,
La Insular 50G 250 250
7. Union de Tabaq.Jeros,
La Yebana 7,000 3,000 1,800 1,700 500
8. Union de Despalllla
doras, La Helena 150 12 138
9. Union de Tabequeros,
La H~lena 145 95 50
10. Union ng Blgkls
manggagawa 70 60 10
11. Union de Aparatistas
y Cajlstas, La
Grandeu 35 16 17
12. Tobacco wanen Labor
Union 175 10 165
Table III. Labor Organizations and Mutual Benefit Societies
Existing in the Philippine Islands During the Fiscal
Year 1931, Showins Mf!Jri)ership by Provinces

Total Labor Organizations Mutual Benefit Societies

Provonces ship Nl.lltler Mentlership Nl.llber Melltlership

Total Male Fem~~le Total Male

AguNn 72 1 72 27 44
Manila 1,801 5 1,717 1,542 175 1 84 84
Al~ 71,845 46 60,312 56,387 3,925 54 11,535 10,489 1,044
llueva Ecfja 318 1 208 200 5 113 113
Region 4,375 15 2,587 2,587 24 1, 736 1, 719 67
ZBIIIboanga 694 2 415 415 3 27'9 273 6

Isabel R. Aleta
Teresita L SUva
Christine P. Eleazar

There are almost twice as many rural women (63.66%) than urban women
Around three-quarters of rural women regard their role in society as that of
housekeepers. They spend at least 29 days a month and at least ~ight hours a
day nn their main activity which is housekeeping. In addition, they take on the
subsistence part of farm work as unpaid family workers. They usually have no
time left for recreation nor the opportunities to interact with outside issues.
The literacy rate of rural women is 77%, as compared to 92% of urban
women. Seventy-five per cent of rural women have attended school. Tltc
majority (44%), as of 1970, are found in the elementary grades. Only 17%
however graduated from elementary school, which indicates a considerable
drop-out rate. Those with elementary schooling (61%) - either started or
completed, will probably go through their life without access to continuing
education or with very limited opportunity to practice the limited learnirg ac-
quired in school. Although counted among the literate, the extent to which they
are functional would be highly questionable.
Only 7% of rural women went to completed high school and 4% at-
tended/completed college. Higher education in the rural areas is usually not
available. It is indicated that early marriage may aloio ruin chances of going on
into higher education .

Source: Aleta, Isabel Roju;Tere5ita L Silva; and Christine f'. Eleazar, A pro!ile or filipino
women: Their status and role (Manila, Philippines: Philippine Business ror Social Pn-.grcss.

Vocational training has reached only 1.1% married rural women. The
average length of training is 9.47 months. This is in spite of the fact that voca-
tional training would seem to be the most practical option for rural women. The
nature and type of vocational training opportunities as weU as other socio-
economic reMOns may be contributing factors.
Media is another indirect, but pervasive means of educating rural women.
Comic books and radio, mainly for soap operas, are the more popular forms.
The key sources of news for the housekeepers are the barrio council members,
radio and other personal resources. Whereas urban females tend to seek out
information (as in family planning) rural women on the other hand have to be
sought. The difference may be related not only to the level of motivation but
also to the lack of free time of rural women, as previously noted.
An action research on educational prOf_;rams for women indicates the effec-
tiveness of flexible and informal means, of educating rural women, with broad
scope atd content that meet their needs and availability.
The labor force participation rate of rural women is only one-third. Among
those in the labor force, 96% of these women are employed, 4% unemployed.
The percentage of employed single females is 38%, as compared to 53% of
married women. This proportion is the opposite of the urban situation, where
more single girls are employed. It may be that rural work can be easily com-
bined with household routine. Another explanation is that the majority of rural
women, regardless of marital status, have to do farm work.
The median years of schooling of rural women in the labor force is 4.6 years,
which is lower than that of urban women (6.9 years). Rural women without
schooling have the same LFPR as the high school graduates. If their work is in
the farm, as is true for the majority of rural women, there may be no difference
in their . _ings. Besides, both may be considered as self-employed or unpaid
family workers. A college degree, on the other hand, almost always assures
employment to the rural women.
Over half of rural women are employed in the agricultural sector (54%).
Among these, 59% are farm workers in crop production. Compared with other
industry groups, with the exception of domestic services, the agricultural sector
generates the lowest income. In 1975, the average weekly cash earning of rural
females in r..griculture was only two-thirds that of the males. Since the majority
of rural females i.a the labor force arc unpaid family workers, this figure may
even be. over-estimated.

The husband is the principal source of income in 45.3% of rural households.

The wife is a contributing source of income for 43.8% of the homes. The con-
tribution of rural women to household income may be considered significant.
Annual cash income amounted to Pl,OOO in 1972; non-cash income ranged from
PSOO to P4,000.
Different studies give different conclusions regarding the wife's participa-
tion in home and work decision malting. In some cases, the husband makes the
major decisions; in other cases, the wife is often consulted regarding family and
business matters. Castillo concludes that Filipino wives are partners in decision
making with their husbands. There is a need, however, to know the content and
quality of the decisions made by the women.
Inspite of their heavy involvement in farming activities, most agricultural
programs are geared towards the men, with women relegated to home
economics programs. However, women are often responsible for vegetable and
livestock raisings; marketing of farm produce, and act as family treasurers.
Thus, training programs should be provided to develop their skills in thdr
various roles and functions.
Rural women have a high degree of participation in social activities increas-
ing participation in civic activities, and minimal participation in political affairs.
Participation of women in the nationwide cooperative development program
is minimal since they only act as substitutes in the absence of their husbands.
While agricultural programs are male-orient~, family planning activities
focus primarily on females. This works against tl:.e achievement of program ob-
jectives since planning the family size involves and should be decided by the
couple. There is scarcity of organizations directly involved in improving the con-
dition of rural women. This shows the need for national programs to be proper-
ly coordinated and filtered down to the community level where they are most
needed. Although attendance at barangay or town meetings is predominantly
women, there is still a need for the greater involvement of rural women in
decision making and leadership in barangay, social and other political activities.
Non-participation of rural women in these activities may be due to lack of time
and interest, and, perhaps, some feeling of inadequacy of being able to play an
active role.
A survey conducted among rural women in Luzon reported the foUowing
stated needs: employment, food production, capital, sanilation, road and
schoolhouse repair, family planning and nutrition.

The women perceived their problems as du~ to external c.onditions and cir-
cumstances. However, they felt that they had to versonally strive to overcome
the problems. Given the proper motivation, these women willie am bow to mo-
bilize themselves for rdorms and solutions of their problem.
The recommended solutions of the rural women to their problems and needs
emphasize the economic aspects. From these perceptions of and suggested
solutions to problems by, the rural women, it would seem that the most effec-
tive answer to their needs and problems would be to provide them with oppor-
tunities for self-sufficiency.
Problems of rural women as identified by different authors are the follow-
1. Traditional attitudes of male dominance, lack of recognition of women's
potential, and unequal opportunities for men and women;
2. Low educational background; irrelevance of curricula; attitude of parents
towards the education of girls; difficulty in combining schools, agricul
tural and household work;
3. Lack of training opportunities: modernization programs are usually
directed to men;
4. Early marriage;
5. Poor economic conditions;
6. Lack of social services; and
7. Lack of comprehensive rural planning.

A. The Rural Female Population

In view of the large rural population and the present focus on rural develop-
ment, a separate chapter that analyzes the situation of rural wor.1en is deemed
Taking both sexes, the rural population accounts for 34.2% of the total
Filipino population (Table VI-1). The proJX>rtion of rural males (51%) is slight-
ly higl1er than the females (49%). The reverse is true in the urban situation
where there are far more females (53.8%) than males (46.2%). This is due to
the "urban puU" which leads to the migration of rural women to urban areas.
Taking the females alone from both areas, there are almost twice ?.3 many
rural women (63.66%) than urban women (36.34%).
Rural women, therefore, comprise a fairly large majority. Castillo (1976)

states that the urban female especially the Metro Manila women should not be
treated as representative of the female filipino. Therefore, in assessing the role
of women, information must always be presented by a rural-urban breakdown
since a "total national picture conceals more than what it reveals." She further
states that, "it is not the inequality between males and frmales, but rather the
disparities between rural and urban and between women in Metro Manila and
the rest of the country which come out as the most significant disparities."
The validity of this statement has yet to be proven by studies. Sex differen-
ces may outweigh differences based on area of residence. Nevertheless, urball-
rural differences remain to be significant areas of investigation.
Not too many studies havr. been done on filipino rural women. The content
therefore of this chapter will be based not only on these studies but will also in-
clude general statements and opinions of social scientists, and administrators.

B. Roles of Rural Women

One-half of rural women, ten years and above, are classified as housekeepers
by type of activity, although close to thre.!- fourths (74%) regard themselves as
housekeepers. An average married rural woman undertakes her main activity
at home. She spends at least 29 days a month and at least eight hours a day on
her main activity which is housekeeping. Although the time devoted to
housekeeping is more than that of a full-time job, shr. does not get paid for this.
A flfth of the rural women state involvement in other activities aside from their
main activity. This may take the form of part-time selling, farming or other in-
come-generating activities. for the first two types of activities, she would usual-
ly be considered as an unpaid family worker.
A general description of rural women in Luzon ("Rural Women ." 1975),
however, states that they spend m~t oftheir time in the fields. Thus, the general
picture portrays rural men taking on the earning role, while the women take on
the subsistence part of farm work in addition to their homemaking respon-
sibilities. Moreover, the majority of women belong to the unpaid farm labor
In relation to the use of spare hours, it has been observed that rural women
arc generally time-conscious and there is no such thing as spare hours for them
Whereas most rural men (95%) arc im'Oivcd in political activities during

leisure hours, 95% of the women are engaged in economic or income-general

ing activities. Because of this, they hardly have any time left for recreation
(Rural Women .. 1975), nor the opportunities to interact with outside issues,
{Hollnsteiner in UNESCO Conference, 1975).

C. l!ducatlon:U Status

1. Literacy Rate

The literacy rate of rural males is 80% while that of females is TT%. Rural
women have a slightly lower literacy rate than rural men. Urban females have
a lite1acy rate of 92%, as compared to TT% for rural women (Census of the
Philippines, 1970). In this case, urban-rural differences are more significant
than the differences between the sexes in the rural areas.
School attendance of rural males is 73.2%, which is slightly lower than that
of rural females (755%) (Census of Population and Housing, 1970). This ratio
is true only for the ftrst level of education. As shown in the chapter on Educa-
tion, more women tend to drop out from elementary school so that the propor-
tion is reversed in the secondary school. The de~rease in female enrollment at
the hlgber level is perhaps due to social and economic p1 essures which are
usually greater on the females than the males of this age level.

2. Edur.atlonal Atl41nment

The educational attainment of rural women is as follows (Cited by Aldaba-

lim, 1975 from 1970 Census):

% Edl.!cotional Attainment
T1.16% No grade completed
43.93% Elementary grades
16.58% Elementary grade completed
4.9% High School
2.25% High School completed
1.3% College
2.5% College completed

Data presevtLed in the Chapeer on Education show that 64% of females aged
6 to 14 throughout the country are enrolled in school. Tbr.t only 17% of rural
women graduate from elementary school indicate the treme.nd<>Ufly large per
centage of attrition eve.n prior to their completion of the first \eve.\ of sdlooling.
This is inspite of the fact that the elementary education is free. Taken together,
the proportion of rural women without schooling (28%) or with some elemen
tary educatiou only (44%) totals n%. As may usually happen, these women
may go through their Ufe with very limited opportunity either for continuing
education or to practice the very funjted skills acquired in school. This implies
that while those with some elementary education arc counted among the
literate, the extent to which this education is functional would be highly ques-
That only 7% and 3.8% of rural women either went to or completed high
school and college, respectively, indicate that high school and especia\ly college
education, are very remote possibilities for a large majority of rural women.
Most studentswould have to go to the city or provincial capital in order to at
tend either high school or college. The factor of early marriage, in addition to
economic considerations, may also have an effect on the limited number of
school attendance in the higher levels of education.

3. Vocational Training

The vocational training of married rural women, 15 years and ove.r, is limited
to 1.1%. For the very few with vocational training, the average length of train-
ing is 9.47% months (NDS, 1973). This is inspite of the fact that a vocational
direction would seem to be the most practical option for rural women. Al
though vocational training entails less expense than college, it may neither be
that readily available to the majority of rural women. Furthermore, other
socioeconomic factors undoubtedly come into the picture.

4. Media

Media is another indirect, but pervasive, means of educating rur;u women.

A study by GonzaJes (1976) gives a description of media exposurt~ of rural
women. Only 15% read newspapers while 51% do not read \hem at .Ul. Comic
book reading is more popular as pro~n by readership le~J.s of 34% of the rural

mothers and 67% of the daughters. Rural women listen to the radio mainly for
soap operF.!S. Exposure to news on the radio is only incidental.
From 242 homemaker respondents, Agrcd ( 1965) found that barrio council
members were the key sources of news for the housekeepers. However, radio
and personal resources were also considered as credible sources of homemak-
ing ioiormation.
Jn a study to determine the most effective media for presenting bomemak
ins information. Gomes et al. ( 1971) took a sample of 34 unmarried and 26 mar
ried homemakers. More than two-thirds of the subjects had an elementary
r;ducatioo. Radio, combined with interpersonal communication. was found
more effective in disseminating homemaking information to the rural women.
These women were interested in radio programs that dealt with topics on fami-
ly planning, home management, food and nutrition, home industry, dressmak
ing, hair science, clothing, and good grooming.
Another study on the radio listening habits and attitudes of 58 rural maJe
heads and 52 rural female heads of households showed that they preferred to
listen between 7:00 to 11:00 in the morning. Presentation of information in
dramatized form was found more appealing (Tetangco, 1967).
In relation to family planning information, one inter~ing point cited by Cas
tiUo (1976) and brought out in the 1973 National Demographic Survey, is that
urban females seek out such information while rural women ba't'e to be sought.
This difference in level of motivation for information can probably be general-
ked to other subject matters. The difference may be related not only to the level
of motivation but also to the lack of free time of rural women, as previously

5. Educattonal Programs

The World Education and the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement

(PRRM) have undertaken research on innovative non formal education for
rural women (Crone, 1976). A review of educational activities for rural women
in the Philippines was conducted through personal interviews with 20 nationAl
directors of public agencies. It was found th.lllhere were few basic educatiort
al programs designed separately for rur~ women. Programs were mostly com
hined for men and women, focused on literacy, and ~tilized more traditioaaJ
teaching methods such as leccurea and drills. Barrio residents were sut--

sequently interviewed. The majority saw education as moderately important in

their lives. A much smaller number considered it very important.
Efforts to c.duc:ate rural women have mainly concentrated on such areas as
needlework and cooking, thereby stereotyping women's roles as housewives.
Furthermore, the lieayY work-load that rural women normally have, often
prevents them from attending classes in specified locations or on a rigid
schedule. The l!ltudy concluded that more flexible and informal means of
educating rural W..lmen have to be introduced. Creative planning is needed to
broaden the scope and content of such programs, to develop more effective
educational strategies., and to evaluate the effectiveness of such innovations
As a result of the study, classes were conducted by PRRM at the time and
location determined by women. At their request, this was occasionally changed
from one learning experience to the next because of chores that the women had
to do on various days. This S)'Stem contributed to an open, relaxed atmosphere,
and resulted in increased attendance and participation (Ibid.).
In another attempt to educate rural women, radio was used as the means of
instruction. From various towns in Albay, some 300 housewives have completed
the "School in the Air" nutrition course conducted by the Bureau of Agricul-
tural Extension (BAEX). Participants were mostly rural housewive.s and mem-
bers of the Rural Improvement Club.
The six-month radio course taught improved home man8gement practices
and applied nutrition. Participants were required to undertake a nutrition
project in their locaJity. These projects were supervised and evaluated by
BAEX home managen.tent technicians as a prerequisite for graduation. Cer-
tificates were then issued by BAEX. Graduates were requested to teach the
sulr,Pcts they learned to other housewives in the barrio (Tunes loumal, October
21, 1975).

J), Labor Force Pattlclpatlon

1. lAbor Force Sl411stlcs

One-third of the rural women are in the labor force (Table VI-2). This is
slightly lower than thn 34% female labor force participation rate (LFPR) in the
country. Conversely, 67% of the rural women are not in the labor force. This

is at least twice as much as that of rural males (28%).

Among those in the labor force, 98% of the rural men are employed and 2%
are unemployed: 96% of the females are employed and 4% arc unemployed.
The unemployment rate in the rural area is again twice as much for women than
men. Among rural women, the percentage of employed females who have not
married is 38.0% while that of married women is 53.%. This proportion is con-
trary to the urban situation, where 52% of females arc single while 38% are mar-
ried. According to Perez (1976), the dominant informal activities in the rural
economy characterized by less rigid working hours allow married women to take
part-time jobs or any occupation that they can combine with tbeir household
routine. Another possible explanation is that majority of rural women, regard-
less of marital status, have to work (at least seasonally) in the farm, either as
unpaid family or self-employed workers. Although it has been stated in the
Seminar/Workshop on Working Women, this condition, so far, has not been in-
vestigated in the rural areas.
The median years of schooling of rural women in the labor force is 4.6 years,
which is lower than that of urban women (6.96 years). Rural women without
schooling (51.5%) have as high an LFPR as high school gra<.&uates (51.7%). Al-
though there is no mention of the kind of work and amount of income derived
from it, presumably there would be a difference between the '!'arnings of those
without schooling and the high school graduates, favoring the latter. However,
this distinction may not be noticeable, if the work is in farming, which is true for
a majority of rural women. A college degree almost always assures employment
to a rural woman, as proven by an LFPR of 83.3% for degJee holders.

2. Types of Employment

Over half of rural women in the labor force are employed in the agricultural
sector (54.%); while 45% are in the non-agricultural sector. Of the female
agricultural labor force, abou&70% are in rice and com production. They per-
form most of the farm labor activities such as transplanting, weeding, fertiliz-
ing, harvesting, and threshing. It is for this reason that the issue of labor-
intensive technology poses a dilemma since it is mostly the rural women who
bear the physical burden which goes with this type of technology (Role of
Women in the Philippines).
The National Demographic Survey (1973) gives a more detailed breakdown

of the employment of rural women (Cited by Castillo, 1976):

59.3 Farm workers - crop production

18.44 Farmers and Farm-managers
14.64 Teachers
13.38 Sari-sari st~ owners
13.26 Maids, Jaundly women, and nursemaids
12.34 Basket weavers
11.39 Market vendors
10.23 Dressmakers
7.30 Sewers and embroiderers (not in factory)
7.11 Salesgirls in wholesale and retail store

Compared with other industry groups, with the exception of domestic ser-
vicr.;s, agriculture pays the lowest among the various industry groups. For full-
time workers, the average weekly cash earnings of females in agriculture in 1975
was P27.00 against P40.00 for males. The highest weekly average was P95.00
for government female employees. The national average for both sexes was
P49.00. Perhaps these data do not really mean much to a great majority of rural
females since the bulle of rural females in the labor force arc unpaid family
workers (70%) while 15% are self-employf"d. Only 15% are wage and salary
workers. Nationally, only 37% of females (63% of males) are wage and salary
workers; 4.3% are unpaid family workers (57% of males); and 20% are self-
employed (80% of males).


As to source of income, in rural households, the husband is the principal

source of income for 45.3% of the cases. The wife is a contributing source of
income for 43.8% of the households.
The NDS (1973) reports that 92% of rural housewives earned less tha11
Pl,<XX) as cash income in 1972. Among those who received non-cash income,
51% received less than P500 and 12.4% received an equivalent of P.SOO -
P3,999. The contribution of rural wome;n to household income may therefore

be considered significant (NOS, 1968).

E. Dedslon-Maklna Parttclpatlon at Work and Home

Chua (1975) conducted a survey oa decision making regarding the amount

of money to be spent on the farm. lnspite of the fad that almost half of the wives
contributed to the family income (NDS, 1968), the husband is still the major
decision maker in the usc of family fmances. The husband was the principal
source of decision in S.S% of the cases; the wife alone in 18% of the cases; joint
husband-wife decision was arrived at Z7% of the time.
In farm businCl.S decisions, the husband usually consulted the wife more than
half the time on the following matters: buying fertilizer, where to sell agricul-
tural products, engaging in a new enterprise, buying a carabao, buying farm tools
and equipment, buying farm chemicals, where to borrow money, adop~ing new
rice varieties, and changing rice cultivation pr11ctices (Hsueh-Yi Lu, 1968).
After analyzing existing data on f'Jiipino women, Castillo (1976) concludes
that the decision-making pattern in the Filipino household is egalitarian. The
wife participates in the management of the household and other family matters,
and these include farming and other means of livelihood. She points out,
however, the need to know the content and quality of the decisions made by
The above results appear to be very optimistic. However, the general pic-
ture still portrays the wives working very hard in the farms with very little say in
work matters and with hardly any training on farming.

F. Involvement ln Training Programs

"The Role of Women in the Philippines" notes that mos& agricv.Jtural

programs are geared towards men, with women relegated to bome economics
programs. In agricultural extension programs, the agriculturist works with the
male farmer, and the home management technician works with his wife mainly
ou domestic type of activities. It is relatively rare for females to be included in
rice and com production training programs despite the fact that much of the
labor input in production is contributed by females. Women are often respon-
sible for vegetable raising and the care of pigs and chickens, but they are not
recognized as producer or livestock raisers. It is well-known that Filipino

women participate actively in decisions affecting the farm (Hsueh Yi Lu, 1968),
and they are almost always in charge of marketing farm produce. However, they
have ne~r been a specific target clientele for agricultural development
programs, nor in savio.p and investment programs. where they should be in-
cluded since the wife is the acknowledged family treasurer.

G. Sodal and PoUtlcal Participation

In term!l of participation in community activities, the average rural women,

considering all aspects of community life, projects a high degree of participa
tion in socilll activities, such as fiestas, weddings, funerals, baptisms, etc. (Role
of Women in the Philippines).
Rural Wlmen also show increasing participation in civic activitie$, such as
the "Green Revolution," nutrition programs, community beautification, clean
liness drives, puericulture center programs, and dub membership (Ibid.}
However, there were no data presented on the extent and quality of participa
tion of women in these projects. Membership in tbe Kapisanan ng Kababaihang
Pilipinas (KBP), for example, is mainly composed of rural women (Reyes, 1976).
In the recently launched nationwide cooperative development program at
the village level, which includes a compulsory savings program for capital for
mat ion, participation by women was onl~ incidental They were involved only
in the absence oftheir husbands (Role of Women in the Philippiner),
Another point to consider is that while agricultural progralllf are male-
oriented, family plan., ins activities focus primarily on females. Such a segrega-
tion in program targets immediately puts a constraint on the achievement of
program objective and may work against total development efforts (lbid). After
aU. planning the number of offsprings involves, and should therefore be decided
upon by the couple.
Another survey (Rural women ... 1975) revealed a scarcity of organizations
that are directly inv<'lved with improving the conditions of rural women. The
rural women interviewed ct\uld barely name any civic or government agency
that they felt had helped them directly. There may be enough existing nation
al organizational programs, but there is a need for these programs to be proper
ly disseminated, coordinated, funded, and filtered down to the community level.
Some t.ources note that rural women have a minimal participation in politi-
cal activities, as manifested by the proportion of those who vote in elections

(Role of Women, 1976). Reyes (1976) states that most rural women are not
even aware of the various programs of the government. On the contrary,
NCRW reports that attendance in barangays or town meetings is predominant-
ly by women (Peria, 1976). However, there is still a need for the greater invol-
vement of rural women in decision making and leadership in the barangays, as
weU as in other social and political activities. According to Gonzales (1976),
possible reasons for the non-participation of rural women in social and politi-
cal activities are lack of time and interest.

H. Problems and Needs as Perceived by RW'al Women

A survey conducted by Leticia Paler among rural women in Luzon (Rural

women ... 1975), reports the following needs as stated by the subjects: employ-
ment, food production, capital, sanitation (speficifically construction and use
of toilets); road and school house repair; family planning control and nutrition.
Gonzales' study (1976) investigated the women's perception of the causes of
their problems and their suggestions: The majority, 85% of the mothers and
69% of the daughters, felt that the problems were due to external conditions
and circumstances over which they had no control. Very few considered the
problems as being due to their own personal inadequacy or the inadequancy of
others. Sixty six per cent of the mothers and 76% of the daughters felt that
poverty prevented social mobility, but that this could be alleviated by education.
The majority, 63% of the mothers and 78% of the daughters, felt that they have
to personally strive to overcome the problems. Few of the women (5.8% of the
mothers and 2.8% ofthe daughters) felt completely helpless or gave in to fatalis
tic solutions. It is interesting to note that hardly anyone suggested enlisting the
aid of the government or some external agency in >rder to solve their problems.
This was mentioned by only 2.9% of the mothers and 2.8% of the daughters.
These findings are encouraging inspite of the fact that problems themselves
were attributed by respondents to external conditions. This will mean that given
lhe proper motivation these women will learn how to mobilize themselves for
reforms and there is a need for external structuring to help rural women solve
their own problems.

1. Aaplntlou

Gon:zale&' study (l976) also investigated the aspiratioos of rural women.

These goals mainly reflect their basic economic needs. The women enumerated
the following aspirations: decent and improved standards of living; income-
generating activities and education.
The subjects' attitudes regarding the viability of their aspirations were also
investigated. Twenty percent of the mothers and 32% of the daughters felt that
their aspirations will be fulfilled because they will personally strive to achieve
them, A slightly greater number, 37% ofthe mothers and 21% oftbe daughters
felt that their aspirations will not be fulfilled.
These fmdings seem to indicate that women are generally resigned to their
present roles. Therefore, they need assistance in clarifying their own percep-
tions of their statuses, roles and aspirations, before engaging in developmental

J. Opportunities for Self-sufficiency

It seems that the most effective solution to rural women's needs and problems
would be to provide them with opportunities for self-sufficiency.
Preliminary surveys conducted by Crone (1976) in rural areas noted that
programs that were oriented towards women with low educational levels tended
to fall into two categories:
1) Free programs offered at family planning facilities which focused on
providing information on health practices and family planning techniques, and
2} extension courses in sewing and homemaking ski Us offered at schools and
technical colleges, usually for a small fee.
Tlble Vl1 Houaehold Population 10 Yeera Old end Mr
by Sex, urt:.n and lh.ral, Auguat 1975

Male F-\e 80th Sexes

Rteldence (II) X (II) X (II) X

Urban (4,696) 31.97 (5,473) 36.34 (10, 168) 34.18

Rural (9,994) 68.03 (9,589) 63.66 (19,S83> 65.82
Total (14,690) 100.00 (15,062) 100.00 (29,751) 100.00

N In thouunds
Source: National S~~~~ple sYrvey of Houaeholda BUlletin, Series No. 46,
labor force, Au;. 1975.

Tlble Vl-2 Rural Household Population 10 Years Old erd Over,

by E~loyment Status n:1 Sex, August 191'5

Hale Fe~~~~le
Rural Population II
" "
Total popu\at I on 9,994 100.00 9,589 100.0
In labor fo~e 7,211 72.2 3,128 32.6
Ellf)lO)'ed 7,066 98.0 3,007 96.13
Total une~ployed 146 2.0 120 3.63
M<~t{n the labor
force 2,783 27.8 6,461 67.4

N In th<luaan::la
Sou~e: llatlon.l s.ple Survey of Kouset\olda Bulletin, Serle No, 46,
Aug. '975.

Ellzabetb U. Eviota

fhere is no denying the social visibility of some Filipino women. But to infer
that this visibility is an indicator of high statm: is incorrect. Many point out that,
relative to women in other countries, Filipino women have high status.
However, if status is defined as a society's evaluation of a person's place in the
social structure - including power, prestige, and esteem accorded that place
- the comp~rison with other countries is not relevant. 1{ Filipino women's
status is to be assessed in a meaningful way it should be assessed within the
society relative to the status of Filipino men.
In this paper, l positthat the status of Filipino women depends upon the roles
they play, which are limited by societal values and norms. I argue that there is
male bias in sex-role allocation in the Philippines b:ause of traditional at-
titudes and structures rather than because of other factors like religious
precepts. I discuss sexual inequality in work relations and in power relations
and suggest some approaches toward changing sex-role allocation. In illustrat-
ing gender bias I draw from the insights of social scientists in the West and here
in Asia.

A Perspective on Sex Roles

Sex roles, like social roles, generally h~ve three aspects: tbey are positions

Source: women: Old roles and new rulities, PbUippl,.. Sociologkal R.c~.
26(JI..0Ct'78}: lS l..S

within the social structure, indicating where women aud men belong or are ex-
pected to belong in the social hierarchy; they invol\'C behaviors presaibed for
women ant' -,en; and they defme proper relationships between role takes (Up-
man-Biumen and Tickamyer, 1975).
A majority of behavioral scientists agree that sex roles are not inborn; they
are learned. According to Holter (1970:193) "sex-role nonns and sex-typed be
havior are acquired by contact with sociocultural agents ... and not primarily
influenced by biological factors." Learning begins in the very early stages of
childhood. Continuous exposure and reinforcement of gender differentiation
leads to sex roles "highly resistant to change" (Hotter, 1970:194). As an out-
come of sex-role learning, "mate selt-rotes" and "female sex roles del'elop. In
most societies, the male ~x roles ate associated with concepts o{ masculinity
and traits such as dominance, assertiveness, and instrumentality; female sex
roles with appropriate concepts of femininity and traits such as submissiveness,
modesty, and nurturance. Once internali:wd, sex roles are further reinforced,
maintained, and sanctioned by "pervasive mechanisms of social control" (Scan-
zoni, 1975:24).
The process of sex-role learning is at the root of most behavioral and at
titudinal differences between the sexes and the mechanisms which reinforce
gender differentiation are pervasive and long-term. Sex roles may not be un
changing but when they ~hange they do so very slowly.
The broad process of modernization and conscious attempts to promote
modernity may lead to the gradual breakdown of traditional sex roles but this
is not inevitable. One specific illustration of this is a program to lower the fer
ti1ity of rural women. Women are encouraged to work outside lhe home and
provide support in fmding work and keeping their jobs as a means to limiting
childbearing. Apart from lowering their fertility, such a program would provide
!hem with independent income and presumably greater economic freedom.
There may be an improvement in their status but only if they can overcome
learned expectations and see themsehes and their relationships with their hus
bands in a new light. The ratioualization of institutional policies that accom-
panies modernization may also have a directly adverse effect. For instance, a
medical school may decide to limit the number of female students because in
vestment in men seems to give better returns. An assumption in such a policy
il;, that the. market is bi~d in fa\lor of ma\e doctors. U this were not the case,
such a policy would not be rational. Here, however, expectations about sex roles

become reinforced by socially ratiollal policies.

With this perspective on the implications of sex-role socialization, I will ex-
amine sex-role bias in regard to work and power relations. I will discuss how
traditional sex-rok: attitudes and structures limit women's options at work in
the home and outside of the home and in obtaining and exercising sociaJ power.

Sex Roles and Work

Although the role of childbearing will always fall on the female, the activitks
generaUy associated with it, such as housekeeping and child rearing, need not.
Childbearing can be viewed as a constraint on the proportion of total female
energy available for other activities (Sunday, 1975). The associated activities of
housekeeping and child rearing are a further imposition on female energy.
The female monopoly of the housekeeping role cannot be emphasized
enough in view of the 70 percent married Filipino women who regard
housekeeping as their ~nain activity (UPPI:1973). Housekeepers represent the
largest single. category of wom~n in Philippine labor statistics (Castillo, 1976).
Even unmarried Filipino women while living with their parents are often ex-
pected to be "mothe.r's helpers." Studies consistently show the importance of
the housekeeping role:

The 'WQman ... keeper of the howe, and as 1uch her major concerns are keeping the
honse in order, attending to the needs of the family and taking care of other domestic: ac-
tivities ... (Further) Men do not feel that they~ a home-management role (Mendez
and Joc:ano, 1974).

Given various ramiliar acti.\oitiC$, urban WQJ'king.cla~o~ husband~ participate moil exten-
sively in tho&e traditionally male-oriented IK'Iivities (here the author 1i.sts these actMtles
5\ICh u providina ecoROOlie 'upport, joinin.& voluntary usociltioni,IOikitina cash, attend-
ing ptherinp) ... While, on the other hand, their wives penonn mo&t exten5ively tlte
female..Qriented activities (suc:h 11 wa&bin& and ironing, bathina chiklren, cooking.
housedeaninJ) and least uteRi~ly the lll.lle.oriented one. (Martinez-&quillo, 1976}.

Child rearinJand hwsekeepinJ tasks are perceived bybolh unmarried female and male
colle~ students as the wife's domtin (De Jesus, 1976).

The reason put fc.rward to explain this phenomenon (two-third& of females 10 >"' o\4
and OYI:r are 0\1\aide of the labor Coree) is the traditional role the woman takes as the
lwrnemaker in the family. Ia allocatin& its total time IUO\Irces between home all<l mart.et
produc:tion, the family 111lps the responst"bility of home prod \let ion to the wife (Manphu
and Jll)'flleHo, 1976).

The basic tensions between traditional and modern conceptions of

housekeeping must be considered here. The tension arises from the pcrcep
tions of the meaningfulness and the difficulty of housekeeping. Traditionalists
regard lbe.c,e functions and responsibilities as creative and rewarding. Moder
nists argue, 1fhousekeeping and child rearing were inherently valuable and sa tis
fying, then they should be shared by males. Modernists see the monopoly of
housework by women as embedded in learned norms, values, and past experien-
ces. Men as well as women must be made more conscious of options and alter,
natives, particularly the possibility of role sharing in domestic activities.
According to Karl Marx (as interpreted by Burns, 1966), equality between
the sexes is not possible while women remain tied to private domestic work.
Marx saw the emancipation o( woman as possible on\y when she is able to par
ticipate extensively in the produclive work of society and when household work
claims an insignificant portion of her time and energy. Simone de Beauvoir
(1968:121) likewise advocated women's "sharing in productive labor and being
freed from the slavery to reproduction." However, as the experience of in
dustrializcd countries have shown, the mechanization of housework and the use
of labor-saving devices are not the answers. Despite widespread use of such
devices, these countries show only slight improvements in women's status.
More basic changes appear necessary.
As it i~, development may increase the physical strain on women, as more of
them engage in gainful work outside the home without giving up their household
responsibilities. The burden bas been characterized as the "double dose" of
market employment and home production, or as the idea that working women
regularly put in "double shifts," on the job and at home. Working wives are
caught between expectations of improving their lot through employment and
the reality of housework being piled on top of outside work. This conflict is per-
haps most acute among the urban poor, where alternate arrangements for han-
dling housework and child care are n<>t readily available.
On the job, working women face several obstacles. Sex differentiation keeps
women in occupations deemed culturally approp!iate. Nursing, primary school
education, and nutrition, for instance, are appropriate occupations because
they continue the household, socialization, and ourturance tasks allocated to
women. Similarly among medical specialties, pediatrics, obstetrics, and
gynecology are areas more open to women.1 Large clusters of women m par
ticular jobs have led to their labelling as the "occupational ghettoes" of the semi

professions (Etzioni, 1969). As a consequence, these jobs receive less recogni-

tion, are assigned lower value, and command lower wages.2
We have spoken so far of Filipino women's experienr.e in the professions.
Discrimination, however, runs across the whole range of occupations. Castillo
(1976:175) points out that, "besides being more underemployed and more un-
employed than men, women aL , lend to earn less than men" in almost every
major occupation or industry. At the lower levds, women who work not from
choice but from necessity are often found in households not their own, and as
Castillo (1976) also points out, the lowest cash earnings for females were
received by domestic service workers.

Sex Roles and Power

A second dimension in which women's options are limited is exercising SO

cial power. Power results from political communication patterns which give rise
to networks of alliances. Not only are these networks typically male-dominated,
but the structure often impairs female solidarity.
Because of the strong belief that woman's place is the home, women have
become household-centered to the extent that the material and psychological
needs of the husband and the family take precedence over their own personal
needs. Household needs in, fact, become defined as the wife's personal needs.
Instead of identifying with other women, the housewife identifies with her bus-
band and family. This household orientation works as a barrier to the forma-
tion of networks of female solidarity.
Female solidarity is a necessary, though not sufficient, element in mobilizing
women as a pressure group. Certainly there are women's groups and organiza-
tions in the Pbili~pines, but these groups do not recognize that their problem is
to achieve independent status from men. This lack of awareness of their real
position is, in Karl Marx's term, a form of "false consciousness." Some women
do identify with other women of the same social class. In latin America. Buvinic
(1976:14) states, "elite women who bold professional-level positions tend to
share class rather than sex perspectives as evidenced by the use they make of
lower-class women servants to help minim\ze the conflicts that they face in their
professional and family role enactments." This type of consciousness also falls
short of true group consciousness l:ased on female solidarity.

Identification with one's own sex and alliances based on shared interests,
similar personal needs, and the same grievances against men are often perceived
by women as outside the framework of household responsibilities and as con-
flicting with the traditional female role. Women's non-receptive frame of mind
is aggravated by the belief that Providence ordains that their place is beside
their husbands. Thus, women have an apparent moral justification for unwill-
ingness or refusal to acknowledge female solidarity. FClr these women, on the
other hand, engaging in worlc, because it is for the sake of the family, is not an
affront to tradition.
As housekeepers, women are relatively isolated. Their conceptions of them-
selves are created partly through the same media, which purvey stereotyped,
traditional images. The media cannot substitute for direct contact and coopera-
tion among women; they cannot generate feelings of solidarity. The media
hardly provide women with any real understanding of their needs, nor with solu-
tions for accommodating these needs within the social system.
The power structure is not attentive to women's needs because it is male-
dominated. One study of influentials showed that, of 170 national influentials,
only? were women; of272local influentials, only30were women {Makil,1970).
Of the handful of women who have entered politics, many have owed their posi-
tions to family background or to high social status {Green, 1970). Others have
been restricted to espousing private issues, such as social welfare, that are seen
as logical extensions of women's nurturance traits (Buvinic, 1976). It does not
detract from the merits ofthis handful of women to remember that they are the
"exceptions which prove the rule" (Sullerot, 1970).
It is said that Filipino women have power behind the scenes {Raksasataya,
1968). Even if this were true, indirect influence does not compare with and
cannot substitute for direct participation. The role of lobbyist is not equivalent
to that of legislator. It is one thing to be a cabinet member's wife and quite
another to be a cabinet member.
Why do women not work themselves up to such positions? There are many
reasons. Consider, for instance, why women do not participate in labor unions,
much less attain leadership roles. The Department of Labor {1974) suggests:

Womc:n'sdul roles ofworkc:nnd homc:makc:roftc:n keep them from c:npgins in union

activities. The: phyiical talks of homemaking con5umc: Jn05t of their time: outside the: work

Other reasons are the intermittent nature of women's employment, the ir-
relevance of unionism to such work areas as agriculture, self-employment, and
unpaid family labor, and general indifference among women workers toward
primarily male union activities. Similar factors may account for underrepresen-
tation of women in other power positions.

Approa.~bes to Changing Sex Roles

The interdependence of the factors that support sexual inequality has been
shown. Changing sex roles, therefore, will not be easy. Some approaches to
change - not a comprehensive list - will now be discussed. Basically, the
socialization process - the process by which sex roles are learned - should
be changed, and institutions should be developed to support women's new roles.

Changes in Soctallzatton

The education men and women receive reflects sex-role bias. There is no
female parity in higher education despite the iarge proportion of female stu-
dents because females are concentrated in particul~:~.r disciplines.
This reflects the situation in the primary grades where girls are still chan-
neled to domestic sciences and boys to industrial arts, despite some attempts to
remedy the situation. Similarly, in educational extension programs, men are
taught agricultural technology in order to increase farm productivity, whereas
women are taught home economics and domestic science or home production
technology. Educational programs are influenced by the belief in women's dual
roles as wife and mother and as worker. No one assumes, on the other hand,
that men should learn to do household tasks.
Reorienting male and female education involves more than changing the
courses prescribed for each sex. It also involves eliminating sex stereotypes in
textbooks, which requires a cooperative effort between the Ministry of Educa-
tion and Culture and private academic institutions. It involves increasing the
role of men as teachers in early socialization, which is a female-dominated
process. Moreover, present teachers must be made aware of their biases, so
that these will not be imparted to students. Another agency of socialization is
the mass media. The media play an important part in changing attitudes and
raising co"lSCiousness. It is recommended that a public agency be established

to monitor, review, and analyze the content of the media to determine prejLidi-
cial and discriminatory attitudes.

Supportive Institutions

Various supportive services and institutions will enable women to fill alter-
native roles, once these have been learned. The government, as well as the
private sector, should provide for the establishm(nt of child care center!!. Of-
fered this support, more women may choose to enter the labor force. Child care
may be provided in the community through maternal and child health agt!ncies
or through publk schools. The private sector may assist through payinJj some
salaries or providing volunteers.
As a means of improving working conditions, working women should be en-
couraged to organize into work groups or to take: the further step of unionizing.
The many low-income urban women who are domestics should not be ignored.
Domestic service is likely to persist as a primary occupation especially for
migrant women because of the lack of other jobs. Formalizing their work ar-
rangements may be a first step toward organizing. Self-employed women also
require assistance in forming work groups or cooperatives to enable them to
draw on outside resources and expertise.
Unemployed women should be taught entrepreneurial and management
skills. Since business organizations favor men, women's capacity for self-
employment should be enhanced. It is not rare to find women in self-employ-
ment because they Clio integrate child care into their schedules. For the many
women who are small traders or shopkeepers, training in management and
marketing would also be useful. Supportive services could also be provided in
the form of loans and credits, access to government and private agencies, and
information on product or skills marketability.

Summary and Implications

Jn this brief paper, I have argued that the social visibility of the Filipina does
not indicate equality. Women have low statu.ses and limited access to social op-
tions because of traditional sex roles and structures. In discussing sex-role bias
in work and power relations, I have pointed out how sex-role socialization has
inhibited women. A better role bargain for women requires changing sex roles.

Thesc.l changes are a societal problem requiring societal solutions; individual

solutions are insufficient.
Women wiU make advances toward equality as they become aware of social
responbilities in a wider world. Women's monopoly of the housekeeper role
should be broken. They must become aware of life outside the household and
neighborhood and~- exposed to the industrial and technological influences in
modern life. Women will demand their rights and seek new life styles only when
faced with contradictions and crises.
Women need encouragement to work outside the home. I her husband can-
not provide for the family, a woman is usually willing to work to improve their
lot. I she were educated, she might seek career opportunities. But barriers
must not be put in her path; social institutions must be receptive to women and
fair towards them. The educational system and labor markets should avoid
separate female and male preserves. How assertive, nurturant, instrumental or
passive one is depends not only on the individual but also on the situation. If
the situation were properly structured and provided sufficient encouragement,
women would display all the traits needed for edu,:ational and employment suc-
cess. I am not suggesting that women be guarante1!d an equal share of each job
category. Career options should be open to aU based on talent, motivation and
aspiration. Inevitably some occupations will have more men and others more
women. However, opportunities and rewards in different occupations should
not depend on whether they are male-dominated or female-dominated.
Various training programs may assist working women. Vocational training
may help the unskilled, management training may benefit the sel' employed.
Such supportive services should be made available to women and women should
be made aware of them. Hindrances to the access to and use of these services
must be avoided.
Related to the issue of encouraging women to work is the allocation of
household tasks. I assume that Filipino men are generally not wiJling to take on
these tasks, which put women at il disad.,.antage. In other 50Peties, flexible work
hours and new child care arrangements are being explored to minimize the rigid
allocation of household tasks by SI~X. Similar solutions must be explored here.
In households where both husbant\ and wife work, the question should nJt be
whether the husband will do some l'ousework but how household tasb will be
allocated between husband and wife.
SEX AS A DIPPERIWI'IA'r~N:=G...:~..:..:ARIAB==LE=--------- ------=-=13~S

Among theS~e tasks, child care is a particular problem. The care of one or
two children may not involve as much time as the care of five or six, which may
take up so much of a woman's productive life that it precludes other life options.
The paternal role in child care must be expanded and institutional support also
provided. Institutional child care must be subsidized so that it does not bemme
restricted to the professional working women who can afford it. Where institu-
tional arrangements may not be culturally acceptable, other arrangements must
be developed. For employed women, flexible work hours may minimize the
need for institutional child care.
Releasing women from full responsibility for child care should also en-
courage their participation in public affairs. Some argue that women already
participate behind the scenes but I have argued that this is insufficient. Women
may not fit the stereotyped image of politicians. However, it makes more sense
to change these stereotypes than to keep women out of politics. Women may,
in fact, make politics into a more humanizing and creative endeavor.
In this paper I have not discussed other inequalities in the male-female
relationship, particularly regarding sexual attitudes and behavior. Some may
believe that the social visibility of Filipino women also mean sexual emancipa-
tion. But the evidence of a querida system and a double standard of sexual
morality points to further inequality. Changes in the female-male &vision of
labor may lead to changes in sexual norms and behavior. The nature and timing
of this process, however, is beyond the ,;cope of this paper.
Changing sex roles is a slow, difticult, and painful process. Both women and
men will go through considerable ambivalence about their roles before new sex-
role attitudes become institutionalized. No society is totally lacking in sex-role
stereotypes. Breaking down as many stereotypes as possible, however, is essen-
tial for greater social flexibility, equality of opportunit:,, and distributive justice.
For women, new sex-roles are essential to guarantee their own self-determina-


1. A study or occupational choices open to college bound female and male

Filipino students showed strong evidence of sex typing. Some priority male
choices were engineer, military, technician/mechanic, and doctor/physician; for
females, priority chok-es were nurse/tnidwifellaboratory technician, educator,
cashier, accounting derk, and nutritionist/ dietitian (de Vera 1975, see also
NCSO 1974).

2. Castillo (1976:156) states that the "proportion of females in each major

occupational or major industry group is one indicator of the sex-linked charac
ter of employment in these occupations." She gives tbe following statistics: "the
most female industry groups and occupations are domestic service, 86.0 per-
cent; professional and technical, 59.4 perunt; and sales work, 51.9 percent
(See also Labor force Surveys on detailed D.;(;Upations (NCSO, 1974) and
Department of Labor, 1974). In a study of women and WOTk, Layo {1918:3 25)
finds that for the feminized occupations (sales, upper professional and !ower
service) the males have higher income than females. Further, it also !!ppears
tnat tb.e b.isfier the prestige of the occupational class, the greater is the income
differential between thern. Similarly we find that for the so-called masculine
occupational classes (administrative, farm tenant and farm labor) the propor-
tion of males with high income is higher than that of females. The prestige-in-
come differential relationship also holds. There appears to be no instanre
where females have an income advantage over the males."


Beauvoir, Simone de. 1968. The second sex. New York: Bantam Books.

Bernard, Jessie. 1976. Change and stability in sex-role norms and behavior.
Journal of Social Issues 32(3): 207-223.
Burns, Emile (ed.) 1936.A Handbook of Mamsm. London: Victor GoUanez.
Buvinic, Mayra. 1976. Women and world developmetll: An annotated bibliog-
raphy. American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Washington, D.C.: Overseas Development Council.

Castillo, Gelia T. 1976. "The Filipino woman as manpower: The image and the
empirical reality." Los Banos, Laguna, University of the Philippines at Los
Banos Colfegt.\ Mimeograph.

De Jesus, Lilybetb.l976. "Role expectation of senior college students concern-

ing extent of shnring homemaking responsibilities between husband and
wife." Paper pres.ented at the National Convention of the Psychological As-
sociation of the Philippines, National Science Development Board. ManUa.
Epstein, Cynthia Fuchs. 1971. Encountering the male establishment: Sex status
limits on women's rareers in the profession. The Professional woman.
Athena Theodore, ed. Cambridge: Schenkman Publishing Co.

Etzioni, Amitai (ed.) 1969. The semi-professions and their organization. New
York: Free Press.

Green, Justin J. 1970. The FiJipina elite: Her social backgrounds and their
relationships to development. Philippine Educational Forum 19(3):5-40.

- - - - - - 1973. Philippine women: Towards a social structural theory

of female status. Paper presented at the Southeast Conference of the As
sodation for Asian Studies. Cited in Mayra Buvinic. Women and world
development: An annotated bibliography. Wa'ihington, D.C.: Overseas
Development Council.

Guerrero, Sylvia H. 1965. An analysis of husband-wife roles among Filipino

professionals at U.P. Los Baiios campus. Philippine Sociological Review


Holter, Harriet. 1970. Sex roles and social structure. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.

_ _ _ _ _ _ . 1972. Sex roles and social change. Family, mamage, and

the struggle of the sexes. Hans Peter Dreitzel, ed. New York: Macrnillan

Layo, Leda. 1978. Women and work. Stereotype, status and satisfactions: T11e
Filipino among Filipinos. Social Research Laboratory, University of the
Philippines System.

Lipman-Biumen, Jean, and Ann R. Tickamyer. 1975. Sex roles in transition: A

ten year perspective. In Annual Review of Sociology, Vol.. I, Edited by Alex
Inkeles. California Annual Reviews, Inc.

Makil, Perl? Q. 1970. "PAASCU!IPC study of schools and inOuentials 1969-

70. Part One. Summary of fmdings and conclusions." Quezon City, In
stitute of Philippine Culture, Ateneo de Manila University.

Mangahas, Mahar, and Teresa Jayme-Ho. 1976. "Income and labor force par-
ticipation rates of women in the Philippines." Quezon City, School of
Economics, University of the Philippines.

Martinez-Esquillo, Natividad. 1976. "Conjugal interaction and fertility be

havior among the Filipi_no urban working class." Quezon City, Institute of
Philippine Culture, Ateneo de Manila University. Mimeographed.

Mendez, Paz Policarpio, and F. Landa Jocano. 1974. The Filipino family in its
rural and urban orientation: Two case studies. Manila Centro Escolar
University Research and Development Center.

Philippine Bureau of Census and Statistics (now National Census and Statistics
Office).1974. Survey of Households (BCSSH) 1957-1974.

Philippine Department of Labor. 1974. Status of working women in the Philip-

pines. Manila, Bureau of Women and Minors.
Rn~ sasataya, Amara. 1968. The political role of Southeast Asian women. Jour-
nal of the American Academy of .Political and Soc1al Science 375:86-91.

Sanday, Peggy R. 1973. Toward a theory of the status of women. American

Anlhropologist 75:1682-1700.
Scanzoni, John H. 1975. Sex roles, life styles, and childbearing: Changing pattems
in matriage and family. New York: Free Press.
Sullerot, Evelyn. 197L Woman, society and change. New York: McGraw Hill.
Translated from the French by Margaret S. Archer.
Universityoftbe Philippines Population Institute. 1973. National Demographic
Survey, University of the Philippines Population Institute.

Vlrglnla A . Mlralao

The foregoing analysis on the sexes' use of time reveals patterns that are
generally in keeping with earlier findings regarding sex-role allocations. Time-
use data appear to indicate effectively the sex-typing in domestic and economic
activities, the sexual division of labor in traditional household arrangements,
and the doub!e-bur<.len of work imposed on women once they actively engage
in market work.
In addition, time-use data also provide a system for monitoring the possible
impact of development on men's and women's roles. F'mdings worth mention-
ing in this regard include the tenJency for modernization to elaborate on
"female" household activities and to reduce the necessity ohhe typkally "male"
tasks in the household; and the tendency for the change process ~o increase dis-
proportionately the single working women's time in the market compared to
their single male counterparts.
More importantly, time-use data provide a system for monitoring the work
shares and the participation of men and women in various fields of activities.
Measured in terms of effort or time-inputs, the fmdings indicate men and
wome~< to e:tpend the same time for the needs of the household (though in dif-
ferent domains) only in traditional arrangements, where men's market time
equals women's house-work time. In all other conditions, women's total
production time tend to be higher than men's. Among non-working single

Source: MirU.o, Vifiinia A. WomM MUI- I" ~: FitUiiHgs .from a piJol

11Mdy (Quezoa City, Ateneo de Manila Uniwl'lity: lllltitutc of Philippine Culture), 1980.

respondents, women contribute more to household activities than men. Among

employed single respondents, women devote more time to either housework or
market work than men; and among nouseholds where both men and women
engage in market work, women spend more time at housework than men, and
devote an equal time to market activity as 1raen. The findings indicate the dis-
proportional work shares of the sexes to stem largely from the unequal shares
of men and women of housework. The findings also suggest that identifying
work shares requires both a comparable measure of participation as time-use,
and an analysis of time-use patterns among comparable male and female sub-
There still remains several conceptual and methodological issues surround
ings the translation of time-use data as measures of women's and men's con-
tributions to the household. For reasons mentioned in the first chapter, the
study limits itself to a comparison of the time or effort men a.1d women exert in
activities, leaving aside questions surrounding the productivity of time spent in
house, market, or other work. On the assumption that time-allocation data
provide useful information on an aspect or a dimension of the sexes' contribu-
tions to the household, a review of some of the methodological issues in time-
allocation studies may be appropriate here.
Noted first, are difficulties in assessing the accuracy of the amounts of time
women and men devote to various work, owing to different time frames and
methods of data collec-..tion employed in various studies. More typically, time-
allocation data are gathered through daily record keeping among a limited num-
ber of households rather than thruugh interviews in larger-scale surveys. Such
differences in data collection affect the absolute amounts of time women and
men devote to activities, and, more critically, the estimations of the sexes'
proportional shares of house and market work. The su;.,ey finding that men
devote less time to the activity requirements of the household finds support in
a number of other studies (lllo, 1m, and KingQuiron, 1976). But a verifica-
tion of the study fmdings on the magnitudes of differences in male and female
work shares, and of the directions of changes in men's and women's use of time
(i.e., along rural-urban gradients) would require additional studies using com-
parable methodologies.
A review of the checklist or activities employed in other household-alloca-
tion studies also indicate sex biases in checklists to affect estimations of women's
and men's use ortime. Guino's (1980) analysis oftime-allocation dar. a in Central

Luzon households, for instance, shows men to contribute more to household

maintenance than women, perhaps because mainte~ activities in his study
included (in addition to gathering f~tewc:xl) the provi&ion for work anim.Jh, and
house and equipment repairs that arc typically undertaken by males. In con
trast, no similar category of housework was included in the current study; nor
was a category for "flShing/catcbing animals" - a category also included in
Guino'~ "provision" 9.ctivities. It appears that GuiDo's study, wruch found
women overall to contribute 40 percent to the activities of the household and
men 60 percent, may have employed a checklist biased towatd male activity,
while the pre~nt study may have emp\oyed one biased toward women's work.
Finally, other analyses, including Guino's and those that bave been on tbe
Agro-Economic Survey of Indonesia (Wigna. Suryanata, and White, 1980;
White, and Hastut~ 1980), suggest the ~ibility of employing time-allocation
data to get at women's and men's participation in the wider community. Ba~d
on the assumption that households require not only the oonduct of domestic
and economic activities but also the maintenance of other interhousehold and
community relations, checklists may well be expanded to cover items of this
kind. Guino's time-use checklist, for example, contains a category for "com
munity and social tasks for the benefit of the sitio, barrio or poblacion," and
another, for exchange labor. ibe cbeddht o{ the lndon~ian survey is even
more detailed on the Olatter, including categories for collllllunal labor, mutual
aid, and attendance to public works, school and religious programs, and ac;
tivities. Time-allocation data, then, may provide information that can comple
ment men's and women's membership morganizations, or other measures of
their participation in community activides.

Perla Q. Makll

The Filipina has been described in many ways. At times, she has been
referred to as shy, submissive, and pretty, much like the traditional Maria Clara.
At other times, .she bas been portrayed as independent, enterprising, powerful,
or influential, and quite "liberated," particularly when seen in comparison with
her Asian women neighbors. "The power behind the throne," she is often
called; tbe "throne" presumably being a position of significance visibly occupied
by some man.
The F'ilipina's enviable position of influence and power in Philippine society
is often supported by an enumeration of women who have occupied (or who
currently occupy) important positions in public structures, whether as senators,
governors, mayors, or members of the judiciary, or as occupants of university
and diplomatic posts. Yet when one examines empirical data, this common ob
servation is not quite borne out. Available studies indicate that the Filipina's
access, perceived or actual, to positions of power, as well as her participation
in public affairs, have been rather limited.

The PosltJon of the Flllplna

John Carol~ in his study of Filipino entrepreneurs in the early sixties, found
that among the ninety-two top corporation managers be identified, there were
only five women. Similar trends were shown in two studies of national and local
influentials (Makil, 1970 and 1975). In 1969, there were only seven women
among those pinpointed as the top 170 influentials at the nalional level, and in


1975, only nine out of 140. The same patterns surfaced among local-level in
Other studies at the local level also indicate that only about one-third of
women are members of local organizations, their membership usually con
centrated in neighborhood groups and religious and sociocivic organi7.ations,
the concerns of which are those traditionally delegated to women - beautifica
tion campaigns, nutrition, and the like (Miralao, 1980).
Looking back, it seems that early studies of women in the Philippines began
quite unootrusively, and was even unwittingly done by social researchers. For
example, questions about women's roles or activities were included in studies
oft he family, offamily planning. or of such social structures as the. bureaucracy
or the corporation, or in a case study of a textile company. Their "incidental"
nature notwithstanding, these studies may be considered the foundations of
later studies that were more specifically designed to look into "the woman ques-
tion," providing early insights into the roles men and women play in Philippine
One such pioneering study is the 1967 Family Survey of the Bf,guio Religious
Acculturation Conference (Lynch and Makil, 1967). While the rMjor thrust of
study was to examine people's attitudes toward family phmning at that time, it
also sought to discover perceptions of ideal family roles, specifically those of a
mother or father, a husband or wife, and a son or daughter.
In tltat study, sex-based distinctions of respondent's role perceptions
emerged. For instance, the ideal husband was perceived as a good provider,
and the ideal wife, a good household mana~er. The ideal wife or mother was
seen as a religious woman, close to God. and without major vices of any kind.
On the other hand, the husband or father need not be specifically close to God,
but should be morally good, this goodness manifested by his fidelity to his wife.
Sons were expected to avoid falling into "ba.d ways," while daughters should
both do this and grow close to God in faith and piety. Interestingly, respondents
perceived the average wife, mother, or daughter as approaching these ideals
more closely than the average husband, father, or son.
Later investigations, particularly those in the mid-70s (after the proclama-
tion of the Women's International Year in 1975), became more sharply focused
as studies of women. A cursory examination of these reveals a confirmation of
the 1967 BRAC survey findings with respect to roles and rolt: expectations for
men and women. Women's roles were seen as revolving around the house, while

those of the men, around family support (good provider, bread winner,
economic security). In addition, these fmdings held true acr~ community set
tings (rural, urban, and serrti-mban) and across generation (young and old).
Outside of role perceptions, studies also looked into the actual exercise of
these roles. One focus was the area of decision making in the home. Here,
studies showed a tendency toward shared decision making. At least three
studies {Mendez and Jocano,1974; Licuanan and Gonzales, 1976; Porio, Lynch,
and Hollnsteiner, 1975) sbowed these typical areas where shared decision
making occurs; choice of residence {note that legally, the husband has this
prerogative), improvements on the bouse, choice of vacation spot, buying ap-
pliances, recreation, discipline of children, choice of school for children, plan-
ning of family ventures, and important problems that the couple faces.
However, this sharing pattern notwithstanding, these :>\udies also sbo\'.' i~at
when decisions are made, the husband and the wife actua1ly have partict.!ar
decision making spheres. For instance, high participation among wives occurs
where the issue revolves around activities traditionally considered female con
cerns, while husbands' participation is high when the issue involves those ac
tivities traditionally considered theirs. Falling into the wife's domain, therefore,
are the household budge&, child rearing, household chores, and the discipline
of daughters (Mendez and Jocano, 1974; Porio et aJ. 1975). The men, on the
other band, take charge of matters related to occupational livelihood and the
discipline of sons (Lieu an an and Gonzales, 1976).
One oft he more common observations made about tbe FiUpino woman per
tains to the source of her power and influence, that of being the manager of the
family budget. (Incidentaffy, it should be noted that this role proceeds from the
legally recognized role oftbe wife as household manager.) Indeed, studies show
that the woman is the family treasurer. Budgeting as well as stretching the peso
are her problems, the man's obligation being simply to hJrn over his earnings to
her (Mendez and Jocano; Licuanan and Gonzalet). Observers of this
phenomenon, however, argue that "women in the lower socioeconomic brack-
et are unable to exercise the power and resourc.e allocation aspects of this func-
tion to a significant degree, since they have hardly any options as to where the
money should go, the choices being predetermined by the demands of survival."
Parenthetically, I might observe that while the leanness of the household pock-
etbook may fimjt the wife's exercise of budgetary powers to a certain extent,
what is more important perhaps is the woman's actual access to the exercise of

decision making in this important sphere. HoUnsteiner, speaking of economic

conditions in a recent Philippine Studies Conference (Kalamazoo, 1980) said,
"Don't knock a poor purse." But how this household power is translated into
the public sphere is a different question. Studies cited earlier seem to indicate
that the exercise of this "power'' in the household is hardly carried over to non-
domestic spheres.
Legal studies on the status of women, notably that of lrene Cortes (1915),
pinpoint areas where discrepancies iu privileges and options based on sex occur
under Philippine law. The most classic example, of course, occurs in legal
separation cases, where the wife has the greater burden than her husband of
proving that legitimate causes exist for legally separating from him. (A divorce
bill pending before the Batasang Pambansa is intended to correct this
anomalous situation.) It was noted that the husband bas the prerogative of
determinir.g the family's place of residence. He also has "veto power" over a
wife's decision to seek employment outside the home.

l'he FlUplna and National Development

More recently, researchers interested in women have shifted to examining

the partnership of men and women in the developmental process. Under this
framework, the role of the Filipina is examined not only with reference to bel
domestic activities but, more importantly, to her participation in public ac-
tivities. Earlier studies, after all, show the FiUpina woman's significant involve-
ment in development evidenced by her participation in agricultural activities,
e.g., crop production, processing; marketing; and other productive activities, in
order to augment the household income generated by the man (Miralao, 1980).
At the Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC), Ateneo de Manila University,
a Women in Development {WID) research project began about two years ago,
designed primarily to elicit indicators to measure women's participation in
development more accurately. The study assumes "that members of the popula-
tion participate in the process of national development through their involve-
ment in various institutions and spheres of activity, as in the maintenance of the
home, in directly income-producing work, and in community activities. Par-
ticipation in the various spheres of activity, however, is not equally open to the
population, and it is generally admitted that cultural role prescriptions favor
women's entry and participation in domestic activities, and males in non-domes

tic ones" (Miralao, 1980:4). A pilot study conducted in three communities in

turon reveals the following fmdings in terms of men and women's p&rticipation
in various. aspects of development (cf. Miralao, 1980).

Domestic and Marlcet Parlklpat1on

Women bear the brunt of housework, regardless of marital and employment

status and development stages of communities. Among the married respon-
dents, male and female spheres in the housework are highly unequal - the hus-
bands, on the average, spend onJy about one-third as much time as their wives
in housework. However, the wives' participation in the market reduces the time
they spend on household work and increases tbe husbands' participation in the
housework. Thus, while the total time devoted by a working wife to market and
household activities Car exceeds the man's total production time, men and
women's work- share ratios within the domestic sphere are improved: husbands
of working wives spend closer to one-half (43 to 46%) a~ much time a.o; their
wives in housework (husbands of non-working wives, only one-fourth or one-
Data on time devoted by both men and women to market activities do not
show that men have greater market participation than women. Single women,
in fa(;t, give more time to wotk than men. Furthermore, in the more urban com
munities, single women tend to find jobs in lower-level occupations requiring
longer hours of work. Among the marrieds, man-woman time in the market is
approximately equaJ, except in the rural areas where wives spend considerably
fewer hours in regular employment than men.
The double-dose syndrome becomes clear. While on the whote, hwobands
and w\ve:; devote approximately equa\ time to market activities, the larger share
of working wives in the housework results in unequal conditions; husbands'
resulting total production time is only two-thirds to three-fourths that of their

Participation In Ibe Public Sphere

More significant findings suggest that unequal participation of men and

women in community activities derives from their unequal shares in employ
ment opportunities. Because of their provider role which, consequently, ac
counts for their heavy involvement in market activities, men tend to join

CQmntunity organizations more often than women. That w~rket participation

is a determinant of organizational membership is supported by the futding that
when women work. their organizational membership also increases. Moreover,
when women work and remain single al the same time, they become the most
active participants in community organi1..ations.

Participation In Development Benefits

No significant differences were shown to exist between men's and wome.t's

aess to this area.

Special Studies

In addition to these pilot study findings, others may be gleaned fwm special
studies conducted in conjunction with the IPC WID research. These studies
cover a variety oftypes of women and development areas in which they are par-
Aganon and Aganon (1979), for example, investigated men and women
managers and workers in women-dominated establishments in Metropolitan
Manila. They found that in general, men-women disparities among workers in
terms of working conditions (salaries, benefits, hiring, promotion, and the like)
do not exist. However, discrepancies do occur among those occupying super-
visory positions. Women do not participate directly in decisions concerning
promotions, firing and discipline, setting of wages and fringe benefits, organiza-
ti<m and scheduling work, company plans and programs, and other financial is-
sues. Their role is largely consultative, particularly in providing the data needed
for a particular decision. Disparity based on sex is also felt significantly io rela-
tion to household chores. While female workers still have chores to perform
after work, males do not, thus reinforcing the double-dose syndrome referred
to earlier.
Imelda Feranil (1979), using data from a 1975 U.P. Population Institute work
~urvey, looks at women's work force participation and under-utilization. She
finds that while both males and females are economically active, higher par-
ticipation rates occur among rural men and women as against their urban
counterparts, and among males as compared to females. Unemployment rates
are hit;hest among urban women.
Hackenberg, Lutes, and Angeles (1979) investigated pre-marital and pof>t
marital labor force participation among migrant women, using data gathered
from the three southern Mindanao communities, and among married couples
interviewed in a 19n socioeconomic and fertility survey of Region X.J. They
found that most women are unemployed, i.e., they are llnpaid workers confined
to household duties, and that women are either absent or under-represented in
administrative and executive positions. They also outnumber men in small-
scale sales (sari-sari stores and buy-and-sell) and in teaching. With respect co
commercial sales, women's participation is equal to or higher than that of men,
but generally limited to low paying positions. In addition, women earn less than
men in certain employment categories. In the matter of post-marital employ-
ment, Hackenberg et at. found that pre marital employment is ao important
deterntina<lt to post-marital employment. Women married to low-income men
are also more likely to be employed, but only if their earning potential is equal
to or higher than the husbands', and the women's occupational status is higher
than the man's.
In a study which traces women's work history, Lauby (1979) found that
women's participation in the labor force is not interrupted by such events as
marriage or childbirth. Neither does the number of children significantly affect
women's employment, perhaps due to the easy availability of child care ser
Costello and Costello compare three types of low-skillled working women:
domestic help, factory workers, and small-scale business employees. Their
findings show those in domestic jobs to have low participation in family and
community affairs (e.g., political organizations, health care, the economy) but
high participation in religious and neighborhood activities. They also have the
greatest access to media facilities, e.g., television, comics, drama, Pilipino
movies, largerly as a result of their amo's lifestyles. Factory workers, on the other
hand, have the highest participation in economic activities and voluntary or-
ganizations, the best political knowledge, and the greatest use of modern medi-
cal facilities. The small-scale workers were found to be in an intermediate
position between the domestic help and factory workers.
Finally, Santiago (1979), examining the labor force participation of women
in agriculture, finds that females have lower participation in farm activities than
males, except in planting, where male-female participation is equal He also
rmds that females devote more time to non-farm activities, probably because
farm jobs are seasonal and there is a need to augment family income. Decisions

concerning farm produ~tion and the extension of fmanclal aid to relatives are
made by the husband, while these pertaining to housekeeping and other
household activities are made by the wife.

Rescatth Needs

It should be pointed out that the studies reported in this presentation were
done in the lowland Philippines, .unong women and men who are members of
major ethnic groups. It seems that studies of women in the uplands and among
minority or tribal groups are sorely lacking. Certainly, work has been done
among Muslim women, and meutio'l has been made of the Kalinga or Ifugao
women in the works of early missionaries in these areas. Yet there is need for
current studies to enable us to understand these women better, to get to know
them through their aspirations, expectations, roles, status, and the like.
Angangco (1980) notes the need to look into the woman question more
broadly - no~ simply to describe conditions of women in various situations but
to explain these condition3 within the context of broader social structures. For
instance, while it is worthwhile to know about women's working conditions in
the factory, one should also look into the influence of the factory's multination-
al character on the women, where this is applicable. In a current IPC study of
women factory workers, there is evidence that the non-hiring of women at a
point in one factory's existence was a carryover of Japanese attitudes. It was
found that a number of Filipino supervisory personnel had been trained in
Japan. In the same manner, while information on working conditions of women
in agriculture is enlightening, one should perhaps relate these conditions to the
impact of tenurial arrangements, some of which may impose limitations on op-
portunities and advantages that would otherwise accrue to rural women.
Also needed is cross-cultural (comparative) research, so we can learn from
fellow women, particularly our Asian neighbors. While differences undoubted-
ly exists, there are probably more similarities among us than we realize. Efforts
at nose-sharing and consultation research on issues confronting women need
to be encouraged.
Our review of studies of women also indicates a gap in research of the so-
cial-psychological type. How do women feel about their status? What are their
worries or problems as women'? How do they react to the many issues or situa-
tions affecting them? What do they see in their roles, nct only in the home, but

in 1he l<~rger society as weU? How do they translate these perceptions into
reality? We know little about these areas despite the number of researches cJ.
ready conducted.
Finally, studies seem to have concentrated on rural and working women, and
lhose who are not very well educated. Perhaps there is a ne'.!d to expand this
coverage to include professional (middle class?) women, in inquiring into
women's participation or nonparticipation in various spheres of activity. A study
of the unemployed professional woman will also be particularly revealing.

Tentative Conclusions

These gaps notwithstanding, we have come a long way in terms of empirical

research on women in the Philippines. No longer need we speak in broad
generalizations and from intuitive knowledge; we may use evidence gleaned
from these studies. The varying methodologies and the limitations of these
studies, of course, prevent us from generalizing beyond each study's sampling
limits. However, when similar patterns consisteutly emerge despite these con
straints, it is hard to escape the conclusion that these common threads arc of a
more general application. For example, we know from various sources that
while Filipino women have access to a variety of opportunities just as their male
counterparts do (participation in market activities and decision making in
domestic sphere), there remain a number of areas where this access or par
ticipation is limited, even discouraged. There is evidence that even where men
occupy similar types of occupations - e.g., managerial types - a disparity of
functions occurs, when the men participate in direct decision or policy making,
while women's participation is limited to sporadic consultations or providing
information to male colleagues. Other studies point to inequalities in earnings
between men and women who have the same kind of work.
These studies also show that when we speak of "the Filipino woman," we
refer not to a single unique being but to several types of beings, each of which
presents discernible patterns and trends. Further, the disparities exist not only
between men and women but among these various types of women as well.
Findings indicate that while the highly-educated urban women have certain ad-
vantages over the rural, less-educated women under certain conditions these
positions may also be reversed - we recall the finding that while the highest
unemployment rate occurs among women, this is particularly true for urban

In M1ort, we know a lot more about F'uipino women today than a ~~de ago.
In fact, to some people, the problem is not a dearth of information, but too much
information. One representative of a funding agency is supposed to have been
overheard complaining that there were too many studies of women nowadai'5,
wondering why this bad to be.
Perhaps there are "too many" studies of women today, as there probably are
"too many" studies of family planning. 'This, however, does not make continua-
tion of thh kind of research undesirable. As po\nted out earlier, gaps still exist
that need to be filled for fuller underst&nding of what we simply call "the woman
question." Furthermore, to the extent that information can be accumulated in
a rdativety objective and systematic fashion, studies of women can present a
greater contribution -that oflegitimizing minority patterns uplift1ng to women
in this society and oth~rs as well. Through this compilation and accumulation
of knowledge, environmental sanctions to what may be considered a device from
societal norms may be le&Sened or changed.
The strain arising from \Taditional sex stereotypes has diminished, perhaps,
partly due to research demonstrations that blanket stereotypes are false and
that certain work rules can be "demasculinized" or "defeminized." While the
idea- that certain types of work are physically demanding, dirty, competitive,
or ruthless, and therefore not for women - may still prevail in some quvJ,.ers,
there is greater recognition that women can also participate on men's terms.
Further, it seems clearer that work is uot simply a matter of physical faculties
but of intelligence, iudgment, human relations, and such other attributes and
skills that are equally posse&Sed by both men and women.
The legitimation proce&S is long and complex. After all, the attitudes, beliefs,
ideas, and concepts about women and what they can do are rooted in socializa-
tion processes of long duration. Studies or women, geared towards a refutation
or clarification of some of these problems, will help speed up the process. Per-
haps then, we will find women's participation in activities outside of the home
and men's participation in activities traditionally &&Signed to women will no
longer be merely the exercise of an option, but will become a duty.

Aganon, Virgilio C., and Aganon, Marie E. 1919. A study of women worlcers in
women-domiiJated manufluring uiQblishments in Mtl1'0 ManiiiJ.. Quezon
City: Asian Labor Education Center.
Angangco, Ofelia. 1980. Status of women in the l'hilippines. Manila: Ale mars-
Phoenix Publishing House.
Carrol~ John 1. 1965. The Filipino mtv1ufacturing entrepm:".'ur.r. Ith3ca, New
York: CorneU University Press.
Cortes, Irene. 1975. "Status of women," ln Law and population in the Philip-
pines: A country monograph, pp. 86-89. Quezon City: University of the
Philippines Law Center.
Costello, Marl!ou P., and Costello, Michael A. 1979. Low-skilled working
women in Cagaytv1 de Oro: A comparative study of domestic, "small-scale,"
and ind1utrial employment. Cagayan de Oro: Research Institute for Min-
danao Culture, Xavier University.
Feranil, Imelda Z. 1979. Female workforce pmticipation and under-utilization.
Manila: University of the Philippines Population Institute.
Gon2afcs, Anna Miren, and Hollnsteiner, Mary R. 1975. Filipino women as
poffner.r of men in prop;-ess and development. Quezon City: Institute of
Philippine Culture, Ateneo de Manila University.
Hackenberg, Beverly H.; Lutes, Steven V.; and Angeles, Teresita. Social in
.dicators of pre-mafitoJ and post-man'tal labor force particip<Ztion among
women in Southern Mintkmao. Davao City: Davao Research Center and
Planning Foundation.

Lauby, Jennifer. 1979. "The effect of marriage, childbearing, and migration on

the labor force participation of women." Manila: De La Salle University.
Licuanan, Palricia B., and Gonzales, Anna Mir~n. 1976. "F'illpino women in
development." Quezon City: Institute of Philippine Culture, Ateneo de
Manila University. Typescript.

Lynch, Frank, and Muil, Perla Q. 1968. Tbr: BRAC 1967 Filipino family sur-
vey. St. Louis Qulll'terly {6). Baguio City: St. Louis University Press.
Makil, Perla Q, 1970. PAASCU/IPC study of schools and influentials, 1969-70.
Part one, summary of findings. Quezon City. Institute of Philippine Cul-
ture, Ateneo de Manila University.

- - - - - . 1975. Mobility by decree: The rise and fall of Filipino lnfluen-

tiuls since MfU'fiaii.Aw. Quezon City: Institute of Philippine Culture, Ateneo
de Manila University.
Mendez, Paz Policarpio, and Jocano, F. Landa. 1974. The Filipino family in its
rural and urban orientation: Two case studies. Manila: Centro Escolar
University Research and Development Center.
Miralao, Virginia A. 1980. Women and men in development: Findings from a
pilot study. Quezon City: Institute of Philippine Culture, Ateneo de Manila

Podo, Emma; Lynch, Frank; and Ho\lnstciner, Mary R. 1975. The Filipino fami-
ly. Community and nation: The same yesterday, today and tomorrow?
Quezon City: Institute of Philippine Cultme, Ateneo de Manila University.

Santiago, Emmanuel S. 1979. Women in agriculture: A social accounting of

female work.share. Los Baiios: Association of Colleges of Agriculture in the

R. Vergara Plneda

The Philippine~ is in ~be throes of an officially propagated export fever.

Three export-processing zones are in operation, two more are at the develop
mental stage and ten more are to be launched within the next few years.1 There
has been a phenomenal increase in manufactured exports, with garments,
electrical and electronics equipment, and handicrafts taking the lead. The
government has recentl)' launched a P1.8 billion (about $219.5 miUion) nation
at livelihood program called Kilusang Kabuhayan at Kaun\aran (KKK) which
airr.s to spur inoome-generating activities at the grassroots level by gearing these
to the demands of !he world market. 2 All these are part of the export-oriented
industrialimtion now being relentleMly pursued upon the recommendation of
the World Ban!( and other inttmationallending ~tgencies; tbeyfaU into an "out-
ward-looking" pattern of development which has serioWI repercussions on the
situation of women workers in both factory and COllage.
What is happening in the Philippines is not an isolated or unique case. Many
other developing co11ntries are undergoing the same process under the new in
ternational division or laoor devised by the advanced capitalist states "to keep
their former colonies within the orbit o{ the world market economy."3 In this
system of internationalization of production devised by the transnational cor-

Paper originally prepared ror Study Seminar 100 on "Women Worttrs in T011riJ.rD a!!6
&port.Oi'kn!ed rnd'IISfri in Solltheut Asia held Nov. 16 to [)ec, 12, 1981 in Colombo,
Sri Lanka under the sponwtShip of the fll'lilllfe 0( ~lopntenl S""iec, U11iolersity of.
SUS5CX !'16 the SotiAI Scicnti5t& As6ociatioft c{ Sri wka.

porations based in the United States, Japan, and Western Europe, "the role of
the developing economies is to be (1) the geographical site of labor-intensive
manufacturing for worldwide markets; (2) the supplier of low-priced coDSumer
products; and (3) the source of cheap labor :A Three main factors have made
this possible: 1) "the virtually inexhaustible worldwide reservoir of potential
labor" found mostly in Asia, Africa and Latin America, where workers earn
wages roughly 10-20 percent only of those o( their counterparts in the advan<;ed
industrial states; 2) the development of modem transport and communication
technology which makes possible the relocation and control of operatioDS over
wide geographical distances; and 3) "job fragmentation" or the breaking down
of complex operations into simple units so that even unskilled workers can per-
Under the new international division oflabor, transnational cor(' ':atioDS set
up branches or subsidiaries in the so-called "low-wage countries." They also go
into joint ventures with local capitalists, a convenient arrangement wherein the
foreign partners have the upper hand by virtue of their control of technology,
access to the world market and large capital.6 Lately, however. the trend is for
transnational corporations to develop supplier or subcontracting frrms in the
developing states These fums, which may be branches and subsidiaries of
TNCs, joint ventures, or "independent" local producers, are dependent on the
co11tractor corporations and perform the ancillary role of processing materials
supplied by the latter, and/or manufacturing or assembly of components. In
ternational subcontracting7 reduces the visibility oft he TNCs in terms of direct
equity investments,"matks a shift from equity control to market and technologi-
cal control," and avoids the problem of Mtionalization in cases when the sup-
pliers or subcontractors arc "industries wholly owned and operated by the
'natives' tbemselves.',s
In the Philippines, the growth of small- ar,d medium-scale industrir.s is being
encouraged, upon the recommendation oflhe World Bank, through the rechan-
neling of huge capital re50urces. "Suboontractir.g and the u.se of outworkers are
growing, and are exceUent ways to encourage smaU industries, particularly out-
side Manilan accordi~g to the Bank in Industrial Development Strategy and
Policies in the Philippines.9 As a result, there is mul~ilevel subcontracting, as
in the case of Manila-based supplier ft.rmS subcontracting jobs to provincial
manufacturers or agents, who further fam out the jobs all the way down to the
rural households. This pattern is apparent in the garment industry and hand-

icraftlines, harnessing the dirt-cheap labor of hundreds ofthousands of women

workers at the bottom of the subcontracting ladder.

The Su~ontractlng Pattern: Pocus on Garments

Subcontracting is the "wave" of the capitalist future, as evidenced by

developments in the Philippine setting. It is being practiced in one form or
another in the following industry lines: car manufacturing. electronics, leather,
garments, toys, handicraft, food processing. textile, musical instruments,
paper/packaging products, pl~tic and rubber products, and metal fabrication.
In agriculture, contract growing exists in the following sectors: banana, rubber,
poultry, piggery, beef caule, (eedgrains, rice, and shrimp.
The pattern, however, is dearest in the garments sector, which "started as a
b~ica\\y suocon\racling re-expor~ing industry where raw materials are shipped
from abroad for processing (cutting, embroidery, sewing, etc.) and then re-ex-
ported. Part of the production process goes into the factory but the bulk is sub-
contracted to cottage-type producers in the rural areas." 10
This trend in the Phi\ippines reflects as weU as stenu from the conditions of
the garments industry in rhe West. As explained by one author:

The relatively low capilli in...urmcl!t enuikd in clclhing production has~ nro ef.
feelS, orten combined: nl'\t, the survival or many relatively 5mlll-scale produc:-:r J,;, orldng
as !ulxonrractors supplying p~nts ro the big companies; and s.ecood, a 5\I'Oilgtendtn-
cy for the industry to expand inrounrriU with rellrively lowlaborro5ts. ~two trendc are
often combined in the form of subCOI.tractingbyWt.slem ~mpaniu ro produceR in lower-
wage a~.u such as Eastern Euro~ and the Third World. 1

According to the same source, a 1978 AFLCIO estimate revealed that the
US textiles and clothing industries combined had suffered a loss of 300,000 jobs
the past decade; in Western Europe, the job loss tofaJed one million in 12
years. 12
The jobs went to countries like the Philippines, where the industry itself has
gmwn into some 900 to 1,000 C!tabishments and S<'me 2,000 ma."lufacturers
employing directly or indirectly about 450,000 to 500,000 home sewers on con
tractual basis and 214,000 factory ot.nd home workers. 13 This expansion is
matched by the phenomenal increase in exports. From 1971 to 19n, the value
of garments sold abroad jumped 560% from $35,130.00 to $249,700.00. 1.;, PhiUp-
l;ine doUar earnings from garment exporu were $405.4 million in 197'9, indicat

ing a tenfold growth in just a decade. 15 In 1980, it was estimated that "the
foreign demand for Philippine garments is approximately 64 percent of the total
demand." 16
According to the World Bank in 1979, "The export growth has led to 70,000
new jobs in the past eight years, and, based on current projections of$600 mil-
lion in garment exports by \988, another ?0,000 new jobs will be added over the
next five years." It also made the following observation: "While most of the in-
creased employment will lie in larger factories producing for highvolume cus-
tomers in Europe or the United States, a significant proportion will be in smaller
businesses, particularly in the subcontracting of embroidery or kniUing." 17 The
World Bank Mission did not venture to estimate the exact extent of subcontract
ing then, but they nevertheless revealed that in one firm they visited, "some 3,500
outworkers were involved in band embroidery and in knitting sweaters with
mechanical knitting macbines." 18 Remerco Garments Manufacturing, one of
the country's leading export manufacturers of children's wear, has provided
employment tp at least 480 inside workers and over 600 subcontractors. 19
The distinctly smaller part (about 214,000) of the dual labor supply are the
fuU-time factory workers employed as designers, cutters, sewers, inspectors,
packers, engineers, sales representatives, accountants, and clerks in sites lo-
cated within Metro Manila, a few other cities and towns, and the Bataan Export
Processing Zone. The greater pa.It of the labor force are cottage industry
workers who get paid on ihe basis of pie<:e rate.20 These cottage industry
workers are again subdivided into the directly cmpl\lyed workers, who con
stitute only 25.35 percent of the total, and the more numerous "indirect
workers" who labor in their own homes for the cottage enterprises or for agents
coMected to factories. 21
One source reported that "subcontractual arrangements with garment firms
in Batangas, Bulacan, Laguna, and Negros Occidental aCC<lunt for around 40
percent of total production."22 Further down the line, "groups of families with
15 to 20 sewing machines are subcontracted for piece work, thereby engender
ing the growth of cottage-type subindustries."23 The cottage industry workers
are provided with materials for sewing, knitting, and!or embroidery and are paid
when the goods are de\hered to the factory for finishing. pressi'lg, and packing.
~.a 1975, they received P35 to P240 ($4.98 to $34.14) a weelc. 24 Today, the figures
may be from PSO to P300 ($6.00 to $36.50) a week, depending on the availability
of orders, the ownership ofthe machines and the nature ofthe production rela

tions. e.g. whethc:r they arc employed or self-employed.

It is estimated that more than 90 percent of workers in the garment industry
are women, who are generally the ones relegated to monotonous., tiresome work
requiring finger dexterity. Statistics show that their labor costs much Jess than
that of men. For example, for the second quarter of 19'18, female production
and related workers in urban areas earned P917 ($127.36) on the average com-
pared to P1,345 ($186.80) of their male counterparts.2S The docility of female
labor is also considered desirable by employers. Youth, single status, and inex-
perience are likewise preferred in factory-type employment because, with such
a background, workers would tend to accept lower pay and are not likely to as-
sut their rights, particularly those related to maternity benefits. In the rural
areas, the average wage differential between male and female production and
related workers is even wider. For the second quarter of 1978, the forme.r got
P901 ($125.14) while the latter received a rneager P381 ($52.92). 26
More than 50 percent of garment firms in the Philippines are foreigu-con-
troUcd, 28 pert.Cnt by American interests. Twenty-three percent are controlled
by other foreigners(Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean, Hongkong-British, ar.d Ger-
man) who have recently moved in as "quota refugees" - "in effect, to compete
with local manufacturers as well as U.S. su~idiaries in filling Jp the U.S. quota
on Philippine garment imports" since the quotas for their respective countries
have already been filled up. In addition, there is the advantage of being able to
make use of cheap Filipino labor. In 1973, Filipino garment and textile workers
earned $38.40 a month on rbe average, while Korean workers received $45.10
and Japanese workers, $257.60. '>.7
These are Filipino-owned garment firms which in the final analysis come
under foreign control because of their job service contracts with principals
abroad which provide them any or aU of the following: a sure market, technol-
ogy, raw materials, and credit. Remerco, which is supposed to be 100%
Filipino, has such a tie-up with Chiyoda Baby Dress, Co. Ud. of J ap&n and has
recently been named Philippine Licenu:c of Lovable International, Inc. one of
the largest producers ofladies' undergarments in the U.S. 28 Nevertheless, there
are contradictions between Filipino and foreign garment m:uJUfacturers-ex-
porters.ln fact, the president of Remerco who is at the same time the president
of the Garment Business Association of the Philippines (GBAP) pointed out
that "Companies which are mostly multinational or joint ventures operating
under the embroidt'ry act or the charter of the export processing zone get more

incentives and benefits than small local firms which operate under provisions
of the Tariff and Customs Code." 29
'fhus, if one were to devise a ladder to show who really benefits from the
labor o{ coun\\ess women workers in the Philippine export garment industry, at
the "iety top would be the "foreign prindpals," mainly transnational corpora-
tions with bra\'\t.h~. joi\'\t ventures or subcontractors in the country; even the
big filipino exporters like Remerco only play an ancillary role. Whether foreign
or Filipino, however, the large garment firms find the dual lalx>r supply very
us.eful. First, cottage industry workers are generally not covered by minimum
wage le~lation and other protective labor laws. Second, they can be used as a
weapon against the urban wage workers when the latter make demands, When
in mid-1977, there were secret attempts to form a union among the 1,800
workers of Greenfield and Santiago, the management fired the union leaders
and suspended the union members. The reduclion in the regular work force and
tl1e conse<r~ent lag in production was overcome by giving more jobs to domes-
tic outw .nkers paid on the basis o piece rate. Third, th~ latter's volume of work
can be a\J~usted according to demand. When the demand is high, they can be
made \o prOO\\ce more and when low. they can he made to produce less or not
at all, without cost to the company.30

Layers of ExploJtatJon

Rural pieceworkers who are at the very bottom of the subcontracting ladder
are a much exploited lot. Since a\l they see are the agents from their areas who
distribute the jobs to them, they are hardly conscious of the fact that their labor
redounds to the imrnen~e profits being raked in by the foreign principals abroad
and by the large Manila-based manufacturers-exporters.
As of 1973, according to the National Demographic Survey, 17.53 percent of
employed rural women were dres.o;makers, sewers and embroiderers (not in fac-
tory). The same survey showed that59.3 perceilt were farm workers, compared
l.o 18.44 percent who were farmers and farm managers. This indicates a
marked trend in the countryside: the phenomenal increase in the ranks o the
landless rural poor who generally find seasonal employment working for
farmers witb land to till and who manage to survive off-season by taking odd
jobs. This trend has been aggravated in the rice and com areas by the Green
Revolution technology purposely designed to increase 38Jicultura1 productivity

and which has created a huge marJcet for the fertilizers, pesticides, tractors and
other machinery beins peddl,.,d by tbe transnational corporations based in tbe
United States, Japan and Western Europe. Tbe high cost of these farm inputs
bas led to the pauperization and ruin of many small farmers who have sold their
land or their tenurial rights and have joined the ranks of the landless.32 There
is thus an increasing labor surplus in the rice and corn areas, whkb is com
pounded by the use of labor-displacing tractors and threshers.33 Within this
context, more and more rural women lind it necessary to engage in income-
generating activities other than fa.mting or farm work. not only off-season but
the whole year round. They are thankful for any work that comes to them, no
matter what the terms. They say it is better than .toth.ing.
Separate interviews conducted with rural womeu in the province ofBulacan
confJJm some of the above observations, and at the moment are the only sour
ces of relevant data due to the absence of organized research on \be ma\\er.
The sewers :tnd embrojderers know that I heir conditions are worsening. For
example, two sisters who have been .sewing baby dtes.ses for almost 20 years ob
se;vcd that the payment per piece in real terms declined. Today, the
predominant figure is SO centavos (roughly six cents), when in 1962, it was 30
centavos (roughly eight cents at the exchange rate then), much bigger consider-
ing the steady erosion in the value of the peso. The most that a sewer can finish
is a dozen baby dresses a day, fot which she gets paid between P6.00 to !'9.00
($0. 73 to $1.10} at 50 to 75 centavos per piece. Moreover, work is available only
about two and a half to three weeks a month so total monthly earnings only
amount to Pl02.00 to Pl89.00 ($12.43 to $23.05). From these earnings are sub
contracted the cost of the thread and the transport going to and from the agent.
Income derived from sewing is thus only supplementary in nature because the
main source will stiU have to be fMming. In fact, when it is planting or harvest
ing season, the sisters prefer to work in the field because they can earn more at
the rate of about P15 to PIS a day ($1.83 to $2.20). It is significant to note that
as regards the subcontracting ladder, the sisters .ue aware only of the fact that
they are sewing baby dresses for export and that the agent in \be ne~ barrio
with whom they have bee!'l dealing for almost 20 years, supplies an Indian ex-
porter. They say that this agent is not really better off and likewise provides
labor bee<\use she dt-.es the cutting.34
A ser-arate interview with a group of embroiderers together with 1heir
respective agents revealed many problems and contradictions. These women

have given up farm work altogether to concentrate on embroidery. They claim

that conditions ha,~ deteriorated instead of improved in tb(} last fe.w years. For
examp)e, in 1915, an embroiderer could earn as much as PlSO ($21.34) for two
to three days' work; today, she would be lucky to get P70.80 ($5.84 to $9.76) a
week. ln 197S, f.be was paid about P21 ($3.89) for working on one Ma~ia Clara
(an elaborate national costume); today, her labor would be worth only Pl3
($1.59) and the design is even more intricate\
As the conversation rolled on, it was apparent that the embroiderers felt
some antago11ism towards the agents whom they prceived as exploiters, Ac-
cording to them, some agents get as much as 50 percent of the amount paid by
the factory contractors for the labor o{ the workers &nd earn much more than
the latter even when ''just sleeping." There are also thO!>e who make the
embroiderers (particularly the unmarried ones) stay in one place (usuaUy the
agent's horne), make them work lS hours a day, and subtract from the latter's
pay the cost of food, water, electricity and the monthly installment for the
machines. ln sorne cases, too, there are too many agents situated at different
levels from Manila down to the Barrio, all directly or indirectly profiting from
the labor (.;those at thr. bottom, who get very little as a consequence. As many
as six agents from the ladder to the top.
The agents present countered that they too surfer (rom it al~ especially when
they are caught betw.:en the factory contractors lUld the embroiderers. In the
first place, many of them also provide labor in the sense that they lal.>nder and
dry the cloth. They also have to produce cash to buy thread or to gi't'e to the
embroiderers when payments are delayed, or when factory contractors
shortchange them by paying less than what was. agreed upon on the pretext that
deliveries did not arrive on time and therefore were late for shipment. The
gtave5l problem, is the int,;nse competition between the subcontractors or
agents in getting job orders ~rom the factory-based manufacturers/ e~p<ntets.
Some offer a very low price per pk.c~ \Q the management, un condition that aU
the job orders would be monopolized by them. In this SCI15C, not only the other
agents or subcontractors suffer but also the embroiderers who would be paid
much less for their labor.
As a result of this exchange, the women saw tbe need for uniting the forces
of both the cmbroide~ers and th1~ agents so that I hey could f!Bht i8ainM tbe big
fish more effectively. They were alteady talking about possibilities of organiz-
ing garment piece-workers in the province o Bulacan.lS

There must be, however, a broader unity. Cottage industry and domestic out
workers are not aware that they are being used against their sisters in the or
ganized manufacturing sector. Just how, is shown in an interview with militant
union members in Uniwear, a large Manila-based garments factory, whose
products are sold solely to foreign buyers/distributors based principally in the
United States. The union was formed this year and practically forced its recvg
nition by going on strike in April. As a result of their action, the workers were
able !o get what was due them under the law which means on the average, about
P29.60 ($3.60) a day. To counter lh~ the Filipino-Chinese management is in
creasingly resorting to subcvntracting. Right now, it has 200 outworkers in
Tanauan, Batangas alone and has more in Bulacan. The president of the com
pany told the union leaders that he could close the main factory in Makat~ which
bas .362 regular workers, anytime because he has enough, as weU as, cheaper
labor supply in the provinces.36

The Handicraft SJt~Uott

The handicraft industry is another sector which has exhibited phenomenal

development. "Growth-wise, handicraft exports rose from a measly $6.52 mil
lion in 1975." 37 In mid-1979, "tbe main items that posted the highest export
earnings for the counh y were embroidery ($43,694,322 or 23.11 percent of total
export sales); bamboo and rattan crafts ($30,570,562or 16.2 percent}, woodcraft
items ($18,541,493 or 9.8 percent), nudlecralt items ($15,952,429 or 8.4 per-
cent), and preserved foods ($13,199,909 or 7.0 percent}."38
Handicrafts a,e goods "produced by band or foot at home, with or without
tools and operated by craftsmen, featuring the uniquene&s of native traditional
art." 39 They are thus nlade in cottagetype industries which directly or indirect-
ly employ more than a million worlcers.40 As of June 1979, there were 89,153
cottage industries registered with the National Cottage Industry Development
Authority or NACIDA with total capitalization amounting to P291,444.56...4!
However, not aU coWage industries are included in '.he NAClDA registry.
The Filipino handicraft exporters, whose ranks have recently multiplied, are
at the mercy of their foreign buyers. "Since the major demand comes from in
stitulionalized importers-distributors abroad," explained one official source,
"the increasing number of exporters has resorted to price-cutting to stay in bu.si
ness, and this terrific competition, played up even more by buyers matching one

exporter against another, has caused a startling phenomenon~ although demand

is rising, prices are coming down.'' 42 In this case, not only the exporters suffer
but also the subcontractors and the workers dependent on the industry.
Interviews with an exporter/businessman, subcontractor and workers in Luc-
ban, Quezon, a town ~u\h o{ Manila famous for its fmely woven buntal h21.\s and
other handicrafts, reveals the following relations.
The M'Ulila-based exporter establishes busine~ t\es with foreign buyers,
mostly maoufacturersJimporters based in the Unite1\ States or Australia, give
orders followed by letters of credit or through si.mpte cables with or without
pre-payments. He scouts for reliable subcontractors (as many as four in one
municipalit)'}, to whom he provides cash equivalent to 30 percent of the
projected production cost. The subcontractors buy the production materials on
a weekly basis and fan them out to semi- skilled and skilled bat weavers who are
almost entirely women. The hat weavers take home the materials and weave
the hats at their own pace, but the most e{ficient manage to flnisb one bat in
twoto-three days. Then, they deliver thetr output to the subcontractors who
examine the quality of the work to determine the labor cost. If the hat is well-
done, the workers receive about P17 to Plll ($2.07 to $2.20); if it is of average
qual;ly, then the payment \s Pl6 (~ ::S)~ \( \,' is classified as "reject." then the
equivalent wage is only from Pl5 to P16 ($1.~3 to $1.95). When tbeydel.iverthe
goods to the suboontra<:tors,the workers get 11 new set of raw materials for take
After receiving the newly woven bats, the subcontractors have to employ a
new set of workers, mostly men, to do the finishing touches: putting in the ftlJers
which stick out at 2S centavos a piece; washing the bat at 25 centavos (three
cents} a piece~ and ironing it, at 20 centavos a pieo.:: ;smoothening the surface
o{ the hat at 20 centavos a piece~ and ironing it, at 20 centavos a piece. When
this is over, the subcontractors take the polished hats to the exporter who ex-
amines the quality of the goods and pays accordingly: P20-21 for the well-done
hat; P18 for the average- quality bat: and Pl6-17 for the "reject." The exporter
has the ~rejects" painted to c.onceal defects, and then package and ~tore them
together with other finished products. His ordinary yearly export ranges from
30,000 to 40,000 pie~s of handicraft, uot ooly of bun tal hats but also place mats
and baskets from Pangas\nan, the Bicol region, parts of the Visayan Islands and
Mindanao, where presumably h~ also has suboontractors.43
The subcontracting pattern outlined above is prevalent not only in the

provinces but also in Metro Manila where the labor of housewives, particular-
ly those living in depressed areas, is effectively harnessed by foreign importers
and their local suppliers. An interview with one housewife revealed that a group
of them worked fo: a subcontractor who delivers handicraft items to an exporter
based in a nearby city, who in turn supplies Australian importers. For lining,
embroidering, and placing handles on a set of trays consisting of three pieces
of different size!', the outworkers are paid P3..50 (43 cents). At an average rate
of four sets a day, they earn Pl4 ($1.71), for which they ttre very thankful be-
c.ause it adds to the meager income of their husbands and provides a much-
needed standby when the latter arc unemployed. 44


iscu.ssion that mon: <Jnd more Filipinas are being drav.n into production as
domestic outworkers under rhe new international division of labor. They get a
mere piUance in exchange for their labor which is being harnessed by foreign
global iuterests and big local manufacturers/exporters to amass superprofits.
'fbey work under harsh wnditions, are derived of their rights as workers, and
are hardly aware of the roots of their oppression. Without their knowledge,
they are being used as weapon! against their sisters in the orgar.ized manufac-
turing sector when the IaUer seek to acquire what is due them.
Within the context of international labor policy, tbe very existence of in-
dustrial home work is anomalous and should ultimately be abolished. Where
this is not ~et possible, efforts should be made to extend to industrial home
ownets the same rights and benefits that the factory workers havt<. n.ese may
be gleaned from resolutions and oonclusions adopted by regional conferences
and tripartite mee(ings sponsored by the International Labour Offiw. For ex-
ample, Resolution (No.2) concerning industrial home work in the clothing in-
dustry, adopted by the tripartite technical meeting for the clothing industry
(Geneva, 1964), states:

CQruidc:ring lh01, k :tges, long hours, vnhe.11llhy sanital)' rondirioru and inadc:q~~<~te
safetystan4ards fw i;),i';$!<ial home ~rkers can thre.11ten the labor and employment ron
ditioN o( clothing ..,\ ;~:'.t. sene rally;
Considering th,at in4ustrial home work is in SU<"h cU a source of unfair rompet ilion
Of\ 1~ part ol empJoyers who C'VNe decenl labor arandartfl and wit<> ! , irt to the home
worker siiCh c:or.ts as thos.e of rent,li&hl, 1'11 and oCt he machine;

Coniiderin& that, althouJh theic undeinblc practicei may p-adually vanish u the
manufacture of' ready-made clothing bomcc more indUJtrializcd, Juch home work is
damaging to the workers concerned and to the image of' the bonafide clothing indUJtty; and
Confidcringthatthere are inherent dirf>C\Iltief ineiTectivelycont'OIIing indUJtrial home

1. lndUJtrial home work in the clothing indUllry lhould, u a matter of' principle, ul
timately be abolished, except 11 to certain individuall - for example physically hand
icapped persons - who cannot adapt themselves to factoty work.
2. Where it is not ~t practicable to eliminate home work from the clothing ill<IUJtry,
gcm:mmental regul.ttions - including registration of' home workers, agenu and employers
- should be strictly applied in an attempt to ensure that labor conditions and &ocial SUrity
standards of' indUJtrial "We worten are to the maximum pos.siblc cxtc!:l identical with
those or factory workers.

In the Fhilippines, the policy is to encourage industrial home work through

subcontracting, with the prodding oft he World Bank. Under these circumstan-
ces, it is up to domestic outworkers and their organizations to protect and ad-
vance their interests, together with their sisters in the factories. However, the
capability to do so can only result from a long process of consciousness-raising,
not only as regards the real conditions of workers but also their relation to the
overall situation oft he Philippine economy within the new international division
of labor. The first step in the process is solid research; from knowledge springs


1. Philippine Export Processing Zone Authority, Annual Report 1980, p. 5.

2. An example of a KKK project is the supply of one million Easter baskets
and 200,000 dozens of Christmas tree decorations in 1983 to K-Mart USA. The
order, worth $10 million was received by the First Lady, Imelda R. Marcos, who
is concurrently KKK secretary general. "Target beneficiaries" are some 100 fac-
tory workers and hundreds of "auxiliary workers in their respective
households.,. "US firm buys $10-M worth of KKK items," Philippine Daily Ex-
press (September 24, 1981).
3. Renato Constantino, The Nationalist Alternative (Quezon City, Founda-
tion for Nationalist Studies, 1979), pp. 4-5.

4. Merlin M. Magallon a. "fhe Impact of Multinational Corporations on

Developing Economies," University of the Philippines Law Center, n.d.

5. Folker Frobel, Jurgen Heinrichs and Otton Kreye, "The World Market
for Labor and the World Market for Industrial Sites," Journal of Economic Is-
sues, XII, 4 (Dec'78), pp. 845-8.
6. Renato Constantino, The Second lnvaJion - JaPQn in the Philippines
(Quezon City: Foundation for Nationalist Studies, 1979) p. 31.

7. Subcontracting, as defined by a group of UNIDO experts, is "a contrac-

tual arrangement between a primary company (contractor) and a secondary
company (subcontactor) for:

a. the supply, by the subcontractor, of an order from the primary company,

both companies being involved in manufacturing and/or
b. The processing of raw materials for the primary company - whether the
materials are provided by it or not - and the processing or finishing of parts
provided by and returned to the primary compaily." University of the Philip-
pines Institute for Small Scale Industries, Small and Medium Industries in the
Philippines: An 0\en>iew, 19f.O, pp. 1920.
8. Merlin M. Magallona, "Some Pattern<:. of Political and Economic Develop-
ments in the ASEAN" (paper presented in the conference on "Tasks and Chal-
lenges of the Social Sciences in the 80s," September 7-11, 1981, Mexico City),
pp. 1819.
The World Bank itself, in its World Development Report for 1979

"'The character of links be men private transnational fil'll\l an4 4evcloplng countries
has been changing in recent yun. fint, equity participation is being grad111lly Rplace4 by
the use ofloans and ~upplien' m:dits. Second, diRct managerial control by the parent com-
pany is being superreded by management partkipatioo, lllnkal a.<>Sislance agreemenu,
production sharing. and supply C'<Jntracts. These changes have resulted partly lli a response
of multinational toJporations to host rounuy controls on foreign ln\'\:$\Jmnt, and partly
from the growth of competition from new supplien, who a~ increasingly willing too:lcsign
Arrangements to au it ho6t country requircmenu. TM lenn 'pri't'lltc direct inveitmcn\5' u
it is currently under5tood - equity participation by a foreign finn with an effe<:~M: YO!cc
in the mana~ment of the enterp;ise - docs not enoompusthesc shifts. Consequently, the
information based on tradition1J definitioN of equity participation tend$ to underutimate
the role of transnational fimu in capitalllows to dew loping nations in rucnt yean. More

important, policia ba.sed on the tlM\i\iooal ~P" YiOIIId not addru. ' ,c toe'fl' ecooomic
realities. n (p.34)

9. World Bank, fndusuial Development Strategy ~d Policies in the Pltilip-

pines, Main Report, If, (October 29, 1979), pp.123-2124.
Th.; World Bank line is being echoed by Filipinos and other Asians. L.V.
Chico, who used to be head of the University of the Philippines Institute for
Small Scale Industries, had this to say:

MMNCs are a major so\utc of new \ethnologies, tit tier dirutlyor irdirwly. With their
inherent strengths, they r;~n open markets to a COilII II')' aoo to SSb (5mllllale indiiStries).
Some rompon~nl$ and parts ot MNC piOO'Jo(:\S., ~rtklll&tty lhl:lk that l.><e ltborinteMM,
can best be done by effiCient antl tt\iabk S'ils. AM MNCs can take inilialivel to modern-
ize them for mutual benefit. fn some rounlries, 'SubrontractinJ ~hang' have been set
up which act as broken in making both 5Cctors meet. <lt!t<n;, througlltheir investment
polidc.s and intentivu MVC ~en promotinJ s~KhC'lmplemcntaries. Many mon: things can
be done." uMultinatk>nal Compani and the Develofmcnt of Small Industries," Te.:b-
"o"~ Mill Nrusl~tn-, VIII, 3 (Jul'81), fl t.

10. "The Garment Industry Growth, Potentials and Prospects," Philip-

pine Tradt and Dcwelopment (August, 1975) p. 26. The initial push was provided
by the passage in 1961, of Republic Act 3137 or the Embroidery Law which aJ.
lowed licensed firms to import raw materials, tax-free for process(ng, usually in
bonded manufacturing warehouses, and subtequcnt re-export. From $8.5 mil-
lion in 1959, garment exports increased to $38.2 in 1968. During the same period,
the number of firms rose to 53, employing 10,000 reg\\lat wotkcn. and 1\arness-
ing the labor of 100,000 individuals employed by subcontractors. The United
Stateli was the primary source of embroidery raw material:; and almost the so\e
destination of embroidered materials. National Science Development Board,
Study on tf1e Scarus of the Gannent Export Industry (October, 1969), p. 6,9,12,19.
11. Robert Plant, Industries itc T((J(.(/J/e (GeMva: Jnlernational Labor Office,
1981}, p. 64.

12. Ibid. p. 65
13. "The Embroidery and Appatel lndt~try: An Overview," Philippine
Deve/opmenl. JX, 1 (May30, 1981), p. 11.
ln a 1975 ~tudy where the garment industry covered not only "the manu{ac-
lure of any artkJc used for clothing" such as Ullderwear, outerwear and aC\~
sories but also "fiber spinning. weaving. fuUshing textiles, manufactwing bo1.se
furnishing, kniuing twine manufacturing and sewiD& .. the number of flJlDS wus
pla~;ed at 31,286. "Of this number, 3/J,967 (99.0%) belonged to the grovtb b-
dus.lry subgroup represented by customs shops, dressmaking shops, and mrn's
boys'. women's, girls' and babies' garment factories whlch accounted for 27,565
(89.0%); cordage, rope and twine industries, 1440 (4.6%); spinning and weav-
ing enterprises, 1,087 (3.5%); and manufacturers of bouse furnishings suth as
curtains, draperies, sheers, napkins and pillows, textile bags. canvas prooucts,
carpets and rugs, 975 (2.9%):
Cottage indllS{ries predominated W.:lt a total of 25,9.56 establishments
(83.8%). Small-scale firms de lined as enterprises with total assets of more than
PlOO,OOO ($12,195), but not exceeding Pl million ($121,951), wi:h an employ-
mer.t siu ranging from five to 99 workers with .owner-managers not acthely
engaged in production numbered 4,900 (15.8%), while the medium- and-large-
:;cale industries added up to 111 establishments only (0.4%). University of the
Philippine 'I Institute for Small-Scale Industries. "Nation;d Summary: Baseline
Study of the Twelve Regions of the Philippines,., (A.lgUSl, 1981), pp. 108-llh.

14. "Garments: FrtJm Rags to Riches," Phi/ippme ~velopment Vl, 5(JoJJy

31, 1978), p. 21.

15. Bimba Fajardo. "Werr: out to clothe the world," 7imes Joumal (Novem-
ber 6, 19&J).

16. Yoselin Sor.~..:o, "RTVI wd Export, Boosting the Philippiac Garment

lnduscry," PDC Info. 2.1 (luly 1980), p. 2.

17. World Bank, Industrial ~/opment Strrltegytmd Policies in the Philip-

pints, Main Report II (October 29, 1979), pp. 123-124.
18. Ibid.

19. "Remerco celebrates 10th anniversary today," Philippines Daily Expms

(September 16, 1~).

20. "The Garment Industry - Growth, Potentials and Prospects,,. Philip-

pine Tratk liiUl ~lopment (August 1975), p. 26.

21. World Bank, Industrial Development Strategy and Policies in the Philip-
pines, Main Report, II (October 29, 1979), p. 42.
22. "Garments: From Rags to Riches," Philippine Devtlopment, VI,5 (July
31, 1978), p. w.
23. "Garment Industry: Major Dollar Earner," NEDA Development Digest
(April15, 1974), p. 5-6.
24. "The Garment Industry Growth, Potentials and Prospects," Philippine
Trade and Development (August, 1975), p. 26.
25. National Census anl\ Statistics Oflice, Integrated Surver of Households
Bulletin, Series No. 49 (Second quarter, 1978), p. 52.
26. Ibid, pp. ~3-54
27. Enrico Paglaban, "Philippine Workers in :he Export Industry," Pacific
Research, IX, 3 and 4 (March to JuM 1978), p. 6.
28. "Remerco celebrates lOth anniversary today," Philippine Daily Erpress
(September 16, 1980).
29. Rosario Liqukia, "Rationalization of RP garment industry sought,"
Philippine Daily Express (Se.ptr.mber 25, 1981).

The observations of the Remerco president echo thoS('. of the Evert ex Sales
Corporation president, who, in a speech delivered at an export marketing semi-
nar held January 16-20, 1975 at the Development Academy of the Philippines
under the sponsorsltp of the Bureau of Foreign Trade, remarked:

" .. It is in fact unfortunate that the o,ly ones who are really able to take advantage of
the Philirpine situation are the foreign out filS, operating from their market bases, who are
able to get the orders, buy materials from where...erdin<h~apest, bring them in here under
the Bonded Manufacturing Warehouse scheme for re-export. I personally am not aware of
a single Filipino outfit that is ahle to do the ume."

30. Enrico Paglaban, "Philippinr. Workers in the Export Industry," p. 8.

31. Other categories of employed rural women include teachers, 14.64%;

sari-sari store owners, 1J.38%; maids, laundry women and nursemaids,13.26%;

basket weavers, 12.34%; market vendors,11.39%; and salesgirls in wholesale

and retail stores, 7.11%.lsabt:J Rojas-Aleta, Teresita L. Silva and Christine P.
Eleuar, A Profile of Filipino Women (Manila, Philippine Business for Social
Progress, October 1917), p. 207.

32. For an extended discussion, sec Rene E. Ofreneo, Capitalism in Philip

pine Agriculture (Quezon City: Foundation for Nationalist Studies, 1980), p.157-
33. Emmanuel S. Santiago, "Women in Agriculture: A Social Accounting of
Female Workshare" (part of the Women in Development Studies, Institute of
Philippine Culture, Atcneo de Manila University, January 1980), p. 28.

34. Interview with Nini and Francis Castro, Barangay Hall, Bustos, Bulacan,
October 18, 1981.

35. Interview with Goring Geronimo, Lucita Valeriano and other women,
Barrio Batya, Bocauc, Bulacan, September 3, 1981.

36. Interview with Uniwear workers, Insurance Building, Intramuros,

Manila, October 25, 1981; Interview with Carolina Ancheta, Uniwear union
president, Asian Labor Education Center, University of the Philippines, Oc
tober 29, 1981; See also Made Edralin Aganon ct al. "Case Studies on Labor
Productivity." Asian Labor Education Center, University of the Philippines
(1981), pp. 1323.

37. "Prom the Makeshift Shop to the Foreign Market," Philippine Develop
ment, IV, 18 (February 15, 1917), p. 11.
38. "Cottage Ind'JStries: Smaller than Small but Going Strong," PhWppine
De,e/npment, VII, 13 (November 30, 1979).
39. "From the Makeshift Shop to the Foreign Market," Philippine De,elop-
ment, IV, 18 (February 15, 1917); p. 10.
40. World B:1nk, Industrial Delelopment Strategy and Policies;, the Philip
pines, Main Report, 11, October 29, 1979, p. 13.

The organized manufacturing sector composed of small-scale, medium-


scale and large-scale industries in contrast employed 593,083 in 1915. Small

scale industries do not cover cottage industries because in the latter, the
manager participates in actual production which is carried out in the home
usually with the help of f11mily members. Furthermore, a cottage industry ha.~
not more than PlOO,OOO in assets and employs less than five workers while a
small-scale indut.try ha~ total assets of more than PlOO,OOO but not more than
Pl million and has five to 99 workers. University of the Philippines Institute for
Small-Scale Industries, Small and Medium Industries in the Philippines: An
Overview, pp. 9, 20, 24.
41. "Cottage Industries: Smaller than Small but Going Strong," Philippi11e
De~elopment, VH, 13 (November 30, 1979). p. 30.

"Prom the Makeshift Shop to the Foreign Market," Philippine De~oelop
metH, IV, 18 (February 15, 19TI), p. 13.

43. Interview with Rene Palines, exporter; Filipina Brillon, subcontractor;

Scrgia Sales and C. Elises, Handicraft workers at Lucban, Que1.on, November
1, 1981.

44. Interview with Ma. Luisa Calabines, Manila South Cemetery, November
1, 1981.

45. International Labor Office, Standards and Policy Statements of Special

Interest to Women Workers (Geneva: 1980), pp. 112-3.

jeanne Frances 1. IUo

The evolution of farming systems from shifting agricullurc to plow cultiva-
tion, which characterizes rice-farming areas in Southeast Asia, has been as
sociatcd wilh the dcfcma!ization of agriculture (Boser up, 1970}. While shifting
agriculture in African villages and some tribal communities in Asia leaves near-
ly all tasks of food production to women, the entry,( the plow and draft animals
has brought about a shift in the major producer role to men. Under plow cul-
tivation, men have increasingly taken over farm operations although women can
continue to engage, alongside men, in hand operations like transplanting, weed-
ing, and harvesting and threshing. As some of these manual activities are
mechanized, women are expected to be further marginalized in agricultural
This paper seeks lo investigate the queslion of female participation in che
production of food and other marketable goods in two Philippine villages, one
of which has experienced widespread mechani1.ation of key rice-farming opera-
tions. Although men are generally considered a$ lhe family's breadwinner,
wives are often compelled to supplement male earnings to ensure the survival
of lhc family. They accomplish lhis in various ways which fit into their
housewifely chores, thereby disguising the degree of women's involvement in
the village and family eoonomy. Because of the pressures which are brought to

P~~r prepared for Seminar on Women In RJce.Parmlnl Syilem1, lntetnalional Rke

Re5ea~h lnslilule, LOI Since, 1.-aguntt, Philippin, Scplember 26-30, 198l

bear on married women, the paper focuses on this group's tabor supply
decisions and how these are influenced by their family's access to mechanized
rice-farming technology.
This paper consi~ts (of three parts. A brief exposition oft he assunlptions and
the tb1ust of the analysis, and a description of the data used for this paper con
stitute the first section. Thls is fotlowed by a deseription of the nature of mar
ricd women's participation in market production and the principles which seem
lo govern their market involvement. The last section discusses the patterns of
married female labor (orce participation resulting from the access which their
(women's) families have to a rice rarm and other productive wsources, par
ticularly farm machines.

Analytical Thrusts and Data Source

The effect of farm mcchanitation on female workers has been studied in the
context of changes in labor utilization of rice farms, with female labor lost in the
general categories of "hired," "family," or "tot a\" labor (Cordova, 1%0). The
present analysis departs from this labordemand perspecti'ie and, imtcad, ex-
plores the relationship which access to farm ma<'.hincs bears on lab<:trsuppty
decisions of married women.
Thrust of the Analysts

Married female labor supply can be assum1!d to be determined along with

that of other family membe1s in 11.n effort to maximize household welfare (Min-
cer, 1962 and Gronau, 1980). 'fhe mode\ t;xpeC\!. \hef>upp\y ol\abor to inc tease
with a rise in Wilge rate, unless the income: effect of the wage change outweighs
its sub5titution effect.
ln view of peasants' concern to ensure the survival of the family (Scolt, 1976
and Hart, 1978), lhe labor supply behavior of married women may be inter
preted as geared toward fulfi\\ing the sunival requirements of their respective
families of procreation (Tilly and Scou, 1978 used the same argument for
women in pre-industrialized Europe). Thus, married women would supply
more or less of their labor according to how Car their family diverges from its
subsistt.ncc requirements. Moreover, t~dr tabor supply response to a change
in the wa~e rate and family income. {or enning~) could deviate f-:om the CXp<'.C
tat ions of the household labor supply model because of their foremost desire to
help the family attain some (subsisteno:) level of living.
______ _11~

A change in production technology like mechanizing certain operations is

assumed to affect labor supply of married women through its innucnce on the
chances of survival of thc.se women's families. Farm mechanization is further
assumed to operate at two levels. The first is through the family's direct access
to resources like land {and irriglltion); the other is through the demand for
female labor ln the village rice farms, which has already bec,n found to be
modified with the usc of farm machines. While the former refers primarily to
a push effect; the Iauer opcrah!s mainly as a pull effect. All other things con-
slant, the more resources the woman's family has, the lower is the likelihood for
her to be found in the labor force; or if found in the market, the shorter arc the
hours she is bound to observe. Similarly, women i11 villages where mechanized
!ice-farming technology dominah!s are expec,ted to have lower labor fm ce par-
ticipation and shorter hours worked than otherwise.
Data Base Used

In 1979, two rice-far min,~ villages in Camarines Sur we.re chosen for a study
of market participation and time allocation of married women. The!.e com-
munities provided two farming s~tems with rice as main crop. One village
(Ayugan) was a community where the majority of rice farms were found to be
irrigated and operated usi11g power tillers ciuring land preparation and the crop
thres}1ed by machine. Tht~ other village (Galbo) had .ice farms wbc:re land
preparation was generally ucromplished with the 11se of plow and carabao, and
threshing was undertaken either through the hompas{Jif (literally, flailing or
whipping the palay stalks) method. Since a number of farms were irr~~ated by
diverting water from nearbr springs, the irrigated area contracted by aoout half
during the dry season.
A sample of 100 households with currently married woman in residence was
selected fot each village using simple random method. 1'lle combined sample
was associated with a sampling error of 6 percent, with l~vcl of c.oufiden~~ set
at 95 percent. ln eacb sample household, the ma11i~d woman served as the
resp<tndent. Table 1 presents the distribution of the sarnple.
The research data were senerated by visitingll1e same panel of respondents
tluice during the eight-month survey period. The survey rounds were timed to
coincide witb signifkantly different periods of the agricultural cycle. Tht~ first
visit was accomplished in late March until the middle of 1\pril with the intent
of rapturing lhe relatively slade rice-farming period i11 the two villages.

Gathered during thh survey round were background inlorntaHon on the: respon
dents and their r.espective families of procreation, nd lab01 force pa.ftidpation
and time aUocaticn data for the week immediately preredi11g the interview date.
'fhe scr .)nd interview was oonducted in June; 1h\s wind(!ed wi\h tbe \and
preparation, transplanting. or weeding phaY..s In a number of farms in the two
areas. ihe \as\ survey rou\\d look place in late Sep4tmbef through mid-Oc
tOOefi this Clptured the harvesting and/or thrtShin3 of the bulk or dee crop
plaotf.'d duting the 1979/8(} wet $eason. The last N;o su~y rountt~ generated
information on the respondents' laoor mark<.t a~tivities and dme a\\ocat\on
outing the week prclliouli to the interview date.
A comprehensive am\\~is of the rc&earch results is contained in 1\lo (1983).
Only the data which are directly relevant to the discussion of married women's
market participation and farm mechanization are presented in \his J)aper.

VU1ase Women: Wives and Work<!rs

The marrie<\ women .studied in 1979were between the aJ~es oilS and(J8 years,
with the average female respondents in their mid-thirties when interviewed
during the first survey round. 17"ormal )'cars of education rang!d from nil to 14
ye.ars, and avetage edu<",a\ion Wi\S eMimnted at about 5 years c.r a Y~ar short of
the complete e\cmcntary education. These women had been manied for an
ave.rage of 15 to 16 yearr, to men who were of about the sam:. age and educa
t.",onal attainment.
The modal san:1ple {amity in \nc twovi!tagcs was composed nf the couple and
S to 6 thUdren; the nun\ber of \\vir.g children, however, rangt!d hom nil to 11
{in Gatbo) and 13 (in Ayu.gan}. 0( the children in the average family, at \east 2
were aged 6 yearf. or younger, and about 4 would live. with their patfnts until
they themselves man)' and form their own families. The age CCmpositi.on of the
majorit)' of the sample familie:; in the:~ two arca5 implies that while :here were
cni\dren toc.are- for, thctewete ahoo\der thildrcn who could d~l-.er relit..'le tbt
woman of part of dtild-r..are responsibi}ifi,~s or eng:lge in martet production to
help increase family income.
Despite the pn!f.ertce of ad11lt children. the WOltten often undertook ptodue
tion ll( home goods and services alone. l'hey plepared meats, washed the
househo~d la\lm{f), t.afed fm the younger children (particularly the infants),
and kept the hou::.e and yard clean. Moreover, they sometimes produced the
vegetables they cooked, and the poultry which be mi&Jlt served once a while.
____ lE

Wben ner.e~-.ry. they gathered firewood and fetched water from the neare!>t
spring (in the ca-;e of women in Galbo) or welt or puml) (in Ayugan), On \h<1
whole, married women spent between Yl and 44 hours a week in home produc
lion; those with preschool-aged childrc11, from 52 to 63 hours a week.
At the same time that village wivc.s conlinously kept house for their families
and looked after the welfare of their spouse and children, Ibey also engaged in
an array of a<:tivities which would either produce marketable commodities or
earn them some inc.omc. The pcr.;(;ntage of women with non-zero market
production tin:e varied from one period of I he year to another, but never did
the figure fall below64 percent in Ayugan and 86 percent in Gatbo. And in at
lca'>t 5 per.nt of the sample familie!., the wife was in the labor for~e while \1\e
rnan was either ill or could not find work in the village. The more common ar
rangcment, however, had both the woman and her spouse involved Jn market
production. This was patlicularly true in Gatbo where atlc~t 8 of every 10
sample families had a working man and wife team; in Ayugan, lhe proportion
was about 6 of every 10 sample cas(:.s.
The prcp...'lnderance of working-wife cases in Galbo appears to be associated
witb tbc g<:nctally low1~r family earnings in the area. T~ average annuali:wd
earnings of Galbo families t.lood at P5,951, which was but61 percent of that ~s
timatcd for A)'\lgan families (P9,ti83). With antiuaJ minimum ' food require
ments in 1979 valued at about P8,000 for a family o( si:<, about 81 percent of
Galbofamilk.s, as compated with 57 percent in Ayugan, maybe considered "ah
solutefy" poor (lifo, 1983).
The variation in average family earning.~ between the two villages and arnOI'l8
families within each community may be partly trace<t to the access whkb
families have to produttive resources. Jn ,\yu~n, farming families gencra'lly
bad irrigated land where crop lurnaround 'ould be faciliratuf witb lbe use of
farm machines. Consequently, the divergence between tb~ earnings of farming
fa.wilies and those of landless household, had been dramatic. The laff.c:r's
av:r.lge earnings were only ~bout h.alf of the fnrmer's (see Table 2). In c:ontrast,
a majl'rity offarming families in Gatbo were either operating non-irrigated land
or cultivating irrigated farms without sufficiertt resources (llS roughly indi~.\ed
by the kw incidence of mechani:z.ation) to ma)jmizc the returus to rice far mine.
Probably because of tbc minimal adva1Jlagc which farming lcouschoJds enjuycd
ovu landless families in this village, nnnual earning.~ did not ''!tty signHicllnUy
with famHi.~' access to riceland. l11 Galbo more than in Ayugan, Jhrm~fore,

families seemed to differ in economic status very minimally: most were poor, a
few were a little less J)O()r.

Market Produclion Activities

What constitule market production activilie~;7 These may be broadly inter
preted as pertaining to activities which generate income for lhe worker and her
family as weU as to those which produce markc.table (though not necessarily
marketed) goods. The!;e market activities then cover usage work along with
tasks related to growing of rice and other crops, livestock and poultry raising,
backyard gardening, and running a sari-sari (variety) store and other economic
enterpri&es. Crop production operations include work in the field (e.g., plant
ing or h ansplanting, weeding, and harvesting and threshing, and supervision of
hired farm labor), and auxiliary tasks like tending work animals and preparing
and bdnging food to workers in the family farm.
or the possible market activities, unpaid work in agricultural enterprises of
the household oth~:r than rice farming accounted for the largest proportion of
marrit.d female workers in Ayugan and Galbo (Sec Table 3). Probably because
of the low time requirement of these activities, working wives had sometimes
combine{\ their backyard gardening and live.slock or poultry raising with wage
employment. At other times, married women from farming houl>eholds active
ly engaged i~ rice-farming activities while Steeping tht:ir gardens and a brood of
chicken or Ol\e pig.
Meanwhile, the 20 or so wives who worked for wages during the reSt;arch
period were to be involved in different tasks in rice f.ums, stripping of abaca,
or harvesting sut.arcane. However, there tc::nded to ben concentration of female
workers in harv~ting and threshing of rice crop$ in March and April, and again
in September and October (see Table 4). Jn June, a number of working wives
joined transplantin~ teams. A comparison of the wage employment of married
women in Ayugan lind Galbo underscore-d two points. One, overlaps in rice
farming activities seemed to occur in a <:ommunity like Ayugan where farms
have aeSS to irrigat\on facilities, realize at least two crops in a year, and plant-
ing schedules are stag.~ert.d rather than uniform for all. Two, shortfalls in labor
demand from rice farms could be coven:.d by other crOJI farms' demand. This
would tend to obtain when a semi-upland village like Galbo had a diversified
cropping system. Thus, wage employrn!nt opportunities partic~larly for land
less workers would not ci'epend exclusively on low cropping intensity rice farms.

Although the village economy might dictate the degree of involvement of

women in the formal labor markett family circumstances like poverty appear to
unveil strategies and mechanisms through which women could help support
their family. Production activiries which are commonly referred to as petty gain
ful occupations provide the meat of such strategies. The higher participation
of women front a poorer village like Galbo in growing vegetables and fruit trees,
and in tending pigs which could be sold later presents itself as refutable evidence
of informal market work as a response to poverty.
/lours Worked and Return to Labor
On the whole, working wives spent between 23 and 28 hours per week in
market production (see Table 5). Because female wage workers were also in-
volved in other u,1paid productive activities, their total weekly market time con-
sistently excced<d that reported for women who never worked for wages,
regardless of village and survey round. Moreover, a comparison of working
hours in wage e111ployment alone (Table 6) and the cumulative work period of
non-wage earner; (Table 5) indicated that indeed women, on the average, were
bound to work knger hours when working for wages than otherwise. The ad-
ditional hours from non-wage activities spent by female wage workers were
about 4 to 6 per week in Ayugan; but in Galbo, the added market time ranged
from 12 to 18 hours per week.
The hourly wage rate slightly fluctuated between survey roun~. Averaging
for the two villages, wage rates were about P1.40 per hour during the first and
third S\liw~,;y pc.riods and Pl.08 in June. Meanwhile, mean hourly returns to
labor tanged between Pt.:l6 in June to P1.64 during the other two survey periods
(see Table 5). At least three things however, can be pointed out in connection
with the average hourly payments to female labor estimated for Ayugan and
Galbo. Firslt wage rates in Ayugan appeared to consistently exceed those paid
in Gatoo regardless of task. For instancet transplantc:rs seemed to be paid about
twice as much in Ayugan than in Galbo while harvesters (working in Septem-
ber or October) were estimated to have received almost P0.60 more than their
peers in Galbo for every hour worked . Second, working wives in Galbo who
never worked for wage in a particular survey round consisteotly reported
(average) hourly returns to their labor compared with those who fitted in wage
work with their other production tasks. in contrast, there was little variation in
the mean overall payment to working wives by wage employment status. Last

ly, lower average returns to labor seemed to be associated with longer

workweek. This pattern wc>s observed partkularly in Galbo and, to a limited
extent, in Ayugan. In the latter, the negative wage-hours relationship was ap
parent only in March and April.
Wives' Contrlbullon to Family liarnlngs
The lengthening of the work period when returns to labor had declined could
be interpreted as an attempt to guarantee that only the most minimal deteriora-
tion in the family's level orlivingwould result when a relative downturn occurred
in the village economy. The goal of working wives seemed modest - to help
the family secure its present economic gains. And on the average, the women
appeared to have succeeded. In Galbo, total family weekly earnings averaged
between P45 and P47; in Ayugan, P230 to P240 (see Table 7).
The estimates of the contribution of working wives to family earnings sug-
gest the following points. Women from poorer families (in Galbo) tended to
affect family earnings more dramatically than those from less poor households
(in Ayugan). The contribution of Gatbo working wives, for instanc~. accounted
for 26 to 31 percent of family earnings. In comparison, the labor earnings of
Ayugan married female workers were but 14 to 18 percent of thr. total earnings
of their respective hmilies. Although working wives realized about the same
level of earnings (as in June), the significance of their added income to family
welfare was asymmetrical. To a poor family, the woman's contribution could
have spelled the second or third full meal for the members, to a less poor
household, the wives' earnings might have allowed an additional viand per day
if not for each of the three meals during the day.
An examination of female labor earnings, taken in ~njunction with hours
worked ~nd the earnings of their families net of their contribution, offers an ex-
planation to the seemingly perverse negative wage-hour relationship observed
in the previous section. Jhsed on estimates of averages, the extension in work
!".K:riod recordeJ when hourly returns to labor declined tended to transpire when
the latter was accompanied by a fall in family earnings exclusive to the wives'
income. Otherwise, (a~ in Gatbo between March-April an(t June survey
rounds), a reduction in hourly returns to labor was associated with shorter (.101
loragcr) hours worked. Controlling for the effects of family earnings, age con
position of the family, vi !loge or residence, and other factors, working wives'
market proouction time consis.tently declined with a rise in hourly returns to
WIVF..S Al' WORK 181

labor throughout the three survey rounds (JIIo, 1983). These data lend support
to the contention that indeed village. women l.tke on economic roles with the
welfare of their family in mind. And what is an apparently perverse labor sup-
ply behavior of married women could in fact be rational when viewed in the con
text of family needs and poverty.

Women's Work ;a.nd Access to Resources

The shift in production technology which takes the form of substituting
machines for labor connotes the presence of prior changes in the traditional
production mode. In Ayugan, for instance, farm mechanization was observed
to have occurred in rice fal'ms which had been using high-yielding. early-matur-
ing rice varieties, applying fcrtilizc:rs and warding off weeds by spraying the crop
with herbicides. Moreover, the probability of adoption of farm machines has
been displayed to be higher whflre the farms already have access to irrigation
facilities. With irrigation, second and third <::rops are possible, and mechaniza-
tion has been rationalized as facilitating crop turnaround by mitigating the ef-
fects of labor supply shorfalls during critical stages of the production process.
The input package which precedes or accompanies mechanization of certain
farming operations is theoretically geared toward increac;ing rice yields; ac-
cumulation of resources mly result among families wl.. ch have already been
more progressive and more affluent than the rest. In view of these, village
families are differentiated along the most recent of a line ofyield-increMing in-
puts - m&.chines. With accc~ to machines (and irrigation) interpreted as ac-
cess to future higher earnings, the effed on economic decisions of the family
und its members need not be limited to production and labor demand issues.
Rather, it could be viewed as influencing labor supply behavior, with variations
expected to occur along the dimension of access to productive resources. The
questions which can be po-..ed at this point are: Have acces,r; to (irrigation and)
farm machine!. so polarized resource classes such that the patterns which were
noted to be grounded on poverty concerns would only hold among women from
lower resource-access groups? Or, are there principles other than poverty
which could xplain labor force participation patterns among different groups
of women? 0 r, are there principles other than poverty which could explain labor
force participation patterns among different groups of women?
Working from the poverty hypothesis, it is first assumed that categories
reflecting access to productive resources based on farm mechanization and ir-
181 _ _ _ _ _ __ 1'11.H'fNO WOMAN IN FOCUS

rigation embody relative poverty positions of families. Five resource classes an~
then created; these may be simplified into three types of households based sole-
ly on access of families to farm machines. Using either classification, landless
families constitute a separate category.
Combining the two schemes, families may then be classified as follows:

Resoun:es of Family Scheme A Sclleme B

Irrigated and mechanized

rice farm Class 1 Type A

Non-irrigated but mechanized

rice farm Class 2 Type A

luigated bllt non-mechanized

ricef;um Class 3 TypeB

Non-irrigated and non-

mechanized rice farm Class 4 TypeB

No rice farm (landless) Class 5 TypeC

These classes rough1y reflect gradations of po\'erty levels with Class 1 or

Type A families as the: -ast poor and Class 5 or Type C fi!milies as the poorest.
Among rice-farming families, Class 4 or Type B represents the poorest. Some
support for thes<' schemes is evident from the average family earning figures
summarized in Table 2.
Translating the poverty argument in terms of resource classes, the labor
force participation of married women could be expected to decline as one
moves from Class 5 (or Type C) to Class 1 (or Type A). The contentiou is that
families with less resources would be more vulnerable to (product and labor)
market fluctuations. To cushion thP. effect of market forces on the survival of
the family, the participation of married women in market production is bound
to be higher, the lower is the resource status of their respective families.

Some h'mplrlc~l Iivldences

An examination of the lahor force participation data summarized in Tables
8 and 9 suggests that women from Type A families did tend to join the labor
force less often than those from Types B and C, r.xcept in September and Oc-
tober when participation rates varied very little according to access to resour-
ces. Between the two lower classes, however, slightly fewer landless women
(from Type C familks) were working relative to less poor women. But while it
is true that landless women had IO\:er 1~articipation rates than those belonging
to Type B families, they nonetheless enter tJ.e wage labor marl:et in greater num-
ber and worked slightly longer (by about 4) hours during the reference week
(sec Table 9). Not having anJiand to till, landless workers arc forced to seck
gainful employment to live. Rice, the staple food, has tube bought; crop shar-
ing during hatvesttime appears to be a preferred arrangement and the activity
attracts (and employs) a larger number of married fcmab worlrer from land-
less families than tra11splanting or weeding. Apart from providing the female
workers with rough paddy as payment, harvesting also yielded the workers
higher earnings per hour workc:d than other activities. In the two villages
studied, landless women could secure weekly labor earn in~ Clf about P48 during
harvest time even when they kept relatively shorter work-per)od in times (like
September and October) of higher returno; to labor.
Women from farming familie!, in contrast, are assured that at ltast some part
of their household's rice requirement need not~~ purchased, and th'\t work in
the family falm could keep them away from the wage labor market. Working
y,ives from farming families could then opt to work in the family farm, raise
cro~ other than rice, or engage in trading as an alternative to wage employ-
ment. A curious pattern, howe\'Cr, seemed to emerge in the involvement of
l.hese womeu in the formal market. Like the landless women, those from
families with non-mechanized farms (Type B) held wage jobs in greater num-
ber during the harvest months than during the transplanting and weeding
period. Working wives from the highest resource class, on the other hand,
tended to withdraw from the wage labor market when the wet season rice crops
bad to be harvested. A probable explanation of this phenomenon seemed to lie
in what these landholding women did when they were not holding wage jobs.
The withdrawal of female workers from Type B households from wage ac-
tivities in June could be partly explained by their involvement in the plan~ing

(by broadcast method) or wee dins in the family farm. The decision not to work
for pay in other farms could then be rationalized by a desire to minimi7.e r,ash
costs in their own farm. But come harve!.t time, the chance of supplementing
the rice farms seemed to provide the primary attraction for women from Type
B households. And because these women were more likely residing in Gatbo
than in Ayugan, the opportunities for earning larger shares in the harvest (by
contracting the harvestinti and threshing of the rice crop) were definitely
greater. During this period, women from Type B families were able to earn, on
the average, between P41 and P44 per week; this level of earnings was secured
despite the shorter hours they kept in September and OctotJcr than in March
and April. Like landless women, they generally tended to supply fewer hours
in the wage labor mari:P.t when hourly returns to labor (hired for harvesting)
Working women from Type A households joined the labor force in Septem
ber and October in grea.ter number but the percentage of wage workers was
lower at this ti~e than in previous survey rounds. Several factors could account
for the observed pattern. With the harvestiug of the wet season rice crop, a
number of the families mustered enough resources to invest in livestock which
got more women in;olrcd in tending one or two pigs. Some women helped su-
pervise the harvesters in their family farm while others engaged in trading ac
tivities. More than other groups of women, working wives from the highest
resource class bad the capital for trading ventures. Most of the female traders
were running variety stores; a few engaged in buying and selling of rice and other
food products. Returns from trading, farm supervision, and livestock raising
were evaluated by working wives to be at least 25 percent higher than what they
could earn for each hour worked in the harvesting of rice crops. And assured
of their farms meeting the rice requirements of the family, women from Type
A families had little incentive for share harvesting. In contrast, when payment
for hired labor was in cash (as in June), relatively m~ic Norking women engaged
in wage jobs and worked longer hours in spite of the lower hourly rates.
What tbe Evidences Suggest: A Few Concluding Notes

The analysis of labor supply behavior of working wor aen from families with
differing resources underscores two related points. First, the concern to
prevent a further deterioration in their family's level of Living when returns to
labor are falling pervades among the village women. The persistence of the
:!!VF.S ~T WORK liS

general tendency for women, regardless of resource status, to work longer hours
when labor rates are falling leads to \he second point. In villages like Ayugan
and Galbo, families are rarely distinguished as "rich" or "poor," but as being in
different states of need (or poverty). The classification of families based on ac-
cess to productive resources need notthercfore be correlated with variations
in the basic response of married female workers to changes in the hourly returns
of labor. llowcvcr, differential acecss to resources, particularly as it indicates
the family's chances of fulfilling its rice consumption requirements, offers an
explanation for some observed patterns in women's p;.rtidpation in the labor
Taking the itivolvcmcnt of working women in wage activities, the following
principle seems to be suggested. Where the family is not likely to meet its rice
needs either because of the family farm's suboptimal production or because thf}
family has no land to till, married women are wont to hlre out their services for
the harvesting of rice crops~ sharing in tlw. harvested paddy provides the main
allraction of this activity. In contrast, wo1nen from families whose farm could
supply the household its rice needs (as in the case of Type A families) rarely
join paid harvesting teams; instead, they en~:t~~ in what they view as more
profitable, self-employed work. The few working wives from Type A families
who seeJ; lid agricultural employment desire to earn cash which can be used
to meet non-food needs of the household.
The preceding discussions stress the use of family's access to farm
machines- and, by assumption, all previo.1sly introduced yield-increasing
production inputs-to set alternative family scenarios so as to delineate dif-
ferences, if any, in married women's labor supply decisions. Nonetheless, the
research results suggest that mechanizing certain rire-farming operations
would affect village women differentially. Landless (female and male) workers
are the most vulnerable group; the less poor farming women, the least vul-
nerable. Where threshing h& been mechanized (as in Ayugan), the workers'
share in the harvested paddy declines but their total take-home pay could in-
crease relative to other (non-mechanized) communities. Because threshlng is
accomplished by a smaller (aU-male) team, the harvesters ca."l opt to cover more
farms; the limit to such strategy is the degree of competition the workers face
in their Dwn and in adjoining villages. And because workbg wives from land-
less households need ~~ !east the customary total amount of paddy which they
had taken home ever. j;,{ore the advent or portable threshers, they under-

standably tend to work longer (and in more farms) for lower hourly (cash-
equivalent) wage rates. As the study of the two Philippine viUages reveals, the
focus of married women's energies is the family; their constant worry, provid-
ing the children with the basic needs. Thrir pre-occupation cannot confwe
them to purely homemaker's functions; such is not their way.


Boscrup, Estar. 1970. Woman's role in economic de\elopment. New York: St.
Martin's Press.
Cordova, Violcta G. 1980. "New rice technology: its effect on labor usc and
shares in rice production in Laguna, Philippines: 1966-78." Agricultural
Economics Department Paper No. 80-02, IRRI, Los Banos, Philippines.
Gronau, Reuben, 1980. Leiswe, bome production, and work. In H.P.
Binswaner, et al. (eds). Rural household studit!S in Asia. Singapore: Sin-
gapore University Press. pp. 42-68.
Hart, Gillian Patricia. 1978. "Labor allocation strategie-s in rural Javanese
households." Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. Columbia University, New
IUo, Jeanne Frances I. 1983. "Women's work and family: A theoretical and em-
pirical analysis of married female labor supply in two Philippine villages."
Unpublisht:d Ph.D. dissertation. University of the Philippines, Diliman,
Quezon City.
Mincer, Jacob. 1962. Lahor force participation of married women. In H. Gregg
Lewis (ed). Aspects of labor economics. New Jersey: Princeton University
Press. pp. 67-97.
Scott, James C. 1976. The morrll tconomyofthe peasant: Rebtllion and subsis-
tence in Southeast Asill. New Haven: Yale UDiversity Press.
Tilly, Louise A., and Scott, Joan W. 1978. Womerr., worlc and family. New York:
Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Tlbttt 1. Distribution of Sanple F111111llea b,'lrrlgatlon end
.. _...,,.Mechanization Status of the Rk1 Farms They
Cult fvated: Ayugan and Gl'ltbo ( 1979)

lrrfgetfon and Farm-
Mechanization Status 1978/79 1979/80 1978/'t~ 1979/80
dry season wet neason dry seas~, wet seas~1

Irrigated fa!:!!!!.

with n.thlnes S9 (88) 8 (12) 6 ( 9)

without mechlnes 3 ( 4) 29 (43) 40 (59)

Nonfrrfgated farms

with machines 8 (12) 3 ( 4) 11 ( 16) 5 ( 7)

without machines 2 ( 3) 2 ( 3) 20 (29) 17 (25)

Total no. of rl~e

farmlng families In
the s~le 69 67 68

Total no. of non-

farming families
in the 5811\lle 31 29 32 28

Total no. of sample

famllles ,00 ,00

The figures in perenthe~ pertain to the percente;e of s~le


fal lfa belonging to an Irrigation and farnt-III!Chanhatlon status to

the total .......,_r
of ricefa"'lng fllfes l~luded In the ....,le.

bay the thl rd survey rOU'ld, the s~le size hes been redJted to 96 per
village for trry of th~ following reesor: deeth of the Nrrled fele
responde{lt, out11igratfon of the fflY after the first survey rOU'ld,
or death of the wanans spouse W\lch thua rendered her a widow and
WillS therefore considered not qualified to belong to the currently
married female Slll'flle,
Tllbte 2. Average A~l Flly Earnf'""a, by Flly'a
Access to Prcdx:tive Resources: Ayugan end Gatbo (1979)

Category of Femlly by
~cc~s to Resources Ayugan Gatbo OVerall

~lliU ,!2 riceloncfl

Fcrming P11 ,394 ( 69)b P6,6SS ( 68) P9,042 (137)

Nonformlng 5,875 ( 31) 4,454 ( 32) 5,153 ( 63)

Accesf! ,!2 Qther

procl.Jct ive resources
<for farming fomlt i~_l'

Irrigated, mecha
nfzed farm 12,348 ( 55) 10,593 ( 8) 12,125 ( 63)
Nonirrigated but
mcchanfzed farm 8,182 ( 8) 8,521 ( 11) 8,379 ( 19)
Irrigated but non-
IMchanfzed far111 7,604 ( 4) 5,231 ( 29) 5,520 ( 13)
Nonfrrfgated, non-
mechanized farm 5,590 ( 2) 6,118 ( 20) 6,070 ( 22)

OVerall P9 ,683 (100) P5,951 (100) P7,817 (200)

Using one-way analysis of variance, average &rnJal fomlty earnings in
Gatbo and for the two villages carbined did not varr significantly
with the hmlly's access to ricelancl. In Ayugan, however, amual
family earnings varied according to access to ricelend at 0.05 l'vel
of significance.

blhe figures In parentheses refer to the I"'UU'ber of sMple famlt ies

belonging to the particular access category.

'Arruat family eamings varied signlfic~r~tly (at 0.001 level) by the

family's access to prod.Jetlve resources other than rlcelancl In
Ayug~r~, Gatbo, and In the two vlliages cOI!Oined.
Tllble 3. Distribution of Married F11111le \lorktra by Type of
Activity: Ayugen eo:t Gatbo (1979)

Ayugnn G I t b 0
Type of Activity
April Jtne October April J~.ne October

\1119 e efllll oyment 28 21 27 24 20 20

(44) 8 (36) (34) (28) (22) (23)

Unpaid work In own 8 19 11 17 19 14

rice farm (12) (33) (14) (20) (21) (16)

Unpaid work In own 6 9 9 16 11 7

business < 9) (16) (11) (19) (12) ( 8)

Unpaid work In other

agr Icui tural
enterprises of the 39 36 61 n 90 87
household (61 > (62) <n> (90) (99) (99)

No. of sample married

women world ng
duriC9 the survey 64 58 79 86 91 ~6
week (64)c (59) (82) (86) (94) (92)

No. of sample non

working married
wanen 36 40 17 14 6 8

a The f lgures in parentheses pertain to the percentages of women

In a particular ac~lvlty to total married women working during
the survey week.

bThe figures In the table need not total to the data given at the
foot of the table owing to women holding different types of

cThe percentage figures In parentheses pertain to the labor force

participation at th~ particular survey period.
Tlble 4. Distribution of Married Fe~~~~~le Wage Workers
by A1:tlvlty: A\'V9Ml and Gatbo (1979)

Ayugen G II t b 0
Activity -~------------------- -------------
April Ju-re October April June October

Hon fa rm.!ns !! i ~ 1 ...

leeching 3 3 3


Paid laundrywoman 2

f!r.m..l!ll ~ !l 22 23 ?.Q ?.Q

Transplanting 3 8 3 2 11

Weeding 2 2

Harvesting and
threshing 11 4 17 13 19

Other rlcefarming
tasks 6

Stripping of abaca 5 4

Harvest of sugarcane
crop 2 3 2

Other agricultural
activities 3

No. of ~le married

female wege workers 28 21 27 24 zo 20
T.U~ 5. Estl1111ted Av~rege fterket ProdJctlon Time (In h'urs
per week) end Hourly Pa';llllt (eetual fii'WJ/or i!!pllted) t<..
Femal~ Labor, by Wanen'a \lege Eq>lrt
Status: A~an end Gatbo ( 1979)

Survey ROU1d Uork lng for \/ages Nonwag~ Uork~rs Atl \lo1kers
ard Vllla9e ------------- ---------------- ------------------
Hours RII'Hb RH~c Hours RH~ Hours R\IPH RH'oiR

Ayugan 26 P1.59 P1.59 12 P2.03 18 P0.68 P1.84
Gatbo 44 1.12 1.27 24 1.58 30 0.31 1.49

OVerall 35 P1.37 P1.44 20 P1. 74 25 P0.46 P1.64

Ayugan 40 P1.46 P1.35 27 P1.24 32 P0.51 P1.28
Gatbo 42 0.70 0.91 24 1.57 28 0.16 1.42

OVerall 41 P1.08 P1.13 25 P1.45 28 PO.JO P1.36

Ayugan 35 P1.67 P1.66 15 P1.52 22 P0.59 P1.57
Gatbo 41 1.10 1.16 20 1.83 25 0.25 ~ .68

alncluded here were wanen workers who were C?vered by the three survey
rOU'lds. However, 3 female workers lllo were enployed as ptbl ic school
teach~rs during th~ research period were excluded.

bRHIII was estl1111ted by dividing the total labor pe)'lllellt (wages plus
rep.eeement costs In own enterprise) for the reference week by the numer
of ;;:-rs worked d.lrlng that period.

cR\IPH was derived by dividing total wages (cash an.;l noncash) llllch female
work~rs received during the r~ference .. eek by the ruber of hours spent
in wage employment for that pericd.
Table 6. Estimated Aven~ge Time (In hours per week) Spent
by Married femele Workers In Particular Market
Activities: Ayugan and Gatbo (1979)

Ayugan Ga t b o
Type of Activity -------------
Harch Sept. March- Sept.
April Juno Oct. April Juoe Oct.

\Jage ffit>loymcnt 22 (28) 8 34 (21) 29 (27) 27 (24) 24 (20) 28 (20)

Uf1>&id work In
own rice farm 10 ( 8) 28 (19) 29 (11) 18 ( 17) 22 (19) 25 ( 14)

Uf1>&ld work in
own business 29 ( 6) 46 ( 9) 25 ( 9) 21 ( 16) 30 (11) 28 ( 7)

Ul1'81d work in
other agri
enterprises 7 (39) 6 (36) 5 (61) 16 en> 12 (90) 11 (87)

No. of S8111'le
female workers
ciurlng the
survey tOII"Id 64 58 79 86 91

The f lgures in parentheses pertain to the nurber of wanen engaged In
the particular market activity.
T~e 7. Estfl1111tes of Working Wives' Contribution to
~ly F111111ly Earnings: Ayupn and Gatbo (1979)

Survey ROU"'d Ave. Hours X of

11nd Village Wor~ed RH\o'Ra RTLPAYb FIEAANRBc TFWEd TRLPAY
to Tf!E


Ayugllfl 18 P1.84 p 33 . P207 P2~0 14

Gatbo 30 1.49 45 102 147 31

overall Z5 P1.64 p 41 P146 P187 22


Ayugan 32 1.28 41 189 230 18

Gatbo 27 1.42 38 107 145 26

overall 28 P1.36 P38 P139 P1n 21


Ayugan 22 1.57 34 198 232 15

Gatbo 25 1.68 42 105 147 29

over at I 23 P1.64 P38 P148 P186 20

RH~ pertains to the estllllllted hourly retur,.. to htbor. This was
derived by dividing the total labor pe)Wilt (wages plus replecelllent
costs In owa enterprises) for the reference week hy the rlUiber of
houn worked during that period.

bRTLPAY refers to the total tabor peywent during the reference week.

cr\IEARNRB pertains to the weekly faml ly earnings net of the woman's


dyFwe rP.fers to the total weeJ(ly f1111lty earnings Inclusive of the

working wives' tabor e11rnings for the week.
T~e 8. Lftbor Force Participation Rates of ~arrled ~. by
the Irrigation and Fan. Mechanization Status of Their
Family Farm: Ayugan and G,lltbo Colltllned (1979)

Irrigation and Fann

Mechanization Status KarchAprll Jt.ne S-ptenberOctober

!4echonlzed farms ~ hla

with Irrigation 63 6~ 87
without Irrigation 89 90 94

All mechanized farms 68 67 88

NOIYIICchanized farms .l_!m 1

with Irrigation 88 88 92
without irrigation 70 90 83

All nol'lllCChani zed

fonns 81 89 f')

All farms 73 76 89
Nonfarming (Type C) 80 75 83

OVerall 75 76 -87

alhe Information In parentheses refers to the access-to-resource

category to 14lich the WOIIIefl'a fa~~~llles belong (see page 14 for a
discussion of the classification sr~Hlll>'! used).
Tllbte 9. Selected Market l'artlcfpatlon Data on Working lllvea,
by Survey Rcud and 1\esour..:eAcceu Category:
A)'\lg&n ffld Gat bo Colle lrled ( 1979)

sur vcy Rou-.d r.od

Selccte<l Market Fan~~fng Famf I IH Noofar~~~lng
Partfclpltlon --------, Famlllu
Datil T~A TypH 8 Total (T~ C)

" with wage job ~ 2\ 23 S4

Mean hwrs work~
for the Heelc 17.1 28.8 22.2 30.0
lotean RH'o1R ~P)
1.76 1.54 1.65 1.60
Hear. RTLPAY (P) 30 44 ~7 48


X with wage Job 30 15 ~::! 40

Mean hours worked
for the week 34.8 24.9 29.6 27.9
Mean Rlt\IR (P) 1.32 1.49 1.4\ 1.26
Mean RTLPAY (P) 46 37 42 35


X wf th wage Job 19 26 21 47
*an hours worked
for the week 21.8 23.0 22.3 24.7
Mean RH\IR (P) 2.03 1. 79 1.94 1.92
Mean RTLPAY (P) 44 41 43 47

8 Rit\lt per~alns to the hour\ y returns (wage plUI replacement coat)

for the NOh~'s labor.

bRTLPAY refen1 to the ~ tot11l labor eernlnga for the

reference we.
Their Implications for
Education) National Polley, and
Social Action

Summary and Conclusions

Byway of summary, the findings which suggest answers to the initial research
questions will be recapitulated.

I. What are the values rcOccted by the cognitions, preferences, asp\rat\ons,

attitudes, behavioral predispositions and behaviors of the Filipino women
in this study?

1. Economic Values
1.1 Work outside vs. work in the home: in 5 regions, work in the home is
a priority, as againstJ regions where work outside is considered more
important. Women below 30 years prefer work outside as compared
to older women.
1.2 Work is undertaken to augment income; it is also a response to in-
adequate family finances, to the fact that one earner per family is no
longer enough.
1.3 Preference for working abroad to earn more money and to have a bet-
ter life.
1.4 Money earned or received trough "luck" will he saved rather than in-

Source: UJ>S..CB.NCRFW Research on Values of Rural Women in Different Cullural

Settings: Implications ror Education, National Policy and Social Action, 1984.

vested with younger respondents more receptive to investment.

1.5 Savings to bt: used for emergency and daily needs, then education of
children, security in old age, to buy a house and lot, appliances, etc.
Investment in business is not a high priority.
1.6 Family budgeting is assigned to the mother but fmal decision on the
use of money is a conjugal decision.
1.7 Education, a good illld peaceful life, and happiness are high values.
Top priority assigned to education also reflected in their view of high
level of schooling (college educ:\lion) as a factor of success.
1.8 Changing values due to changing economic conditions.
1.8.1 Parents to stay separate from married children.
1.8.2 Children are values for potential or actual contribution to fami-
ly economy.
1.8.3 Fewer children make for a happier family.
1.9 Optimistic view of the future; foresee a better life in the future com
pared to the present.
1.10 In many respects women are better off now than in the past except
for their ''behavior."
1.11 The best profession for women is teaching.
1.12 The best thing that ever happened to them was
a) getting a chance to study and
b) getting married.
2. Political V11/ues
2.1 Women have moderately positive attitudes towards politics.
2.2 Women generally trust the government.
23 The future will be better than the present.
2.4 Family peace, love, and understanding are conjugal obligations. Dis-
cipline of children is a common parental duty.
2.5 Top political values are the right to education, to a decent paying job,
freedom of expression and equal treatment before the Jaw.
2.6 Filipino women are politically aware and knowlcdgca!>le.
2.7 However, they refrain from participating in political discussions; do
not have direct contact with government leaders, and are not mem
bers of political organizations.
2.8 Moreover, their major political activity is voting in elections and at
tending rallies.

2.9 They regard government positions as basically for men; preferring to

engage in economic activities. All other things being equal, they
would rather vote for a man than for a woman. They derive some in-
formation from listening to the radio.
2.10 They indicate political conservatism and disapproving [sic] of priests
participating in politics.
2.11 F'ilipino women are better educated today and enjoy more freedom
than women in the past.
3. Pl!igious/aesthetic orientations and use of mass media.
3.1 Economic values prevail over religious values.
3.2 Temporal deprivation on earth is preferred, to obtain reward ater
3.3 Priestly domain is the church and religion, not politics.
3.4 Women participate in religious organizations and activities, but prefer
economic activity to community/church activities.
3.5 Within the family, religious leadership is left to the women.
3.6 However, women feel that religion is not an exclusively female do-
main. By implication, they believe that men should also be involved
in religious activity.
3.7 A beautiful woman is one who is virtuous, intelligent and educated,
has good looks, is modern and healthy; conservative.
3.8 A model mother is loving and kind, industrious and a good
housekeeper; virtuous, intelligent.
3.9 A model daughter is ol~".dient, loving, respectful, courteous, virtuous,
industrious, helpful, kind, studious, and intelligent.
3.10 A successful woman is talented and educated; sociable and kind; in-
dustrious and patient; happily mlll'ried.
3.11 Women are radio list<:ners and TV watchers; they generally prefer
soap operas, kundimum, and other musicals to other programs.

4. Self-Concept

Although the Filipino woman has a genera\ly positive self-concept in terms

of the traditional virtues associated with the role of wife and mother, her locus
of control centers inward; she tends to accept a "failure" at a task or difficult
situation and doubts her capability to perform a new and difficult task.

ll. Do their values differ because of:

1. ethnolingiustic origin and affillialion?
2. type o community residence?
3. socioeconomic characteristics?
4. age?
5. educational attainment?

Ethnolinguistic affiliation stands out as the variable most significantly related

to the political, economic, and religious/aesthetic orientations identitied, in that
order. Education is the next strongest correlate of the same orientations. Con-
siden.1bly a less determinant than the first two are religion, occupation,
household income, and community residence (central or noncentra\). Ag..
seems to figure least in the identification of value orientations, althoug.11 more
younger women than the older wom~n, would opt for work outside the home
and invest money in business.
It should be noted, however, that the significance and strength of these cor-
relates are a function of the questions asked and mode of answering prescribed
in the questionnaire.

Ill. How do men and women view the relations between the sexes? Do their
views differ? Do their values uiffer?
In general, men and women share comi;ton economic z.nd political orienta-
lions. However, with respect to certain questions, the men's responses were
significantly higher than those of the women. For example, mor~ men agree
that women have less opportunity than men to advance in. the same job. Con-
trary to the majority response, a significant number of men seemed to agree that
happiness in Hfe means being wealthy. The same is true of the statement that
people in the community have less respect fot a man whose wife works for a
living. More men than women agreed that a woman's place is in the home.
The men are more optimistic than the worn ~n in their view of the country's
future. More of them would file for legal separation in case of a philandering
spouse and very few of them would suffer such a ~ , lation in silence. The men
outnumber the women who would vote for a man candidate against an equalJy
qualified woman. With respect to the adoption of divorce in the country, more
men in the minority respondents' groul'l campaign for divorce; alternati\'ely,
more men than women would do nothing about the issue.

These differences in perceptions show that men recognize and accept the
advantages that the sociocultural system accords them; they are willing to main-
tain the importance of their role as providers and decision makers even at the
cost of continuing the inequalities to which the women have been subjected for
a considerable time.

Retrospect and Prospect

In brief, some values identified appear to be terminal, as modes of conduct

or states of existence, such as family well-being, safety, security, peace and
order, happiness, a decent life, sharing, harmonious interpersonal relations, and
freedom of expression. The others are largely instrumental: education, gainful
employment, a decent job, savings, etc. It may well be that some of the terminal
values are redundant, viz., family well-being and happines may be equated by
the respondents. Happiness is a vague term with multiple meanings. This study,
however, was concerned with those answers frequently given by the respondents
in order to arri.ve at shared value orientations.
These were implicit assumptions in the definition of purpose, the choice of
research questions and methods in this study, some of which were:
1. Filipino women have values, some stronger than others.
2. These values are related to the institutions to which the1r daily existence
is closely linked: family, work, kin, neighborhood, and community.
3. Some of these valur-S derive from historical antecedents, particularly the
colonial experience:
3.1. The ideal attributes of chastity, modesty and circumspect behavior;
3.2. The image of the patient wife who servr,s, understands, and maintains
a viable or at least tolerable relationshi? with her husband in the
larger interest of the family;
33. The ideal mother who serves, nurtures, :and occassionaUy chastises
her children;
3.4. The ideal housewife whose industry is addressed primarily to home
and family.
4. On the other band, these values are not immutable; some of them are
changing, albeit gradually, in response to trends or events in the surrounding
social, politica~ and eronomic environment.

It is how women perceive these external influences that determine their

responses which, in turn, would reflect some of their value orientations. A study
ol' this nature depends heavily on respondent perceptions, chiefly because
re~lity is a social construction.
Many of these assumptions have been supported by the fmdings. The most
frequently articulated value orientations are economic in nature, specially as
they affect the family. This is not surprising; it reflects conditions obtaining all
over the country. The Filipino family i:; engaged in a relentless struggle for sur-
vival against rather hea\'y odds.
The importance attached to the economy is particularly acute in a poor
country where the exigencies of survival override all othrr considerations. In
fact, survival is a major concern of both men and women since a large number
of Filipino families are poor.
Lack of money, inability to provide for basic needs, lack of employment op-
portunities are current community concerns, which are paralleled by the nation-
al concerns cited: lack of employment and poverty. The respondents would
augment family income by raising animals, growing vegetables, and working on
the farm; they would budget well and practice thrift. Other respondents men-
tion runing a sari-sari store or engaging in small business enterprises. They
prefer to acquire skills like cooking and sewing which can be useful'at home and
possibly add to family income without leaving their households.
There are assumptions embedded in such responses. The harsh conditions
in the market economy, specially as they determine the family economy, are im-
plicitly recognized and accepted as bedrock reality. The ways suggested to
resolve such problems are severely limited, rarely transcending the boundaries
of barr:-) or town. The enterprises suggested are marginal economic activities,
an acknowledgment that the door to the higher reaches of the economy is closed
to them, even though most of them have acquired a college level education.
Entry to the more lucrative ventures is denied them by market policies that con-
fine them to residual economic areas. With the advent of agro-industrial com-
panies in the countryside, even these marginal enterprises may be threatened
with eventual extinction. Already, food production and processing, garments
- all sources of meeting basic needs - are falling into the hands of large com-
panics against whose econo ~.:cs of scale the poor, women as well as men, can-
DOl possibly compete on even terms. These women may not be knowledgeable
about ecouomic policies, but they recognize their lack of economic freedom.

And so do those who approve of relatives, and c~n themselves, working over
seas to earn more money and to lead a better life.
While the responses on economic matters seem to be fragmented, they add
up to the pressures exerted on the individual and the family by a market-de-
pendent economy. Thus, the responsibility for providing for basic necessities,
for saving for emergency needs, for taking csre of parents in their old age, for
fmding work where employment opportunities are scarr..c, e~n for having less
children, all revolve on the family. All of these represent the pressures of the
prevaililig economic system. It is, therefore, not remarkable that education is
perceived as a stepping stone to a better-paying job or at least to improve con-
ditions of living.
But the economic system alone cannot fully account for the relative power-
lessness of women. In politics, l~ey have been conditioned to participate min-
imally - to regard government position<~ and related activities as the domain
of men. In their tacit acceptance of this di\ision, they have been effectively ex-
cluded from the exercise of power, from active participation in those decisions
that determine the conditions of their lives. Sometimes this has had less than
positive effects on their self- concept - acceptance offailure in a new task, self-
doubts about their capability to perform an unfamiliar job weU. Most impor-
tantly, ihe acceptance of being primarily wives and mothers as their primary
role and the performance of duties related to these roles as their major func-
tions, have been incorporated in their consciousness. Nor shculd there be any
doubt that the colonial experience had something to do with shnping this kind
of consciousness.
To put it differently, the role of women in the running of everyday life is
dwarfed by the role of men in running the structures that determine the condi-
tions of everyday life. Male dominance is far from being a myth in a develop-
ing society like the Philippines; it is a structural fact. Women may not
experience themselves as subordinate, but they are structurally in a subordinate
position with respect to men. They have few political options and have even
less economic alternatives available.
Thus, the responses of women on economic questions reflect not only their
personal concerns but also the structural constraints within which they attempt
to resolve their existential problems. Apart from sharing with men the oppres-
sions and constraints from a colonial past and a neo-colonial present, women
haYC to bear the additional structures imposed by sociocultural prescriptions.

The point is that it is not just the economic subsystem, but the entire sociocul-
tural system which may explain the value orientation of women. Such a
perspective has been proposed by Rosaldo:

Hf propo&e a sttueturallllOikl that ~lates aspects oC phytholol:f and (U\tllnland IOtial

orpniulion to an OJ'PO'ition between the domAtic orientafion o( women and e.xtro
domestic, or "public" ties that,ln mct aodetles, are prlm.uily IVIilable to rnen. This ap
proteb .. enables us to ma\e seNC of a number of wry general cbaracleristics of human
sex roles and to idet1tify certain strateJies and motivations, as wtll u source ol vall!( and
potVCr, that a~ available to women In different human groups." (Rouldo and Lamphere,

At the risk of being repetitive, some of the findings will be reviewed from this
perspective. The home-bound economic options of women are more readily
understood through this approach. Being home-bound is traceable to the no-
tion that the major task of women is looking after the family, the chilren, the
home. One obstacle to employment mentioned is that women are not allowed
to look for work, especially outside the community. This is another element
consistent with the limited life-world of women. These tasks, children, family,
housek~~piug aa"C traceable to the reproductive function of women. They bear
the children; they look after them. This is supposed to be "natural." The func-
tional sequence has been practiced so long that it has gone unquestioned even
b_v the women themselves. Biology does constrain but does not completely
determine the behavior of the sexes.
This structural rnodeJ also explains the limited economic option.~ perceived
as open to women. The paucity of opportunities for jobs or self-employment in
underdeveloped towns and barrios is a built-in-feature of tb~ dual economy.
There being severely limited options, women must settle for the few that are
available and feasible.
The cu1tura1 conditioning derived from confinement of women to domestic
activities has not only led to this state of affairs; it h'l also strenghtened it by
the internalization by women themselves that such a role is right, appropriate
and natural. This also explains the lack of interest and minimal involvement of
women in political activities, the failure to connect politics and economics, viz.,
the peace and order problem as a function/dysfunction of government.
The values fi.')(ed in the chapter on political orientations were described as
largely instrumental, although family unity and well-beings, national unity,
freedom of expression, safety and security are regarded as terminal. Educa-

don, equal treatment before the law, a de<:ent job, are really means to valued
ends. Overall, the terminal values express aspirations that are univer&ll.
With respect to religious orientations, the women seem to be more preoc-
cupied with fa'ltily needs, education, earning a living than with specifically
religious activities. Next to sociocivic organizations, they are members of
religious associations. They do not feel that religious activities should involve
only women. Interestingly, both men and women agree that it is lx:tter to suf-
fer in this world than hereafter. At the very least, this presupposes a belief in a
hereafter, & belief that some social scientists unkindly regard as dysfunctional
for development for it may deflect energies from the ex.tcting demands of the
present. The significant point is the subordination of religious activities to the
daily problems of material existence. This is consistent with the findings that
economic concerns are considered important by the subjects ofthe study.
Conceptions of the beautiful woman, whether wife, mother, or daughter,
combine moral and practical characteristics. Virtue or character comes first,
then intelligeuce, education, good looks. In addition, daughters must be
obedient and industrious. The successful woman is defined as talented and edu-
cated, sociable and kind, industrious and patient, and happily married. It is not
certain that virtue is defined conformity with prevailing norms; if it is, then the
conception of the beautiful woman would fit into the structural model proposed
With respect to radio and TV programs, the respondents favor local soap
operas, music.tls and newscasts in the former, and local soap operas, variety
shows and educ.ationaVmusical programs for the latter. Depending on struc-
tural correlates, there are some variations, viz., ku.-.dimans are preferred by rela-
tively older women, ballads by a yotnger age group. Even as they treat
themselve.~ to such programs, a majority of respondents believe that movies have
a bad influence on youth. The popularity of local soap operas suggests the in-
creasing influence of the mass media and the inevitable acculturation that
The findings with respect to self-concept are also consistent with the sug-
gested structural model.
The Filipino woman's most valued traits are being industrious, hardworking
and patient, w}lich are behavioral traits associated with her role as wife and
mother. Although she sets high aspirations for herself, she is likely to do so
within the context of these roles.

The values identified and classified according to the original paradi~ can
be situated and explained by the structural model proposed. Moreover, the
model can be utilized as a framework for further research.
It is felt that this study serves a purpose in being a kind of baseline investiga-
tion, but it is more exploratory than intensive. There are questions yielded by
the study which require additional research and which may promote, in more
practical terms, the aim of harnessing woman power in the national interest.
Some examples that may oo included in future reserch agenda foUow:

1. Is there anyway of checking the perceptions against behavioral indicators?

It is felt that perhaps, intensive ethnographic field work is the best appropriate
approach to this. Certainly, it would revive firm support to the findings. In ad-
d:tion, the moral value disr.ension and expressed concern over changes in the
behavior of women which are regarded unfavorably, could be identified, ob-
served, discussed in interviews and conversations, etc. There seems to be a
prevalent opinion that moral values are specially important, particularly in
periods of national crisis or transition.
2. How do poor and non-poor women differ in prioritizing their values?
3. What, exactly, is the economic orientation of different cohorts of women:
young and old, educated and less educated, central (more urbanized) and non-
central (less urbanized residents). To determine these, a more finely tuned re-
search schedule would be necessary.
4. What conditions and what personal considerations make possible the unity
of attitudes, thoughts and action?
S. The emergence of ethnolinguistics as a significant correlate of value per-
ceptions requires more intensive probing. For example, why do Tagalog and
Parnpango women seem to be more conservative in some respects (politics, par-
ticipation in conununity activities, etc.). In the light of the historic role of these
groups, these findings need confirming or disconfirming.
6. The value attached by men and women to the family bas been well-docu-
mented by many studies. Yet there are nettlesome questions that must be
raised. Is the valuing of family r,.!lrr:: a terminal value? Are Filipino mothers
more children-oriented th?.... husband- oriented? In what way is this attitude in-
strumental? Are childrC'.c prized for being children or for their potential or ac-
tual contr;butions l<' the family economy? Recall the preference for girls
because they can help in household work and take care of parents in their old

age. Is marriage merely a convenient economic anangement? What would be

left of the marital relationship if all the economic difficulties of the family were
to be resolved?
7. The choice of teaching as a preferred occupation must be regarded with
some reservation. Is this an ideal, an aspiration or a coming to terms with
reality? Teaching is one of the !r-SS expensive college programs. and as an oc-
cupation, it is less likely to interfere with the roles women have to perform within
the family.
8. It is conjectured that the value attached to education is equally instrumen-
tal - as a means for achieving economic ends. To be sure, there are intima-
tions of awakening: the woman who discovers that her husband has a number
two would, apart from the pacific way of giving advice for the sake of the
children, file for a legal separation, confront and compel him to make a choice
in that order. Are confrontational tactics part of Philippine culture? What does
this to (sic] the so-called norm of smooth interpersonal relations? Another in-
dicator of incipient awakening is the admission by some respondents to a dis-
taste for domestic or household work.

The foregoing are samples of the questions on which further re5earch would
be both valuable and useful, not only for practical purposes, but also for testing
the structural model pro~d. However, on the continuing study of values,
there are some caveats it is weiJ to heed.
The distinction between cultural values and situational or circumstantial
adaptations should be clarified and kept in mind. "The value of a culture in-
cludes the ideals, the aims and ends, the ethical and aesthetic standards, and
the criteria of knowledge and wisdom embodied within it, taught to and
modified by each human generation. These values are not simply manifested
straigthforwardly on the surface or everyday life: they are related to experience
and behavior in complicated, variable and indirect ways. What is prized and
endorsed according to the standards of a cultural system is not always manifest
or practically availctble in the exigencies of ong.')ing existence." (Charles Valen-
tine, 1968).
Therefore, research should not be expectr<l to find all the values that lend
coherence to a way of life directly or overtly expressed in everyday life.
While social statistics are useful indk.ators, they can do little more than in-
dicalt, suggest, hint, at values. In one sense, research such as this, which covers

both social statistics as weU as some insights into the major value orientations
of Filipino women, speaks of the human condition in the country.
Some of the data in this study le'nd support to the domestic and public orien
tation model. However, it should be noted that a model is not the reality; it is
an approximation of that reality which must be probed further to test the model's
validity and usefulness. Assymetries in the cultural evaluations of the sexes bavo
been found in many societies. In the Philippines, because of the surprising
strength of the women (lh.served by outsiders, such an investigation must an-
ticipate difficulties in the form of subtle nuances, subliminal prejudices and un-
conscious biases which underlie inequalities or, to use a milder term, the
assyrnetries in cultural evaluation of the sexes.

Concluding Remarks
The value orientations revealed in this study reflect the social, economic and
political conditions in which these women live. Although some of the fmdings
seen disheartening, the women's spirit of willingness to help, to promote and
nurture the family's weU-being. the yearning for peaceful life, the desire for op-
portunities to study and work, are aU potential sources of genuine national
development. Despite the cultural and structural constraints, there is obvious
ly a strength and will in the Filipino women which has not betm fully harnessed
in building a better society. The struggle of Filipino women for equality should
be placed in the con~ext of the national situation. It would be part of the larger
struggle for freedom from poverty, hunger, disease and early death, freedom of
expression, freedom to choose th~ who would govern, freedom to live, labor
and love in peace.
A U.ngftudfnal Case Study of Wor.ldng Women
in the Bataan Expor1 Processing Zone

Imelda Zou-Fera.nJJ

The number of female workers in the Philippines has grown from just about
two million in i960 to over four million by 1970 and to seven million by 1983.
While this indicates the growth of "womanpower" vis-a-vis "manpow~r, the
phenomenon has also generated speculation on the possible implications of
female labor force participation on fertility red,Jction, given the country's rapid
population growth.
A review of the literature indicates that the controversy is far from re.solved
(WeUer, tm; Standing, 1983). Philippine researches on tbe topic suggt:st that
a negative relationship may emerge only in the context of a very develop :<I set-
ting (Herrin, 19n), particularly in highly urbanized areas (Concepcion, 1974;
de Guzman, 1975) or among those in very modern employment activities (Rui7..,
19n, Feranil; and de Guzman, 1978; and Villa, 1979). Wage anc.l salary employ-
ment, particularly those involving non-familial arrangements, or high-level oc-
cupations are those apparently associated with lower fertility.
Labor force information on the Philippines for the 1980s indicate that over
40 per cent of the country's female workers are wage earners. Working women
are primarily in professional and p<:rsonal services, although one out of every

This is a revi5cd ..emon o( a July 1984 I"C$Carth report pre~entcd to t"e Populatio~ ~nte:
Foundatiott, with fundinJ from the Cc'lnmisfion onPopulation.

five are in manufacturing industries.

The paper is a case study of female wage and salary workers in the Bataan
Export Processing Zone (BEPZ). The Zone was conceived to be the country's
prime industrial estate. It is located within the: municipality of Mariveles, in the
province of Bat aan which, in turn forms part of Central Luzon or what is known
as Region III in regional development groupilllgs.
The study also attempts to remedy a perceived research gap in the ro , 1 .
an exploration into the impact of developmc:nt schemes on fertility, at,uihcr
development concern. Thls paper will sp:cifically attempt to determine
whether female employment in an industrial estate has significant implications
for fertility change. In addition, it will describe some of the development-re-
lated variables that may account for such a relationship.

Slgnlllcance of th1: Study

Export processing zones or industrial estates constitute some of the major

schemes for rural mobilization and regional development of the country.
Program and strategy recommendations for f1!rtility reduction emerging from
this study can be used as basis not only for the other export processing zones of
the country but in the general context of wage employment as well.
More specifically, knowledge on the dynamics of the relationship between
employment and fertility can be translated into planning and program inputs
for use by the National Economic and Development Authority and the Com-
mission on Population as one of the means through which the goal of family
planning and welfare can 1r.; attained. Government agencies like the Depart-
ment of Labor and Employment as w~ll as those which have employment-
generating projects, particularly the Department of Social Welfare and
Development, can aJso profi~ from insights gained through the study. For ex-
ample, the BEPZ and selected companies in the are& periodically design
population-related projects through their Labor Management Coordinating
Committees (LMCCs). Within the population field, the most well known ac-
tivities include the inplant family planning (FP) program which includes among
other activities the sponsorship of FP seminars as the main IEC strategy. Do
these 5trategies play important roles in the fertility behavior of working woman?
Are there unique characteristics of the work situation or the workers themsel-
ves that may result in lower fertility?

Broad Framework for the Study

The issues underlying the possible effect of work force participation on fer-
tility derive from three theoretical approaches:

1. Economic Approach

Decisions on whether the wife should enter tbe labor force, remain employed
or have a child (or an additional child) are made in the context of the household,
given the characteristics and preferences of members, the sociopolitical struc-
ture o( cb.e b.ouseltold, and the resources or constraints facing it. A working wife
increases household income. This "income effect" on fertility is positive as it
increases tbe dernand for children. Yet, having children or an additional child
entails opportunity costs for the wife as she has to forego some earnings to have
an additional child. This can occur in a number of ways: maternity leaves on
half-pay; initial childcare and childbearing reduces a mother's avai\abillty for
work; possible promotions, salary increases r r career advances foregone as a
ter.ult of intetrupted service. Earnings foregone is the "price effect" for having
the additional child, which, in turn, would tend to limit the'demand for children
(Ben Porath. 1973; Schultz, 1974; and McCabe and Rosenzweig, 1976}. Hence,
the effect of female employment on fertility can be positive or negative depend-
ing on whether the income effect is greater than the price effect.
Some qualifying statements, however, are advanced. The opportunity cost
of children is low for women earning low wages. The cost of having children is
also lower for those with easy access to child care (Herrin, 1977). Both condi-
tions prevail in less developed countries and partly e>.plain the lack of a clearly
defined relationship between work and childbearing.

2. RoleConfllcl Tbeory

The home is the center of economic activity in agrarian societies. Female

employment outside the horne is very limited. Even if females work outside the
home, much of this employment would be in low-level occupations since educa-
tional attainment for most women would be very limited. Domestic help is
cheaply available. Moreover, the extended family structure also ensures that
relatives are available to act as parental surrogates. These conditions allow a
woman to be both a mother and a worker without any conflict between the two

roles. As industrialization proceeds, the home is no longer the focus of

economic activity. A greater proportion of the labor force is composed of mar-
ried women who are better educated and who work away from the home.
Domestics become very expensive. Nuclearization of the family limits access to
relatives providing childcarc.
The net result of such changes is to make the joint occupancy of the worker
vis-a-vis homemaker roles more difficult in the developed setting than in the
traditional one (Jaffe and Azumi, 1960i Stycos, 1967). A married woman has to
make choices on where she puts in most of her time and effort. i.e, in one role
but at the expense of the other. When the two roles are compatible, no relation-
ship should exist between labor force participation and fertility. When the two
roles are incompatible, one should find a negative relationship, although the
relationship depends upon the presence of an effective birth control technol-
ogy (Weller, 1968). Working women may practice family planning in order to
reduce the conflicts brought about by attending to young children or a large
Hoffman (1974) emphasizes thc:t strong career orientations or rewarding
employment will further reinforce the worker role, ('reate greater conflict and
in tum make for an even greater decline in fertility. This would be true espe-
ciaUy for women who worked because they wanted to, as in the case of those
employed in higher status positions (so-called "working wives"), in contrast to
"working mothers'' or those who work because they need to help augment a
~ather meager family income.

3. Hypotheses Emphasizing Expansion ofSocial Horizons

The common theme of a number of hypotheses emphasize that work outside

the home, especially modern employment, expands a woman's social horizons
beyond marriage and childbearing. Industrial work changes the values and
orientations of those who work in these settings (Kah~ 1968, and Jnkeles, 1969).
Work e:q>eriences and career opportunities in turn influence a woman's posi-
tion in the household and society. R~n and Simmons (1971) hypothesized that
the mrch"nism mainly responsible for transferring a wife's work experience or
status into greater influence in her family system is the power she gains through
independent earnings. A wife with income will likely have .nore control over
expenditures and other decisions affecting the family, including the number of

children she is likely to have. A wife who contributes a substantial proportion

to family's income may even have a greater say on family decisions, for example,
whether the family wants an additional child, whether the family needs to save
farst for a house or an appliance before having another child.
Other socialization theories emphasize that labor force participation brings
about alternative satisfactions like companionship, opportunities for recreation
and other forms of leisure, and even creative activity (Blake, 1965). Modem
employment takes a woman out of her home and brings her in contact with chan-
ges taking place in society, keeping her informed of new modes of behavior.
The modem workplace allows a woman greater latitude for social contacts and
interpersonal relationships, and as such brings her out of purely domestic con-
Labor force participation in the formal sector may also increase a woman's
exposure or sensitivity to emerging issues and development problems including
the implications of high fertility. Herrin (1978) pointed out that working not
only communicates new roles to a woman but also exposes her to a variety of
communication, including those en effective contraception.
It will be noted that while these approaches stress different components, they
also have complementary points. For example, while the economic approach
emphasizes the positive effect of the working wife's income on fertility, such an
economic position also entails social opportunities that will have to be foregone
if she does have an additional child. The economic approach also emphasizes
the sociopolitical structure of a household. The two sociological approaches
strees that a woman's status and decision-making role in the frunily may change
as her earning power becomes more established. Role ('.Onflict may intensify as
a woman's economic worth and social horizons expand beyond the home and
childbearing. Overall, the dynamics of the effect that work participation has on
fertility appear rather complex.
The analysis below attempts to give some insights on the effect of formal
employment on fertility.

The Design of the Study

Most studies on the fertility-labor force relationship usc cross-sectional data

which fail to defme clearly the direction of causality. However, researchers have
long called for longitudinal studies to provide the ideal data for such analysis

(Dixon, 1976). So far, no Philippine study has yet atte01pted to foUow a cohort
of females through a certain time interval and allow for closer observation of
the dynamics of the relationship. This exploratory study attempts to remedy
this research gap by employing a longitudinal approach.
The research design of the study involves a sample of married BEPZ female
workers interviewed at two points in time. Two main surveys were undertaken:
one at the beginning ofthe study (conducted in June-October 1980) while the
other one was made three years afterw.ll'ds (June-August 1983). The fust sur-
vey in 1980 ascertained background information on married women belonging
to the ages 15-39. Included in the first survey were work and fertility histories,
attitudes towards work and childbearing, decision-making status, other
socioeconomic information, fertility plans, and family planning knowledge, at-
titude and practice.
The second survey which was conducted in 1983 ascertained ft;rtility chan-
ges among women who were still employed at the BEPZ. The analysis for this
paper focuses on these fertility changes, with the 1980 survey providing the back-
ground against which fertility changes may or may not have occurred.
While about 170 ever-married women were traced, only women who were
continuously married throughout the period 1980-83 and who considered them-
selves fecund" were included in the analysis for this study. The deletion of those
whose marriages were dis.c;olved or terminated some time during the study
period reduced number of cases for analysis to only 125.

Data and Llmltatlons

Thls is primarily a case study. The small sample size and the focus, specifi-
cally on BEPZ employment, constitute the study's main limitations. In this
sense, the study is basically exploratory in character.
The paper is based on the sample for the second survey which covered only
married BEPZ workers originally interviewed in 1980 and who were still work-
ing in any BEPZ establishment in 1983. Budgetary constraints limited the
design. Moreover, initial information gathered on those no longer working at
the BEPZ indicated that most have left the Zone, returning to their home
provinces or migrating elsewhere but leaving no forwarding addresses. Those
fecundity wu based on 1 respondent's subjectift useKment ol whether it - physkally
po~~iblefor her to hav.: 1 child if she tr~ntcd one.

who moved out of BEPZ employment could have constituted an ideal com-
parison group for the study.
Focusing only on those who remained at the BEPZ brings up the issue of a
highly selected female population. Selectivity may have occurred at initial entry
into any of the BEPZ factories, considering minimum employment require-
ments imposed by private companies. More selectivity may operate in terms of
those who remain at the BEPZ, and these factors include human rWlurce vari-
ables like education or accumulated skills, family or indiYidual need for money
income, as weU as personal commitment to factory employment.
These limitations should be treated as qualifying element of the study's ftnd-
ings. Despite these limitations, the study can serve to elucidate on some of the
dynamics of the employment-fertility relationship. Since the study focuses on
the employment-related determinants of fertility behaviour, the explanatory
variables used are those measured or taken from the 1980 survey.

FertlUty Levels and Differentials

While it had been stated above that female wage and salary workers in
general tend to have lower fertility levels, the picture is not in any way clearly
defined for specific categories of wo&kers, including those in industry.
Cabigon's {1983) attempt to put together a trenJ analysis of fertility differen-
tials by occupation indicates that while white collar workers tended to have the
lowest fertility levels across the years, the levels for blue-collar workers tended
to be very high especially for the earlier surveys (Table 1). The 1973 National
Demographic Survey suggests a gradual decline in the average fertility levels of
the blue collar workers relative to other workers, with the blue-collar ones al-
ready occupying a "middle level" fertility position. One can venture an explana-
tion that the nature of the blue-coUar employment in the country 1r.ay have
slowly changed with greater industrialization and organization, and in turn
produced some depressing effect on fertility.
This study provides an opportunity to observe the relationship between
female employment and fertility during a given three .. y~ar period. Fertility is
defwed in terms of current fertility, i.e., the number of children born (CER)
dwing the period 198(). 83. The average number of children burn to married
BEPZ workers during the three-year period amounted to about one birth (CEB
"" .84).

When marriage duration is controlled, those who were only recently married
when the 1980 survey was conducted displayed the highest mean CEB during
the study ~riod (Table 2). Conversely, the longer the marriage duration, the
lower the number of births occuring betwetn 198(}..83.
The next pages cumine mean thlidrcn-ever-bom dwiJJstbc period 1980-83
according to selected characteristics. Table 3 presents fertility differentials by
sociodemographlc characteristics of the woman, including nature of employ-
ment and work satisfaction as of 1980. Tables 4 and 5 provide chlldrenever-
bom information using family-level and husband's characteristics. Table 6
examines fertility differentia\s according to indicators of husband and wife
decision making and plans regarding family size and future work plans. Table
7 covers differentials by family income during the study period.

Analysis of FertUlty Differentials

Fertt/lty and Soclodemograpblc Cbaraclerlstlcs ofWorken

As stated earlier, the study started with a survey of married BEPZ workers
belonging to the ages 15-39 in 1980. F'mdings in the earlier study revealed that
ever-married BEPZ workers were generally young, relatively well-educated
since the majority bad at least a high school education. and predominantly of
rural origins (Feranil, 1981). The married women who remained employed at
the BEPZ up to 1983 and who constituted the respondents for the second sur-
vey were also young, predominantly in their twenties, except that with the pas-
sage of three years, a proportion had entered the thirties age group. Although
a number expressed preference to study further, the educational attainments of
these martied workers had not changed much since the 1980 survey.
The data for age and place of birth are usually in the expected directions.
The number of children born between 1980-83 tends to be lower for relatively
older women. Moreover, current fertility tends to be slightly higher among those
from rural areas (Table 3).
These current fertility patterns by age of BEPZ workers are somewhat
similar to what were noted for all ever-married women in the 1978 Republic of
the Philippines Fertility Survey (Engracia and Herrin, 1984). However, while
the BEPZ current fertility measure refers to the past three years. those of the
1978 RPFS refer to the preceding five years. The current fertility levels by age

for BEPZ workers can be said to be much less than what were noted for com-
parable age groups of all ever-married women in the RPFS. The levels for BEPZ
workers aged 25-29 and 30 + years amounted to only 0.96 and 0.68, 1espective
ly. The levels for the RPFS were 1.62 and 0.98 births for women aged 25-34 and
35-44 respectively.
An interesting pattern that emerged for BEPZ workers is some positive as-
sociation between education and fertility, although only small differences can
be noted between the fertility levels of those with some high school and college
education. This pattern for BEPZ factory workers is a complete contrast to
what was noted in the 1978 RPFS where current fertility (again referring to the
last five years) tended to decline with increasing education (Engracia and Her-
rin, 1984). The tendency for better educated BEPZ workers to have higher fer-
tility levels than workers with lesser years of schooling indicates a situation
wherein those with relatively greater earning potentials were more likely to have
children during the th~ee-year period.
Differentials by occupation show that the small proportion of supervisors
tended to have the lowest fertility levels, while production assistants registered
an intermediate fertility level. Line workers comprise the largest occupational
category with sewers and embroiderers composing a large ~gmeot while
electronic assemblers and similar higher-skilled workers occupy the other
major component of the bulk of line workers. The fertility level of the large
category (CEB = .87) tended to slightly higher than the mean numer of children
born between 1980-83 for aU workers (CEB = 0.84)
Some information on work satisfaction is also gien in Table 3. Generally,
workers in the 1980 survey indicated that they were "somewhat satisfied" with
their jobs: Satisfaction appears positively related to fertility, with those fully
satisfied displaying the highest fertility levels and the dissatisfied having fewer
births .

A follow-up question on what workers WO\IId ~mend to improve job satisfaction

~ that mo&t worken were: concerned with low wap, the lack ol workcn' benefits,
and the need to impTOYC work conditions and rc:lationlhipi.

Soctodemograpblc Family-Level Cbaracrensllcs and Ferlt/lly Differentials

This section examines current fertility using as background the characteris-

tics of the worker's family at the beginning of the study (1980). The family-level
variables Sp-!cificaUy include number of living children, the age of the youngest
child and childcare provisions. The relevanl data are presented in Table 4.
In 1980, each married BEPZ worker on the average had about 2 living
children. Nearly twenty-two per cent were stiU childless at that time, while over
two-fifths had only one living child. About 15 per cent had two children while
the remaining twenty per cent already reported three or more.
The generally small-sized families of a large segment of the worker popula
tion in 1980 reflected to a certain extent the recency of marriage for most
workers. Most of these women were yot~ng and, for almost all women in the
sample, their latest unions represented first marriages. Even by 1983,the mean
marriage duration for all married BEPZ workers in the sample amounted to
only 7.8 years.
Similar explanations can be given when the age of the youngest child is con
side red. The youngest children of over seventy per cent of workers were often
times no more than two years old, with nearly 40 per cent having children less
than a year old in 1980.
Overal~ the results llre as expected. A negative association emerged between
the number of living children in 1980 and the number of births occurring be
tween 1980-83. Women with still very young children in 1980 were also the ones
mo5t likely to have additional children between 198083.
These two patterns reflec-t the youthfulness of women in the BEPZ and that
most are still in the earlier stages of the family life cycle: the ones who are child
less, with very small families and with very young children. In contrast, those
ha\oing three or more children, as well as, those whose youngest children were
considered somewhat older (about 4 years of age or more) were the ones least
likely to have more children during 1980-83.
Despite these patterns, the over aU impression is one of relatively low fertility
levels for BEPZ workers. Those with only one child in 1980 reported on the
average only one additional child three years later. Even fewer births were

The mean number or liVing children In 1980 (1.68) did not differ substantially from mean
number or children ewftbom (Mean CEB 1. 73) since there were~ few report<:d cases
of infant and child mortality

added to those with already two or more children in 1980.

Responses to a direct question on childcare provisions in 1980 indicate that
maternal surrogates were easily available to take care of children while mothers
worked in the factories. Htavy influx into the industrial wne brought along rela-
tives who reside within the workers' households, in turn also assuming the major
childcare provisions of working mothers at the BEPZ. Other mothers left their
children at the homes or parents or in-laws, thereby relying on functional ex-
tended family linkages. A smaller proportion of women relied on their own
families for cbildcare, with a little over half of th.is cvoup comprised of women
whose youngest children were already studying as of 1980 or were considered
"old enough" and thus no longer needing intensive childcare (Feranil, 1981).
The remainder in the group included women whose husbands or older children
did the primary household and childcare duties during the woman's workhours.
Only 10 per cent of the total cited ihat housemaids care for their children,
either because of limited affordability given the rising cost of domestic help or
because or scarcity or paid house help given the competition posed by available
low skilled jobs at the BEPZ.
The results on available childcare arrangements in 1980 crosstabulated with
current fertility reveal that the highest fertility levels can be noted among those
who even in 1980 could afford to hire dcmesti helpers to take care of their chit-
den. Women who dept.nded on relatives for chlldcare bclonl~ to the middle-
level fertility category. Those who depended on their own ramilh":s for childcare
- i.e., husbands and older children - tended to have very low fertility during
the period under study. One suggestion here is that those who tap their own
families for childcare are likely to experience difficalties with the arrangement,
probably because husbands have their own livelihood activities to attend to or
older children may be studying and cannot really afford to attend to the needs
of yollllger siblinss.
As noted above, this latter group involves only slightly over 10 percent of all
workei'!>. It al~{) includes many of those women who considered their youngest
children old enough not to require cbildcare. Hence, these women were also
likely to be in their later stages or family [ormation and low fertility levels be-
tween 1980 to 1983 can be expected.

Characteristics of Husbands and PertUJty Differentials

Table 5 contains characteristics of husbands as gleaned from the 1980 sur

vey. Three variables are shown: educational attainment, work status and how
the husband feels about the wife's employment. Generally, husbands of BEPZ
workers also have relatively high educational attainment, as the majority have
had some years of high school. Most husbands were working, 'Nith the excep
lion of len per cent who were unemployed. It can also be noted that the majority
of husbands agreed 'Nith the \\life's employment at BEPZ. It is 'Nith respect to
these characteristics of the husbands that unclear results regarding current fer
tility levels were obtained. Fertility levels and husband's educational attainment
tended to be negatively associated. The pattern contrasts sharply with what was
noted earlier in terms of the working wives' educational attainment and fertility
levels. Women with high school education particularly stood out, &S their fer
tility levels between 1980-83tended to ex-xecl those 'Nitb lesser or higher school
in g.
The other unclear pattern relates to the husband's attitude towards the wife's
work. Most husbands agreed with the wife's factory employment, although large
segment merely signified agreement compared to a smaller group who strong
ly agreed. Wives belonging to these two categories of agreement displayed
varied fertility behavior. Higher fertility levels can be noted among those with
husbands strongly agreeing with the wife's employment, while low fertility can
be noted among those whose husbancls only moderately agreed with the wife's
work. It is quite possible that the unsympathetic stance of some husbands
regarding a wife's absence from the home may be children-related, and as such,
may result in fewer children.
Moreover, fertility level by status of husbands clearly indicate that the large
proportion of women whose husbands were working in 1980 registered slightly
hi!Jher births than the handful who were unemployed. This pattern suggests that
lack of income from the husband's end may limit childbearing. This is to be ex-
pected given the cultural inclination to view the male as lite "breadwinner."
However the differences is not very pronounced.

Fertility-Related Perceptions and Intentions

The 1980 survey inquired as to the additional number of children BEPZ

workers wanted. Overall, most BEPZ workers wanted to have no more than

three additional children. Seventeen percent preferred to have no more

children, while most workers prefer only one or two more. Only one ftfth wanted
three or more. When mean children ever born be~n 1980-83 is plotted
against these information, the pattern that emerges is one of behavior actually
following an earlier expressed desire. Those who earlier stated that they wanted
no more children registered the lowest fertility levels, while those who wanted
one or two more subsequently registered the next higher fertility levels. Only
those who wanted three or more children deviated slightly from the pattern as
their current fertility level closely resembled the average fertility experiences of
those wanting only one more child.
In 1980, over twenty per cent of workers stated that husbands decide the
number of children their families will have (Table 6). Only a little over 10 per
cent signified that such is a decision the wife makes. Most female workers,
however, indicated that family size is a decision both husband and wife make.
The information on mean CEB between 1980-83 reveal a gradient where the
highest average level was registered for those who stated that husbands decide
the number o~ children they wiU have, while the lowe.st CEB t:merged among
wives who stated that family size is a decision they themselves make. The BE'PZ
data suggest that modem employment or some mechanism associated or result-
ing from it enables the working woman to have some say on the number of
children she will have, as well as, realize such in actual behavior. Moreover, it
appears that the largP, segment of married workers at the BEPZ opted for fewer
children, including those who felt that family size is a decision both the husband
and wife make.
Each respondent of the 1980 survey was also asked what type of job she in-
tended to have between survey date and until the time, when desired family size
had been attained and the oldest child can take care of younger siblings. Near-
ly two-thirds planned to go into self-employment while only 18 per cent wanted
to continue with wage and salary employment. One fourth preferred housekeep-
ing or unpaid work in a family farm or business. Fertility levels over the 1980-
83 period for these groups did not vary substantially, although slightly lower
fertility levels emerged for those who preferred to do housekeeping or in-house
woik compared to these who preferred wages or self-employment.

Ferliltty Levels "nd Income '" 1980 QM 1983

The mean monthly family income among workers in the study amounted to
P1,382.13 in 1980. Most workers belonged to famiUes earning between Pl,<XXl
to P1,500 per month. Over two-thirds come from families with higher incomes
(Table 7).
When 1980 fmily income is cross-tabulated with fertility during the 1980-83
period, a negative association emerges. Those from low-income families at the
beginning of the period tended to have higher fertility levels than those from
relatively better-off families.
Additional information on family income in 1983 suggests that the few
women belonging to the lowest income group still tended to have high fertility.
The highest income groups (P2,000 and over) also exhibited relatively high fer
tility levels. In contrast, the two other remaining middle income groups had the
lowest mean fertility levels.
One apparent suggestion here is that those in the lowest income categories
tend to persist in their high fertility behavior, in contrast to the middle-incomed
ones. However, fertility also responds positively at "higher" levels of income.
This may indicate increased demand and affordability for children. It is also
qnite likely that those who wanted or had children during the interval worked
harder to attain higher incomes.

Multivariate Analysis

The results of the bivariate analysis presented earlier suggest a number of

variables as important determinants of fertility amor.g workers in the industrial
sector. Multiple regression analysis is utilized in this section to determine the
effects of each selected independent variable while holding constant the other
independent variables. Only selected explanatory variables wer~ used in the
regression analysis and almost all of these were the variables where relatively
greater vari~Jbility was nmed in terms of tbeit distribution in 1980 or in terms of
the dependent variable.
The dependent variable is children ever born between 1980 and 1983
(CEB8083). The variables names and defmitions of selected independent vari-
ables are as foUows:

MDURR83 = marriage duration, in years, as of 1983


AGEIN83 == years of completed ase as of 1983

PBIRTH place of birth; dummy with 1 if' rural-bom and 0 U' otherwise.
ED ""' educatioa expressed in yean of schooling
WPLAN80 ~ type of work wanted between 1980 and until the time when
desired family size had been attaine-d; duiD.Dly with 1 if desiring unpaid family
work/just domestic chores and 0 U' otherwise
FINC80 = family income in 1980
FINC83 = family income in 1983
LCEB80 ,.. number of living children in 1980
NADDSO == numt>er of additional children wanted
CCARE = Childcare provision; dummy with 1 if provision involves relatives
0 if otherwise
SEMNR80 = attendar.ce in in-plnnt family planning seminar(s); dummy
with 1 if ever attended as of 1980, 0 if otherwise.
All variables entered into the regression equations were discussed above,
with the exceP.tion of the last varia.hle. SEMNR80 is only entered in the last
equation to provide an exploratory perspective of a Department of Labor and
Employment intervention scheme, the in-plant family planning programs.
Table 8 shows the correlation matrix of all the variables in the equation.

Regression Results

Table 9 shows that the proportion of variance explained by selected socio-

economic variables hovers around 35 to 38 per cent. It should be noted that the
farst equation with only four independent variables already account for 35 per-
cent of variation in the dependent variable. The addition of six more variables
in equations three and four results in R1s amounting to only around 37 percent.
The first regression equation indicates that the most important variables is
the number oi l.homg children the woman already had in 1980. It is an indicator
of the stage of the fll."1'\ily life cycle the family may be in, hence its high positive
correlation with age or tb~o. -YOm an and marriage duration (Table 8). Thus, parity
at a given point in time detern.!.,,..s the -.ubsequent number of births the women

Refer ro r:rrendance of 1 seminar on FP ~(ore lhc 1980-83obten-.tion period, 1963 mullS

indicated ~ry lillie chano-- i-: r rcentav- with seminars clurinJ tbe lntel'Yal.

will have. In the case of BEPZ w'bere the averase numbea of living children was
only 1.'7, the prospects for lov.ered fertility appear extremely hlgb. Even tbe ac-
tual number born between 1980-83 for women .vho wanted relatively large num-
bers of additional children indicates lhat the earlier desire was not always
realized, owing to the socioeconomic conditions of the family during the inter-
An interesting finding relates to family income. Family income in 1980 was
negatively related to the number of children born between 198()..83. The co-=f-
ficient, however, is insignificant. Family income in 1983 is incorporated into the
equation to control for changes in income occurring during the interval. F1NC83
emerged as positively related to births occurring during 1980-83. This may be
reflective of current earnings given the need to augment family income to sup-
port the needs of a growing family. This may also indicate rbe positive effect of
rising family incomes on fertility. While low irtcome at an earlier period may
inhibit fertility, subsequent financial improvements may in turn alter the fertility
The second equation incorporates the effect of marriage duration, which is
significantly related to the number of children born between 19'00-83. Those
who have been married longer tended to have fewer births during the three-year
period. The inclusion of marriage duration, however, does not alter the pattern
emerging in the first equation.
The third and the fourth equations include most of the independent vari-
ables examined in this paper. Current age is insignificant in both regressions.
The same can be said of education, v.hich in a way is expected considering the
relative homogeneity of workers in the BEPZ who were more likely to be pre-
seleccd in terms of education upon their entry into employment as weU as in the
process of remaining at BEPZ. Moreover, the nearly universal and easy access
to maternal surrogates explains the significam:e of the variable on cbildcare.
Place of birth also has an insignificant effect. on the fertility of workers. This
is a rather interesting finding considering that it was initially expected that those
from rural areas tend to have higher fertility than urbanites. Having ex-
perienced modern employment even appears to render rural-traditional back-
grounds insignificant in actual fertility behavior.
Even attendance of in-plant family plannintt seminars on or before 1980 ap-
pears to be unrelated to fertility between 1980-83. The insignificance of such
programs need to be studied more fully considering that these programs con-

stitute a major development strategy to ensure low fertility among workers.

Even in these last two equations, the hnportance of number of children as of
1980 persists. Again it is stressed that the relatively low fertility levels even in
1980 coupled with the low CEB occurring between 1980 to 1983 portend very
low fertility levels for BEPZ workers.

Concluding Comment8

This is an exploratory study on the fertility implications of modern employ-

ment using case study of the Bataan Export Pr<>CCMing Zone. The overall
perspective given by this study is one of relatively low fertility levels among
BEPZ workres. While the average number of children at the beginning of the
interval amounted to about 2 children, a large proportiou of workers preferred
only two more or even fewer additional children. When actual number of
children born between the 1980 and 1983 surveys is examined, only one child
on the average was added during the three-year interval. The multiple regres-
sion results indicate that the number of living children that workers already had
in 1980 significantly determined the subsequent number born between 1980 and
All these suggest that workers in industrial employment have a modern
perspective of childbearing and family size limitation. This is expressed in their
preferences to have fewer additional children or for the wife to have a say in the
number of children she will have. It also appears that this modern childbearing
point of view is realized in actual behavior. This is extremely encoura3iug par-
ticularly since, the majority of BEPZ workers do not possess what we would call
the "modern" socioeconomic backgrounds associated with low fertility. Most
came from rural areas, worked primarily as blue-collar workers and sigJJified
that they are at the BEPZ merely to help augment family income. And yet these
women displayed what can be termed modem fertility perspective.
Even the fmdings on family income point to this apparent modem fertility
behavior pattern. Thus, the study illustrates that the negative effects of employ-
ment on fertility can prevail even among blue-collar wor/ws.
Family income at the beginning of the study periOd was negatively related to
the number of children born between 1980 lo 1983. Family income at lhe end
of the study period. however, was positively related to fertility between 1980-83.
One possible explanation here is that a rise in income may have positively af.

fected fertility during the period under study. When this finding is combined
with the pattern for education, it appears that those who bad children during
the interval were very likely to be the ones who could afford to have the addi-
tional children. One exception, of course, which should be noted and addressed
more directly are the lowest income groups.
The study also pinpoints population certain program inputs and strategies.
The insignificance of the effects of seminar attendance may mean re-examina-
tion of the in-plant family planning program, and improvement in "recruitment"
of participants to these seminars. More attention is particularly caUed to the
very low-incomed women who tend to persist in their relatively high fertility be-
havior. Another issue that needs attention is the social infrastructure to help
working women realize their desire to have few children in the future. Of course,
this calls for an efficient service delivery strategy aimed at promoting modern
family planning methods. Although the family planning practice of workers is
not considered in this paper, the 1980 data indicated that most workers favored
less effective methods. Another social infrastructre involves the provision and
maintenance of employment oppotunities for womw. Of course, this brings up
other employment concerns given that the country has very high unemployment
rates for both men and women.


Blake, Judith.1965. "Demographic science and redirection of population policy

"in M. C. Ships and J.C. Ridley (eds). Public health and population change.
Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.
Concepcion, M.B. 1974. "Female labor force participation and fertility." Inter-
national Labor Review, 109 (5-6):503-17.
Dixon, Ruth. 1976. "The roles of rural women: Female seclusion, economic
production and reproduction choice," Population and Development, !he
Seran;h for Selective Interventions. Ridker (ed.).
Engracia, Luisa and Herrin, Alejandro. "Employment structure of female
migrants to the cities in the Philippines." Development Studies Center
Monograph No. 33, (1984) pp.293-303.

Feranil, Imelda Z. "A longitudinal study of working women at the Bataan Ex-
port Processing Zone and nuptiality-fertiJity effects" Summary Final,
Report of Phase I of RPF Survey, University of the Philippines Population
Institute, December 1981.
Feranil,lmelda and de Guzman, Eliseo. "Fern ale labour force participation and
fertility." National Seminar on Population tlJJd Employment Policies; 1977
also published in Philippine lAbor Review, 1918.
Herrin, A.N. "Female work participation and fertility in the Philippines: A
preliminary report on a methodological sub-phase of an explanatory study,"
Research Institute for Mindanao Culture, Xavier University, Cagayan de
Oro, January 1978 (mimeo).
Hoffman, Lois Wladis. "The employment of women, education and fertility,"
Menil-Pafmer QuaTterly of Beha1ior and De1e/opment." 1%4 ?.0:2, 99-119.
Inkeles, A. "Making r11en modern," American Journal of Sociology, 1969(75)
{Sept.): 208-225.
Jaffe, AJ. and Azumi, K. "The birth rate and cottage industries in under-
developed countries," Economic Development and Cultural-Change. 1960
(No.9): 52-63.

McCabe, James J. and Sosenzweig, Mark R. "Female labor force participation,

occupational choice, and fertility in developing countries," Journal of
Development Economics 1976. {3), 141-160.
Table 1. ~en Nu!ber of Children Ever Bom to EverMarried Wanen lo'ha
Are Near the End of 'hilcbeering by OCcupation: 1958, 1968 and 1973

Survey Year

occupation 1956/58 1968 1973

PSSH tllS tllS

farmers 7.6 6.1 5.9

Blue collar 7.5 6.6 6.0
Proprietors/Sales 7.1 6.3 6.4
Illite collar 4.4 5.3 4.4

aTne 1956/1958, 1968 and 1973 refer to women aged 4554 years. "PSSH
refers to the Philippine Statistical Survey of Households. "NOS"
refers to the National Demographic SUrvey.

bThe available tabulations from the 1978 RPFS are not incl~1 here
as they mainly refer to husband's occupation.

Source: Cabigon, 1983.

T~e 2. Distribution of Married BEPZ Workers by Marital Duration and

Selected Current Fertility Indicators

As Per Percent age i,

Marriage Duration Nll!ber cent of Category Re Mean
(in years) Total porting at CEB
Least one (1980-83)
live Birth,

0304 48 38.4 87.5 1.12

0506 33 26.4 63.6 .91
07-08 14 11.2 57.1 .79
09+ 30 24.0 26.7 .33
All Wolllen 125 100.00 63.2 .84
Tlbte 3. Mean Children EverBorn Bet..een 19801983
by Selected lndiviclleiLevel Soclocte.ourlf:lhlc Characteristics

In Category
Selected lncllvidual AR Per Reporting at Mean
Level socfodet!Dgraphlc NU!tler cent of Least cne CEB
Characteristics Total Live Birth

Age In 1983

1524 23 18.4 78.3 .96

2529 49 39.2 71.4 .96
30+ 53 42.4 49.1 .68

Place of Birth

Rural 80 64.0 68.3 .91

Urban 45 36.0 58.6 .82

E<iJcat ion, 1980

Elementary 27 21.6 53.5 .56

High School 80 64.0 66.2 .90
College 18 14.4 83.3 1.00

Occ~..p~~t ion in 1980

SUpervisors 24 19.2 50.0 .75

Lineworkers 78 62.4 66.7 .87
Assistants 23 18.4 65.2 .83

Work Satisfaction in 1980

Fully Satisfied 17 13.6 70.6 1.18

Somewhat Satisfied 93 74.4 61.3 .80
Not Really Satisfied 15 21.0 1,6.7 .73
Not Satisfied
Tlble 4. Mean Children Ever Bom Between 198083
by Selected Femlly-Level SociodenlogJi'lic Characteristics

Family-Level Soclo As Per- Percentage In Cate-

dellloyr IIP.h Ic Nllllber cent of iory Reporting at Mean
Characteristics Total Least One Live CEB
Birth, 198083
Living Children In 1980

None 27 21.6 70.4 1.'11

One S4 43.2 79.6 1.00
Two 18 14.4 55.6 o.n
Three 10 8.0 40.0 0.40
Four and Over 16 12.8 18.8 0.25

AQe of YOll'"l(lest Child in 1980a

<1 year 36 37.1 72.2 0.83

I 23 23.7 69.6 0.96
2 10 10.3 80.0 0.90
3 12 12.4 41.7 0.67
4+ 16 16.5 31.2 0.27

Chi ldcare, 1980b

living with R 40 42.1 72.5 0.88

Deliver children
to relatives for
day/week 33 35.7 60.6 0.76

Menb!rs of own
family (e.g.,
husbard, older
children) 12 12.6 16.7 0.17

Househelp 10 10.5 70.0 1.20

aN = 97 as ft excludes 27 women ard one with no lnforii1Eitim m the

)'OU'I9eSt child.
bN = 95 as It excludes 27 women wfth no children and three wl th no
lnfonaotfon on chfldcare.
Table 5. Meen Children Ever Born Between 198083
l7f Selected Characteristics of Husbend

As Per Percentege In Cite

Characteristics NU!tler cent of gory Reporting at Mean
of Husband Total least Ole live CE 8
Birth, 198083

EdJcatlonal Allain
ment of Husband

Elementary 23 18.4 56.5 .80

High School 90 n.o 65.6 .87
College 12 9.6 58.3 .67

Was !!.!:band
Workii:'Q In 19807

Work ln.~ 113 90.4 64.6 .85

Not working 12 9.6 50.0 .75

How Husband Feel~

~bout R's Hork.lns...

Strongly agree 33 26.6 n.1 .97

Agree 76 61.3 61.8 .78
OISa!lree 15 12. 1 53.3 .87
Table 6. Ml!an Chi ldr~n Ev~r Born kt~ 198083
by s~lected f~rtilftyR~lated Perceptions and Intentions

AS P~r- P~rcentage Category

fertility-Related Nl.llber cent e>f Reporting at Leest MeW\
P~rcept Ions and Total ~Live Birth CE B
Intentions 1980-83

Ad:UtiOMl MQ.., of
Children~ 1980

No more children 21 16.8 33.3 .52

~ 39 31.2 66.7 .87
Two 39 31.2 74.4 .97
Thr~e ore more 26 20.8 65.4 .85

Who Decides MQ.., 2!

Children. 1980

Husband 27 21.6 74.1 1.00

Both 83 66.4 61.4 .82
Wife 15 12.0 53.3 .67

Work Plans in 1980

Housekeeping, do
mpaid work in
family farm or
business 32 25.6 53.1 .78

Work for wages 22 17.6 63.7 .82

Selfellllloyment 71 56.8 67.6 .87

Table 7. Heen Children Ever Born Between 196083
by F11111lly Income In 1960 and 1983

Per Percentage Category

Famll y Income Nlllber cent of Reporting at least One Hean
198083 Total live Birth, 196083 CEB

Family Income
In 1980

500 999 19 15.2 63.2 .95

10001499 73 58.4 65.8 .88
1500t 3l 26.4 57.6 .70

in 1983

500 999 9 7.2 n.8 1.00

10001499 21 16.8 42.9 .62
15001999 53 42.4 64.2 .81
20002499 17 13.6 82.4 1.06
250(}} 25 20.0 60.0 .88
Table 8. Correlation Matrix


ED80 .193 1.0
FUIC80 -.125 .050 1.0
LCEB80 -.221 .024 .115 1.0
IIAD080 .105 .119 .015 -.369 1.0
SEHNR80 .003 .104 .079 -.061 .070 1.0
FIIIC80 .028 -.167 103 .221 .067 .030 1.0
~LAN80 -.101 -.002 .122 -.014 .064 .008 .1:35 1.0
W'JRR83 .213 -.001 .100 .647 -.257 -.101 .079 .490 1.0
AGElll83 -.096 -.154 -.002 .605 -.286 -.039 .206 -.091 .441 , .0
CCARE .123 -.102 -.025 .w -.303 -.183 .144 -.059 .389 135 1.0
CE88083 .153 -.124 -.198 .493 .200 .009 .201 -.097 -.437 -.268 -.169
Tllbte 9. Regression Results for Children Ever Born Between

Paremeters and Equation No.

Variables (1) (2) (3) (4)

Constant 1.02 1.09 1.1)9

FJNC80 0001 .0001 0001 0001
(1.0) ( 92) ( .78) ( .92)
Lr.eB80 .3088 2503 2352 .2386**
( 6.67)*** (4.32)**" (3.36)*** (3.43)*
NN>D80 .0213 02263 0216 .0302
( 37) ( 40) ( .37) ( .54)
FJNC83 .0003 ,0003 .OOOl .u~'S
( 4.28)*** (4.14)*"* (4.14)*** (3.37)~**
HOLIRR83 0210 .0289 0247
(1.66)*" (1.65)* (,,37)
PBIRTH .0037 0010
( .02) ( .01)
ED .0018
( 31)
AGEIN83 .0027 .0073
( .17> ( .46)
WPLANSO .0597 .0420
( .60) ( .41)
SEMNRSO 0732 0947
( .56) ( .72)
CCARE 17'58
R2 .351 .367 .371 .376

***Significant at the 1 percent level

~*Significant at the 5 percent level
*Significant at the 10 percent level

AJda Santos Maranan

The National Commission on the Role of the Filipino Woman (NCRFW)

was established in 1975 as the Marcos Government's response to the U.N. spon
sored "Decade of Women." Its honorary chairwoman for ten years was Imelda
Marcos. The NCRFW became the main channel for the implementation of the
two main economic programs which formed the cornerstone of Marcos' New
Society's strategy for developing the national economy, with particular focus on
the rural areas and the marginalized sectors in the urban areas. The programs
were the Balikatan sa Kaunlaran (BSK) (literally, shoulder-to-shoulder in
development), and the Kilusang Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran (KKK) (Movement
for Livelihood and Development).
While the programs were meant to address the general population, th~y be-
came more focused upon women, the NCRFW being the main implementing
agency. The programs concentrated on livelihood and income-generation
projects, like backyard gardening, poultry and husbandry, small home-based in-
dustries. The target beneficiaries, the lower-income groups, had to borrow in-
terest-bearing loans from the government with a specified period of repayment.
As with the other programs of the former Philippine Government, the BSK and
the KKK failed dismally for the following reasons:

(a) Low-income groups could not afford to pay interest-bearing loans as

they had no security of employment and most are underemployed. The loans,

Revised l.triefing paper on women for the Au51ralia!l ADAB (Australian Development
Assistance Bureau) - NOO Aid Mi55ion to the Philippines, 1986. Alio in SilX>I, 1986 (1).
136 ,_ _ _ _ _ _Fl~UPINO WOMAN IN FOCUS

furthermore, did not cover natural calamities, so that losses in the enterprises
being promoted by the BSK and KKK could not be recovered by the loan
beneficiaries. More importantly, women who are the poorest of the poor and
who constitute the great majority orthe unemployed and the underemployed
could not benefit from the programs because they could not afford to par-
ticipate in them.

(b) Implementation was superficial and haphazard because of the lack

of the necessary background research and baseline data to establish the ac-
tual problems and needs of women in targeted areas.

(c) The lack of consultation with women in tb~ community and with non-
governmental women's organizations hampered substantially whatever pos-
sibilities the programs offered, and feedback mechanisms mainly depended
on the reports given by local units of the NCRfW. It must be mentioned that
the nation_al, regional, provincial, municipal, and village levels of the
NCRFW were headed by wives of clvse relatives of politicians who were
often members of the ruling party, the I<ilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), the
political machinery or the government.

(d) Patronage persisted in the planning and implementing mechanism.

Reports from those who tried to apply for thest. lo~ns stated that
bureaucratic red tape hampered the application pn.uss, especially so
during the release of the loans. Moreover, smaU business enterprises could
not compete with big industries and companies which were heavily favored
under the Marcos administration. Eventually, the programs merely paid lip-
service to the poor and disadvantaged.

(e) The programs were pushed in areas where the government's image
and control were diminishing because of the social, political, and economic
discontent of the f.Opulation. Thus, the choice of target locations was
premised on gaining political ground rather than on adequately respond-
ing to the needs of the people, and, even less, the needs of women. A sub
stantial portion of the budget allocatioo was spent. on selling the programs
rather than on actually implementing them. Radio, television, and print ad
vertisements came in streams, and naturally, the proportion of promotion
WOMEN AND DIM!LOPMPNJ' IN TIIH PHILIPI!!'l;.;;5:;:;_.._ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.,::1~37

al expenses cut into the already meager allocations for the programs.

Lessons l.ea~d from the Experience

In any development planning, the following has to be considered:

(a) With regard to access to loans/credit facilities, that: {i) low-income

earners do not have any significant disposable income, or any disposabl<? in-
come; (ii) few low-income earners have any job security; (iii) most low-in-
come earners often face prolonged periods of unemployment, (iv) most
low-income earners are underemployed; (v) most low-income earners are
poorly educated; and (vi) women are the lowest-income earnets. Programs
that ignore these realities will further discriminate against the poor, and
women particularly.

(b) Income generation and credit programs have small chance of suc
cess if target groups are not researched properly and their financial capacity
not assessed. It is particularly so for women who are the poorest of the poor
and the least educated, especially in low-income households. Studies show
that the total annual income of most rural households amount to only P700-
Pl,OOO. As of Jur.e 1985, the estimated daily cost of living for a family of six
in the country is P112.29. In the National Capital Region (NCR) it is es-
timated at Pl11.48; outside NCR (agricultural), it is at P105.95, and for non
agricultural Pl12.49.

(c) Large-scale programs not based upon adequate research, tliat do not
consult women and lump "the poor" together, will have limited or no real
success. While the poor are a valid target for development schemes, the
needs of women, and especially women fwm the more marginalized sectors,
will often be different from men because of their status and role in society,
e.g., it is most unusual for women to obtain credit or loans as they are
regarded as dependents of men, even if they are household heads.

(d) Women have to be looked at as low income earners end as a separate

category to men, and their particular needs identified and given priority and

possible schemes to assist them worked out.

(e) The problems of patronage and politicized bureaucracies must be

seriously addressed. For women, programs designed and implemented in
consultation with them would begin to address this problem, as would a legal
redefming of women's status as equal to men, so that there are no legal im-
pediments to wom.:n's opportunities and access to resources.

Development Issues for Women

A difficulty in putting together a comprehensive pron.te on women is the lack

of aggregate data on both women and development and women in the economy.
Available data show:

(a) Sexual discrirnination and inequality in employment (for example, "lie

down or lay off' polky; "first hired, last hired" practice).In free trade zcnes,
women workers are put in jobs usuaUy below their skiU levels, or work which
is inappropriate to the education and skills of women; most workers are hired
as casuals or as temporary employee so that the wage levels are kept down
and work benefits like ;nareruity and sick ieaves are not extended. The labor
legislation under the Marcos Government also stated that casuals and ap-
prentices are not covered by the legislated daily minimum wage which, in
1985, was P57.08 for the National Capital Region (NCR), and P56.00 out-
side NCR (for a non-agricultural worker).

For agricultural workers in plantations, the legislated daily wage is P46.67

and P35.67 for non-plantation workers. Persons employed in government-run
livelihood programs are also not covered by the effective minimum wage legis-
lation. Most of the women in the b.bor force in rural areas are employed in these
economic areas.
In 1981, some 0.9 miiHon women were in the agricultural sector of the
ecouomy, with 36 percent of hired laborers being women. Women in rural areas
do 40-60 percent of all farm activities, mostly labor intensive, and they also form
the bulk of the unpaid family labor force. Women are generally paid one-third
less than their male counterparts in many economic spheres.
Some 2.3 million women were in the industrial sector for the same period.

They do~inate labor-intensive jobs and are usually found on the assembly line
in the garments and electronics industries where the work is monotonous and
does not allow development and/or acquisition of new skills.
Studies (e.g., Centre for Women Resources, Manila) have shown that the
gross income of women industrial workers ranges from a low P14 for those in
food manufacturing, to a high P74 for some women in the electronics industry.
A worker in Manila has to work 654 hours to buy same package of goods and
services that a worker in Sydney can buy after working for 109 hours, a difference
of 545 hours, or approximately 45.42, days (1984).
Compounding the problem is the fact that a woman's wage is regarded as
secondary income even if there is an increasing number of households headed
by women.

(b) Lock of educational opportunities and .skill trainingprogram.s. Most

rural women stop schooling at primary level, r_speciaUy in poor households
where the resources are limited. The culture dictates that since a woman's
place is in the home, she needs no further education; the better options for
education are usually given to male siblings. Women who are able to have a
college or university education outnumber men in these institutions;
however, the labor force participation of such woman is limited because the
employment possibilities for women are limited.

In 1981, one million women were in the professional, clerical, and technical
sector, with teachers dominating the professional sector. In the teaching profes-
sion, 65 percent of principals !lnd supervisors were males, and 94 percent ofthe
superintendents were also males (1971-72), and yet more than 80 percent of the
350,000 public school teachers (1984) were women. With the inclusion of the
private school teachers, this figure goes up to 450,000, and in total, te'lchers
made up 60.2 percent of the professionals in the country. Average income for
teachers in public schools ranged from P1,200-P1,500.
In the business sector, both private and publk, very few women are able to
get to management vositions because their ability to acquire further skills is
limited by tl:e options open to even educated women. Sex segregation in work
is a problem that faces many women in the lab..lr force. Many of the skills train-
ing programs for women are focused on home economics, which further limit
the skills of women and bar them from wider options in terms of employment
~;..;;.W.;;..__ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _..;;.PI=UPINO WOM.\N IN fOCUS

Women in the government bureaucracy are few and usually found in mini-
sterial bodies or departments which have been traditionally defined as women's
work, for example, in education and social senices. These are also the govern-
ment bodies which rer.eived, under the past governments, the lowest budget
priority. In 1983, P5.2 million was allocated for education and P8.2 million to
defence out of the total budget of P65 billion. The education budget constituted
less than 10 percent of the total government budget, compared to the 30 per-
cent ration that it used to get before 1965.
The effects of the exclusion of women from greater educational and employ-
ment opportunities is seen in the domination of women in the sales and senice
sector where 2.2 million women were employed (1981). These figures included
the licensed "hospitality girls," massage parlor and sauna bath attendants.
These establishments have been found to be usually fronts for the prostitution
business. In Metro Manila some 100,000 "hospitality girls" were noted; there
were a minimtJm of 60,000 "hospitality girls" around the two biggest United
States military installations Subic and Clark. A substantial number of women
are found in the informal sector of the economy. Women in these jobs have very
limited skill-training oppo1tunities, and protection of women's rights is almost

(c) Lack of employment and economic opportunities. Ap?rt from the

points discussed above, the limitations posed by the conditions of the inter-
nal labor force market have pushed many women to go overseas either as
migrant workers or ac; "brides." In 1983, 30,000 Filipinos went to Hongkor.g,
a substantial number of them to work as domestics. For the period 1975-1981,
21,948 nurses, mostly women, left for the Middle East. Overall figures show
that in 1976, 2.4 million Filipinos went to Middle Eastern countries as
migrant workers, and the same number went to Europe for the same period.
Most of the women who dominated the migration to European countries as
domestics/housekeepers had college or university education.

(d) Mail-orderbrides. The phenomenon of "mail-order brides" is an

added dimension to the issue of women and migration. Australia, along with
some European countries, for example Germany, has become a favorite des-
tination for many brides. Scanty data and information on the "mail-order

brides" phenomenon hampers fuU reporting on this issue. (See A Bride for
All Reasons: Report on a Pilot Survey of Filipino Brides, Melbourne 1982.)


In vie": I)( tht. foregoing discussion, it is craciaJ for funding agencies work-
ing with women-in-development issues in the Philippines to consider the fol-
lowing firm recommendations. These recommendations are to ensure that any
development program for women will definitely bring about positive changes
in women's conditions:

(a) Establishment of women's centers with research/studies components.

The women's centers should be located in main urban areas, such as Manila,
Cebu, Davao, Baguio, with easy access to grassroots women's organizations,
NGOs and appropriate government agencie::;. The centers are to collect/col-
late store data on local women's situations; identify needs of women; suggest
programs/mechanisms/ strategies on women and development issues.
Other functions should include:
(i) meeting needs ofNGOs and government agencies working with
women in development;
(ii) service-information resource for women, and on govern-
menl/NGO programs for women as well as funding sources for
development programs;
(iii) develop mechanisms to gather information on development
programs tried in other areas, so that women learn from the col-
lective experience of other women, especially women in the
Asia Pacific region, by establishing links with them;
(iv) developing networks with each other/NGOs/relevant govern-
ment agencies, towards the creation of consultative mechanisms
between these groups, horizontally and vertically.

The centers are to be accountable to and must involve women locally.

(b) Develop and implement skill training/re-training/education programs

for women. These shall be geared towards: improving the economic
capabilities of women in various sectors; bringing about positive changes in

the disadvantaged status of women in various spheres; and addressing con-

uete development needs of women.
(i) PtGSants. The main problem faced by peasants is land - ac-
cess to land for food production to supplement family income
and generate income for women. They need:

acr.ess to credit and loan facilities to obtain land; work the

tand with appropriate machinery, tools and animals; to im-
prove the land inputs; to market their goods;
training/re-training/education in land management with
conside1 ution for ecologicaJ/environmental factors in
developing the use of farm management, financial manage-
ment, marketing; in developing the use of indigenous ap-
propriate technology, and new technology, which have
practical llSeS especially for women;
e greater women's intervention in all the above, for exampk
employment of women extension workers in these
the bulk of income generation programs should be small-
scale and coromunity-based;
emphasize the use of indigenous NGOs in these programs;
The same strategies should be made to apply to women in
fishing c.ommunities, as fishing is a seasonal job and fish-
ing communities are also farming communities generally;
Agricultural laborers also need assistance in having their
working conditions and pay regulated, as well as income
generation programs.

(ii) Women in the industrial sector. There is a need to train women

for "nontraditional" work areas to increase employment oppor
lunities and improve women's economic welfare. Women at
work in industries require the following programs:

New legislation establishing women's equality in the

workforce, es-pecially for equal pay. Corollary points: im-
plementation of existing legislation on women's rights, for

example, on maternity leave, sick leave, to form trade

unions; ending of practices such as employing women only
as C8sual or temporary employees; ending sexual harass-
Pro\'ision of uurseries and day care centers;
Educating women about workers' rights;
Unskilled/skilled workers need to have their rights
protected in law; work and working conditions to be regu-
lated, access to skills training, re-training and s.ldlJs
development schemes;
Small-scale entrepreneurs in the forma.! and informal
economy need similar programs/projects schemes as that
of the peasants, for example access to credit and Joan
facilities; training/re training/education in financial and
marketing management; programs to promote in&genous
capital, resources and support str-uctures;
The informal sector needs regulation; it needs programs
for skill training and education;
Moreover, there is a need for strong institutional support
for trade unions and other forms of workers' associations.
(iii) Professional women. Women in the various professions need
training schemes to further develop their skills and enable them
to assume management positions that have direct ~aring on
policy making processes, so that women's development needs
are adequately responded to. They need more educational op-
porturaities, e.g. scholarships and study grants that sufficiently
address both their professional and personal needs. Legislation
protecting women's rights, for example, fair wages and better
working conditions must be promoted and implemented, and,
where absent, new legislation must be established. Trade union
acli"ties, for example, among teachers, rnust be respected, and
education schemes regarding their rights must be developeJ
and promoted.

More employment opportunities, with necessary institutional support, must

be generated to curtailche brain drain phenomenon.

(iv) Women in tourist industry, "hospitaltty and service industries."

Skill training is needed but wr I not be a real option if income
from other forms of employmelt generated by this skill training
is less than what women can etm as prostitutes. The only real
change will come when the sta e regulates and enforces ade-
quate and fair wages so that J"'OStitution is not an attractive.
economic option. Foreign C'Jmpanies have to stop paying ex-
ploitative wages and impn."-: working conditions. Until this is
done, prostitution, espedally that spawned by foreign bases, will
remain. Funding through government agencies which stimulate
the domestic economy could help create better economic op-
pnrtunities for women, but wages and conditions have to be non-

Migration ( 1'brain drain"), especiallly of educated and skilled women, is an

enormous loss to the economy. If economic opportunities and employment
prospects for women improved, the brain drain would diminish dramatically.
Health conditions can improve, especially for women and children, if the
economic conditions of women are improved. Poverty and women's disad-
vantaged status have contributed greatly to the deteriorating health situation of
women and children.
Many programs can be carried out by NGOs, trade unions, and women's or-
ganizations at local and regional levels. To do this adequately, they need sup-
port schemes for staff and other support mechanisms to acquire knowledge and
technical know-how. Women NGOs have trained people to develop and imple-
ment women's projects and programs; they need institutional support to im-
prove their capacity to expand their programs and sustain work among women
on development issues.
Women in Households
in the PhUippines

Jeanne Frances J, lllo

The family, IXlrnposed of a married couple and their children, is generally

referred to as the basic unit of Philippine society. This unit operates within a
wider kinship network where ties are traced bilaterally, or from the woman's
and the man's sides. This kin group usually offers the family its immediat,~
security net. In farming communities, the family also forms tics of loyalty av.d
economic interdependence with patron families which own the land the family
tills, or which provide ever-ready credit and other forms of assistance. Horizon-
tal ties arc also established with neighbors and friends. Out of the nume;ous
people and households which surround a family, therefore, the unit selects and
maintains its so-called "voluntary partners" and "social allies" (Lynch, 1978).
Studies on families in the Philippines often start with the household. The
household is usually described as a group of persons who may or may not be re-
lated to each other by kinship, who sleep in the same dwelling unit, a'ld share
common aran1~ements for the preparation and the consumption of food (NCSO,
1970)." The two units - family and household - are conceptually different.

Source: Paper read at the Women and Household Regional Conference for Asia held in New
Delhi on 27 -31 Janual)' 1985.
In her study or women in a sugarcane plantation in a southern province of tht: Philippines,
Rutten uses a more restrict~ <ldinition of the ho116Chol<l as a groupo/ pr.ople who live
together under the same roof, and who &hare a single budget and pool their resources and
lalx>r to some degree (1982:24). Nonetheless, the majority or the household!; rove red in her
research still consist of nuclear families.

While kinship provides thr. organizing principle of the family, shared residence
or living arrangements underlie the household concept. These two constructs
are nonetheless used interchangeably because a household more often than not
consists of some form of kinship-based grouping, basically the nuclear family
(Arce 1973; Murr!lY 1973; Jocano et al. 1976; Ledesma 1982; and Rutten,
1982). For instance, of the households covered by the 1973 National
Demographic Survey conducted by the Population Institute of the University
of the Philippines, 72 percent were nuclear families (see Table 1); the remain-
ing households consisted of one or another form of an extended family-unit.
This suggests that the large majority of the single family nuclei (or nuclear
families) reported in the NCSO 1970 and 1975 Population Censuses (see Table
2) are indeed nuclear-family households, or households consisting of a couple
and their unmarried children.
The nuclear family performs several functions for the larger society, name-
ly: biological reproduction and maintenance, socialization, status placement,
and emotional.maintenance (Arce, 1970)" To these ends, responsibilities are
shared between men and women. Division of responsibilities in families may be
analyzed using as framework the opposition between the "domestic" and
"public" spheres, a distinction which rests on the function of women to bear
children. Women's nurturance function is used to effect cultural prescriptions
on women's behavior and to limit their areas of power and authority to the
domestic sphere, while men "naturally" operate in the public or non-domestic
sphere (Rosaldo 1974). This framework connotes as ideal a family arrangement
where the husband works to support the family while the woman specializes in
household activities. Because family headship is often ascribed to whoever con-
tributes the most to the household eronomy, the illusion is then created of a
family head who is male.
When this stereotyped image of the household head is used in data-collec-
tion efforts, as is usually done in the Philippines, the myth of a singular male

This pattem was also found to hold among the Gadda!lj!, otherwise known as the Kalinga.
in Nonhem Luzon (Wallace, 1983), t~ Batak In Pl.lt~n (&fer and Pap)'Orla, 1971), and
the Buhid swidden cultivators In Mindoro (Lopez-GoFWlga, 1983). ro name a few tribal
communities in the Philippines. The dominance of the ~hold as a domestic: unit of
production and consumption, h~errn has ~n ar~ to be a consequence of
prolonged contact with landowners.

A recent survey of literature on the Filipino family is provided by Sevilla (1982).


head is further reinforced. This affects the design of development programs and
the training of program personnel considering that planners and implementors
are. users of research data, who often claim res.earch support for their under-
t<~.king. Thu:;, women's concerns like nutrition a.td child care, they say, are ad-
dressed in programs for women. Moreover, women's ecouomic role is
recognized in income-generating (or "livelihood") women's projects. Outside
of these, men are targets of general development efforts; this focus indicates
adherence to the widely assumed breadwinner-role of married men. Again,
planners and implementors could point to existing researches and official statis-
tics which reinforce the idea of male headship of families and households.
Given the linkage between data collection efforts and data utilization, this
paper argues that the current definition of household headship is at best ar-
bitrary and, while convenient for data-collection purposes, provides real
grounds for discriminating against women in generalized or non-women-
specific development programs. In view of these, the paper briefly reviews bow
headship of h!luseholds has been conceptualized in various studies, and then
presents data on male-female relationships along the identified elements of
headship. This essay also describes how the stereotyped image of a family head
as male was used in the planning and implementation of a generalized (non-
women-specific) rural development program in the Philippines. Based on the
insights which can be drawn from the "target" communities' response to the
male bias in the implementation ofthe program as well as data on tht. '(ey aspects
of headship of family households, the last part of the paper discusses issues for
training and research which relate tn the reality of shared headship of
households, especially in rural Philippines.

Women and Headship of Housebolds

The identification of the "head" of the household provides an interesting

case because research data are often generated around this individual, and
general development programs which are designed to benefit households are
addressed to the heads of households. The bias in favor of household heads is
revealed by data-collection strategies which usually limit the selection of the
respondent population to heads of households. Consequently, information
about tbe unit ar' mediated by tbe prtception of the bead-respondent. For in-
stance, labor force statistics are ra1ely collected by asking different working-

aged members; instead, the household heads are asked to report on the
economic activities of the other members of their respective households.
MoreovP-r, households are likely to be classified according to the characteris-
tics of the household beads, such as their educational attainment and their major
occupation or means of livelihood.
The fo11owing questions are then posed. Who is the household head? How
do the different studies on families and households conceptualize the headship
of households? How do women fagure in these defmitions? Lastly, what do ex-
isting studies indicate about the real role:; women play in Philippine

Coru:eptualtzallon of lleadsbtp of Houubolds

Th1~ National Census and Statistics OHice (NCSO) of the Philippines

describes the household head as "the person responsible for the care and or-
ganization of the household ... (and who) usually provides the chief sowce of
income {or the household" (NCSO, 1975:xiii). This individual is usually the
husband or father, although in his absence or if incapacitated, the wife may be
designated as the head. This definition of the household head and the assump-
tions which underlie the concept are generally adopted by researchers who wish
to compan~ their survey results with NCSO statistics. As a result, both NCSO
and those &!Derated by other surveys in the Philippines have male-biased reck-
oning of the headship of households, and the ascendancy of women to this role
is premised only on the prolonged absence of the man from the household in
connection with a job or his death. It comes as no surprise then that of the
households covered by the National Demographic Survey, conducted by the
Population Institute of the University of the Philippines in 1968, and again. in
1973, about 90 percent were m~le-headed and only 10 percent were headed by
women (see Table 3). Moreover, the fact that women are reported to be
household heads only when the husband is continuo1\Sly absent from the
household, particularly upon his death, is reflected in the higher median age es-
timated for female household heads (a little over 60 years) relative to that for
rnale household heads (46 to 47; see Table 4).
The m..;~.: odentation of the definition of the household head is further ac-
centuated in the interview situation. Field interviewers are often observed to
ask as an opening question: Who is the head of your household? When this ques-
WHO Hl!ADS 11fE H O U S E i t C U - 1 ? ' - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - . . l l i

lion is translated into the lc.cal dialect, the phrase "padre de familia" is general-
ly used in place of the "household head." The usage of the local term neet~ssari
ly identifies the husband-father in a family household as the bead. When this
person is absent from the household, only then do interviewers ask about the
individual who provides the main economic support of the household.
The assumption that ir1 a family household, the head is male, finds support
in various case studies of families. For instance, Jocano et al. (1976) fmd that
traditionally the husband assumes the role of breadwinner for the farnily while
the wife stays at home and assumes responsibility for the rearbg of the chil~ren
and managing the house. Moreove.r, this traditional arrangement remains an
ideal which every husband aspires for. In a farming community, Arce (1973)
explains that the husband takes over the primary cultivator's role as he direct
ly engages in farming activ:ties, although he is usually assisted by members of
his household. Despite the labor inputs of other household members, the hus-
band is more often than no\ considered to provide the main material support
of the howehold and at least tk jure authority within the family and the wife is
more likely to provide affection and moral support (Arce, 1970). In determin
ing the headship of extended'-family households, the head is usually that mem
ber of the household whose opinion on common household matters, such as the
distribution of the burden of maintaining and repairing the house, commands
the most weight; this person is invariably also the member who has the most
material resources for use in 'the common undertaking (Arce, 1973).
While the assumptions underlying the mate-biased definition of household
headship are supported by ca!;e studies, there are, however, indications that the
conceptualization of a singular, male household head is becoming archaic. In
the same communities covered by Jocano and his associates, for instance, the
authors point out that the ideal of the husband-breadwinner and wife
housekeeper arrangement is being increasingly supplanted by the "dual-job"
family arrangement (1976:16). They explain this, thus:

"... economic and other preuures co_1lbined to render this (traditional) arrangement
utremelydifficult to maintain. Only a household head wit~ an exceptionJIIy large month
ty income pl111 other rneans o( live hood 1tands capable ror relieving hi.s ramify of the atten-
dant 5train generated by this type or urangement. llte emergent type or arrangement i.s
the "dualjob" ramiiY'mere the household heads punue jotls or careen or are engaged in
some gainCui.,'Ort (H11~y), r1\ile at the same time maintaining a ramily. So popular
i.s thi.s amnsernent in the comm~nity (an ~roan neigbborboo4), 1\ldt that the work.in'
mother is Ole rule rather than the exception ... MoreOYer, both household heads t,>eneral
ly engaged in "sidelines" (other jobs) - socially a~pted as a neceuary and dirable
:ZSO ----------------:.:PI~U:.!..PINO WOMEN IN POCUS

preoccupation ~lnce theae lidelinu IR rationalized to brinaabout added Income and 'out
let from the bo~ of one't Rplar }CJb.'

Although the authors continue to usc generation of cash resources as the

basis for shifting the focus from the male household headship to a dual or
shared headship, the interesting point is that indeed even if one were to use ex-
isting definition of headship one can still question the adherence to the concept
of a singular male husband head. A reanalysis of available data on the two ele-
ments of household headship - authority and economic power - can shed
more Ught to the attempt to redefine the concept of household head.

Dectston Making at /lome and Contribution

to I be Household Economy

In the Philippines, the law vests authority in the family on the father - a \egal
proviso which can be attributed to the patri-centered cultural heritage from the
Spanish and American colonial regimes. While no defmitive study of pre-
Spanish male-female relationships exists, several scholars suggest that during
the pre-colonial period, Philippine women enjoyed a more egalitarian position
both inside and outside the home (relative to tnen) than could be attained given
the prescriptions of Spanish and American cultures (Infante, 1975; BlancSzan
ton, 1982).

The mixed cultural heritage ofthe Philippines creates certain tension::;, espe-
cially over the issue of sexual equality. The tensions between the more
egalitarian indigenous (or pre-Spanish) cul1ure and the male-oriented colonial
ideology are manifested in how actual famt' ~dynamics compare with cultural
norms, especially on how decisions are made in families and the balancing of
power between husband and wife. Moreover, problems of maintaining the
household compel men and women to deviate from cultural norms, such as the
ideal of the male as sole breadwinner and the woman as purely a housewife. As
women increasingly contribute to the family (cash) resources, a larger part of

Citing M.G. Smith, llosaJdo (1974:21) defines a\lthorily u "the right to make a pu-Jcular
decision .00 to command obedien<:e, Yihile ~pertains to "the r.bility to tiCt effti~
lyon persons or tfllnp, to rnake or secure limnble decisions which an! flO( ol right aJJo.
cated to the individuals for rheir ~.

their iJtfluencc becomes formal power since their decisions or choices can be
supported by their own personal resources.

Declson-maklng Patterns.

At the be~ning of their marriage, a couple immedhtely faces the ques~ion

of where to live. They are faced with three alternatives: reside with the man's
family, stay with the woman's family, or strike out on their own (Ledesma,l982).
If either of the first two options get selected, the couple usually has to make two
second-stage decisions: whether or not to continue living with one of the
spouse's family, and when to move out. While the majority of couples remain in
the communities where they build their houses, some migrate to neighboring
villages or towns. The issue of residence then is one which a couple probably
has to settle several times, not just once. In most of these instances, however,
the man and woman jointly decide (lllo, 19n).
As the couple starts a family, additional issues have to be resolved, although
not always within a formal decision-making framework. In some cases, husband
and wife agree not to mal'e a decision but instead let time resolve the matter.
How many children to have, how soon to have tbem, where to educate them,
and whether to allow them to work before they finish school - these matters,
like the question of residence, are jointly settled by the couple. Likewise, invest
ment on a piece of land, on a new farm input, or on the repair of the bouse is
decided by both the woman and the man.
Decisions on the family budget and the matter of whether the woman should
work rest primarily on the woman, although discussions with the husband some-
tit.les take place before she makes the final decision. In a number of situations,
questions on the family budget and women's wage employment are interrelated.
Among many rural households and those in poor urban neighborhoods, male
earnings are often not sufficient to feed, clothe, and provide shelter ar.d educa-
tion for the children. Budge! decisions then are limited to purely stretching the
peso to enable the family to havt. a roof over their bead and a meal or two
everyday. In the face of inadequate male income, the woman actively seeks
employment or engages in prolit -making ventures. The decision is the woman's,
and no norms would confine her to domestic chores while their children starve.
While the woman exerts her right to manage her household's finances as weU
as to work for wage or profit (when the need arises), she brings the issue of her

participation in extra-domestic, non-economic activities to the attention of her

husband and tosether they a.o;sess how this would affect the family.ln most cases,
the husband leaves the final decision to the woman but getting the husband's
agreement may he important since be may be asked to baby-sit when the woman
bas to attend meetings or classes and she cannot leave the small children to the
care of their siblings or her female relatives.
Because the woman is in close contact with the children, she is generally
responsible for the routine scolding, nacging, and teasing to keep the children
in line (Guthrie and Jacobs, 1966). The daughters continue to remain under the
mother's tutelage until they leave home to study, work, or start their own
families. The sons, however, generally leave the care of the mother when they
reach puberty and thereafter, the father actively assumes the responsibility of
disciplining them and initiating them into "manly'' activities.
On the whole, therefore, the woman has considerable authority in the home,
authority which she shares with her husband (see Table 5). Although men and
women consider most issues to be matters for joint decision making, the
husband's view reportedly prevails when disagreements over a decision occur
(Bautista, 1977). Nonetheless, when the woman feels that the husband's
dcci.;ion is not a fair or a good one, she can continue to show her displeasure
either by nagging him about I he maller or by shutting him out (IJJo, 19n). la
many cases, these tactics work and the woman is able to get a decision which
she favors.
Joint dc.cision making connotes that woman and man relate to each other as
eqvals, although in reality one may have a greater innuence than the other party
on a particular issue. Using data on whether or not women need to ask their
husband's permission before disbursing cash for specilic purposes (see Table
6), Bautista (19n) argues that the manner in which a questioli i!i presented to
the spouse for a decision points to the greater power exercised by the husband.
Her data show that women seek their husbands' permission before lending
money to celatives and, except for women who have their own income, before
buying their dothes. While she offers no information about men's seeking the
women's perm.is.sion on the same issues, observations particularly in rural areas
suggest that men invariably have to go to the women before they extend cash
credit to relatives and friends and before they purchase clothes. Because the
wife generally keeps the cash, the man can and does avoid lending cash by refer-
ring the matter to the woman. More than the husband, the woman can convinc-

ingly explain to the would-be-debtor why she cannot lend them money, espe
cially if the family's fmancial position is so tight that moneylending can force
the family to do without basic things. Moreover, very rarely do men buy their
own clothes. The women do this; thus, active permission is not required. When
the women feel that there is no money for clothes, they simply do not make the
purchase. Based on data on decision making within the family, therefore, a case
can be made for shared authority and power, two elements of headship of the

Contributions to tbe Household Economy.

Power .vithin the family has often been associated with relative contributions
of household members to the upkeep of the group. Under the ideal family ar-
rangement where the husband-father is the sole income earner, power then rests
on him. Moreover, ~bile a number of women engage in "economically gainful
occupations," their earnings have been found to be generally lower than their
husbands'. Consequently, the husbands continue to exert some degree of power
over their working wives.
While this line of reasoning may be legitimate, one can question its underly-
ing assumptions. Much of the analysis rests on the conceptualization of
economic contributio11 as the outcome of marketoriented production activities.
The focus, in the words of Beneria (1981), is on the "genetation of exchange
values rather than the production of use values." Because women's contribu-
tion to the household economy is more on the latter than the former, very little
of the products of their labor ge.t acknowledged, particularly in official statis-
tics. Th~ work they do which minimizes the cash ~xpenses of the household is
part of "housel-ecping." Unless these women arc reported to be in wage
employment, or in profit-generating activities, they are invariably categorized
in labor force reports as ''housekeepers."
A shift in the conceptualization of what constitutes productive work - away
from the market-oriented framework to a more general defmition which in-
cludes the produC".tion of "home goods and services" - provides not only a Jess
gender-biased view of relative contributions of men and women to the
household economy; it also presents household production in a more appeal-
mg light. Purchase of C'..Ommodities from the market is but one step in and one
part of the maintenance of the family. A classic example is food. On the one

hand, the family can buy read)r-to-eat food from the nearest carinderia (or food
stalls) and thus remove the nect!SSityof cooking for the family. However, cooked
food is generally more expensh-e than home-cooked food; thus, women's input
into the preparation of food saves the fami.Jy from disbursing additional cash.
Women's home production, however, never gets acknowledged in official statis-
tics as productive work, while the generation nf cash to purchase the ingredients
is classified as an economic activity.
Moreover, there is a need to .reconsider family-owned or family-managed
enterprises, including family farming operations, as the property or the activity
of the whole household and not just of the man. In the case of many farming
households, at least two memben are involved in various farming activities.
Hence, the contribution of the husband is not the total value of production net
of cash production expenses; rathel', it is the return to his own labor in the same
manner that the time spent by the woman in farming constitutes her contribu-
tion from this activity.
An exercise of revaluing women's contribution using time data from 80 cases
in two villages in the Philippines indicates that indeed men's market-orier.ted
production time is about double that of the women. In contrast, women spend
four times longer hours than men in home production activities, such as prepar-
ing food, caring for the children, washing clothes and dishes, marketing for the
household, and similar home tasks.
The valuation of women'!> time spent in home production is dependent on
the assumed labor replacement cost or opportunity cost. If one were to use the
wage paid to bou.semaids, the value of women's home production time is
definitely low (see second section of Table 7). But if one were to use tt.e market
wage which women can command in the village for market production work,
partkularly that rendered in rice farms, as an approximation of the woman's
opportunity cost, then the value of her home production ume will be higher (see
first section of Table 7). Using the mocb 1 agricultural wage rate in the village,
the value of a woman's production (market and home) time input is estimated
to be about P20 a day while that of the husband is about P15, or 75 percent of
the value of tLe woman's time contribution to the upkeep of the household.
Thus, if one were to use the NCSO definition of the householr.1 head as "the per-
son in charge of the care and organization of the household," the data show that
there are two persons charged with the responsibility of the maintenance of the
household - the woman and her husband.

Male and Female Headsbtp ofllousebolds

and Development Program lmp/ementallon

In the Philippines, as probably elsewhere, women are rarely considered in

development programs unless these are designed principally for them. In most
cases, development efforts in the rural areas have been formulated to benefit
farming households, and have been tailored implicity or explicity for male farm-
ing household beads. Training programs are thus conducted for these male
beads of households, and associations organized with them as members. With
rural credit programs, the male farmers are also the "natural" clients since
women are assumed to manage the farm only when their spouses have died or
are continuously out of the community in connection with their job.
Of the programs which have been started in the Philippines over the past 10
years, the participatory irrigation development program for both small and
'arge systems is the most interesting. Before the launching of this program in
the late 1970s, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), the agency man-
dated to undertake irrigation development in the Philippines, was a
predominantly male institution. Except for female employees in clerical ad-
ministrative-support positions, the engineers and other technical personnel
were mostly men. With the participatory program, however, the NIA has hired
community organizers, two-thirds of whom are women, to constitute a newly-
formed institutional staff; this group ~; assigned the task of preparing the
farmers for participation in the planning, construction, and operation and main-
tenance of the physical irrigation system in the different project areas
throughout the country. As a consequence of the participatory program, there-
fore, the composition of the agency's field teams changed from their tradition-
ally predominantly male membership to one where about half are female.
While nowhere in the planning documents for the program was there an ex-
plicit mention of the program's beneficiaries as male, training materials which
have been produced have invariably depicted the farmers as male. This was par-
ticularly obvious in the visual aids which were prepared for the training of com-
munity organizers, other NlA personnel, and farmers financial management by
the irrigators' associations. The assumption that farmers, who were heads of
farming households, were male was so pervasive that it has been taken for
In the fi_eld, the male and female community organizers worked primarily
with male farmers. In one project area, membership in the irrigators' associa-

tion bas been limited to one membr.r per household, generally the male head
(IUo, 1985). Thus, ofthe 165 registered members in March 1983, only 16 (or 10
percent) were women. Among these female members, two were currently mar-
ried women who joined the association because their husbands were employed
outside the community and visited their families on rare intervals between jobs.
Four qualified for association membership either because they owned the
riceland or they were generally known as tenant of the farms served by the ir-
rigation system. Of the remaining 10 (';male members, one was separated from
her spouse for several years while the nine others were widows.
The attendance records for meetings, field inspections, construction, and
operation and maintenance activities reveal that women who were non-mem-
bers participated in these activities. A number of the male members sometimes
sent their wives to be their representatives during the meetings. The community
organizers initially objected to this practice of sending (female) proxies. They
felt that this would be inimical to building farmer's commitment to the project.
Male lt:aders .of the association, bowe;er, told the organizers that it was
"natural" to send v1omen to meetings; they said that women were as concerned
about farming matters as their spouses. In contrast, female members sent their
husbands or adult SOM ~o represent them during construction, when members
were required by the association to render unpaid labor as their contribution
to the project. These women alo sent adult male members of their respective
hoUSeholds to participate in group activities, such as clearing canals and repair ..
To the members, male or female, the association's acceptance that its nlem-
bers would sometime.s send repr('.sentatives enabled their respective families to
spread the responsibilities of association membership anong the adult mem-
bers. Consequently, the pressures to participate in project and system manage-
ment activi!ies tended to be diffused at the household level, with household
members, primarily, women and their husbands, possibly taking turns attend-
ing to association demands. And beca'Jse of the insistenre of the association
leaders and members that farming was not a purely male conce:rn, and that it
was one shared with their spouses, the community organizers eventually
withdrew their objections.
The situation in the project area suggests that to men and women in Philip-
pine communities, headship is a shared thing. A recognition of this reality im-
plies that rather than the restricti\'e single membership rule per househnld,

recruitment and registration or menbers could be on the level or households,

with the woman and her spouse listed as alternate representatives. Such ar-
rangement would support the reality or what families do. It could also help avoid
differences between husbands and wives in connection with the association's
demands on their resources. While the man, who was involved in the associa-
tion, would more likely view fmancial contributions to the organiz.ation as a
necessary expense, the woman, who was excluded from the association, would
more likely consider it as an unnece!sary drain ou their finances. As the leaders
ohhe association in the project area noted, the presence of wives during meet-
ings might help the association extuct firmer commitments from members to
pay membership and irrigation fees.

Rethinking Household Headship: Some

Issues for Training and Research

Jt must be noted that the paper deals with the issue of headship of the
household as applied particularly to rural areas in the Philippines where about
69 percent of the households resid<:. Moreover, it focuses mainly on lowla1d
Christian Philippines. Within this delimited scope, the paper ar~ues that the
conceptualization of household headship in official data-collection exercises,
as well as in mOSl researches may be questioned in the light of what is known
about effective authority and powllr within Philippine homes. The present essay
posits that authority with the home, the Civil Law of the Philippines not-
withstanding. is not solely vested on the husband-father; rather, it is one which
he sh<ues with the wife. Data on decision making wilhin the home, contribution
of the woman to the "care and orgwization of the household," as well as the
local com.rnunitites' recognition that the woman has the power to revoke he,r
husband's commitments, all suggest (hat the concept of a ~ingular, male
household head is ind~ed an illusion whkh is perpetuated only in law and oth.-:r
formal inst.itution'i.
The experience in au irrigation project area in the Philippines underscores
the fact that communities tend to have a more realistic view of household hc:ad-
ship, particularly with regard to the balancing of power and authority within the
unit. Thus, their reaction can be stwng when field workers operate as though
only the male f.umers - and a few widowed or female household heads - could
be involved in the association and the project. Any pro-maJe bias in the im-
plementation of development projects then appears to be imposed by outside

More often than not, field workers are college graduates who have been ex-
posed to current conceptualization of headship and other issues. In the case of
the community organizers who were assigned to the project discussed in the
paper, they were raised and educated in the city, and have internalized male-
ori~nted assumptions which underlie the headship of households. Probably
more than in urban areas, women in the rural areas actively share in the authority
and power within the home. Unless taken up during the field workers' training,
the element of shared or dual headship of rural households is bound to be lost,
and the assumption of planners, that the head of farming households is male,
Field workers often argue that their assumptions about households are based
on reports of government agencies and researchers. There is then a need to
reassess how the reality of shared authority within the home and shared
responsibilities of producing goods and services for the upkeep of the household
can be reflected in the design and conduct of researchers. One issue in the
Philippines pertains to the interpretation and translation of the term
"household head" into the vernacular. When, as indicated earlier in the paper,
the term "padre de familia" is used, the male connotation is obvious and im-
plies, too, a singular head. Another issue refers to the selection of respondent
population of surveys dealing with households and families. Corollary to the
ftrst issue, the woman and her husband can be used as respondents, probably
acting as a "panel" on household questions. Since respondents are bound to
screen information about other members of the household, the identification of
two respondents per household - while maintaining the household as a sam-
pling unit- might provide a necessary foil to the bias of only one respondent
from the household. A third point relates to general conceptual and analytical
issues pertinent to the usc of the household as a u11it of analysis, and how such
a view clouds important questions on male-female relationships, and intra
household distribution of work, resources and benefits. This cluster of issues,
however, has only been alluded to in the present paper. Nonetneless, the incur-
sion into the concept of household he ad!.hip hopefully provides a starting point
for an evaluation of similar concepts in research and in action programs.

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satisfactions: The Filipino among Filipinos. Quezon City: Social Research
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Ledesma, Antonio J. 1982. Landless workers &VId rice fanners: Peasant subclas-
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Lynch, Frank. 1978. Perspective on Filipino clannishness. Philippine .~ociologi

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Rutten, Rosanne. 1982. Women workers of Hacienda Milagros: Wage labor and
hr.usehold subsistence in a Philippine sugarcane plantation. Amsterdam:
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Woman, Culture and Society. Stanford, California: Stanford University

Sevilla, Judy Carol C. 1982. Research on the Filipi11o family: Review and
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Studies 31(1983}:75-86.
Tlble 1. Distribution of the National O.ogr.ptfc Survey
Sa~~ple Households, by Type of Fily In the Household
encl by Nu!ber of Fllies, 1973

Item Philippines Urben Rural

!YJ2! of fanfly !n !h!


Nuclear 72.0X 60.3X n.ox

Extended vertically,
older end yCU~ger
generation 20.3 25.4 16.1
Extended horizontally,
cogeneratlon 4.6 G.7 2.9
Extended vertically and
vertically 3.1 5.6 2.0

NU!Der of fanil ies in the


cne 67 .1X 89.~

Two 11.4 62 '"
15.3 9.7
Three 1.5 2.5 1.1

Data source: Castillo (\980:341).

Table 2. Household c~sition, by Census Years: 1970 and 197'5

1970 1975
k-:>UScllold conpositfon --~-------- ----------------
Nurber Percent Nurber Percent

Hooseholds with no
fan ll y f'AJC l eus 290,282 4.7 360,571 5. 1
Households with only
one family nuclei 5,317,312 86.3 6,089,055 86.0
Households wl th more
than one fomily nuclei 533,420 8.7 629,502 6.9
Households with c~~
sltlon not ~~!fled 22,114 0.3

TPtal households 6, 163,128 100.0 7,079,10!8 100.0

~ata sources: NCSO (1970,1978).

Tllbte 3. Percentage Distribution of S1111p\e Houaeholds, by
Household Type and Sex of the Household ~ad: 1968 anc:l 1973

1968 1973
Household type ---- --------
Kat~ Female Male Female

one person household 0.1 0.6 0.6 0.8

household 73.0 5.1 12.9 5.0
Extended family
household 17.1 3.9 16.5 3.7
Others o.o 0.2 0.2 0.3

OVerall 90.2 9.8 90.2 9.8

aA nuclear family household consists of a c04-ple end their

U'lllllrried children; ~lle en extended-family household Is c011p05ed
of a nuclear family with any of the following additional members
one or both parents of either spouse, married children and their
respective femi lies, unnorrled or ~rried sib\ lngs, end other
relatives. The category "othtrs" Includes those consisting of
relat.~d menbers who are not married or whose spouses are absent
end without l1'1111rr I ed children, as well as h01.oseholds c011p05ed of
unrelated persons.

Oat~ source: De Ia Paz end de Guzman (1977),

Tlble 4. Medlen Age of SBq)le Househohh Covertd

by the National Demographic Survey, by Sex of the
Household Head a.-.d Residence: 1968 end 1973

Se~ of the household head 1968 1'>73

end resldef-.c"

Hale 46.2 47.0

Urban 51.2 50.4
Rural 39.5 44.6
Female 61.0 63.7
Urban 62.0 62.1
Rural 60.9 64.2

oa~a source: Castillo (1980).

Teble 5. COI!pllratlve lndepeudmt Replies of Husberds and Wives, and
Response Gwrlap on selected Issues, with COIIIpUtecl Rri Correlatior'l
Coefficients Meesurl" DettrM of Slgnlfte.-.ce and Agr-.ent of
Response Between Respondent CQlples (Bicol River Basin,
C..rines SUr, N~ellb!rDecetllber 1976)

Selected decisl~ Most frequent response Kendall Sf g.

lll8k I ng areas .UO percent) tau <n>
Hust.nd Housewife Hus-~ coefflc.

1. Residence Hus (49) Joint (46) Joint (29) 0.27 0.001

Joint (45) Hus (40) HLW (27) (241)

2. F~\\y invest Joint (61) Joint <58> Joint (40) 0.29 0.001
ment Hus (28) Hus (25) Hus (13) (240)

3. Family budget Joint (41) Wife (48) Wife (27) 0.30 0.001
Wife (38) Joint (40) Joint (23) (241>

4. Family recrea Joint (60) Joint (64) Joint (35) 0.11 0.0~5
tfon Hus (30) Hus (23) Hus (9) (238)

5. Wife's calf!IJ Joint (40C) Joint <56> Joint (28) 0.09 0.054
nity part lei Hus (38) Hus (32) Hus (15) (240)
pat ion Wife (21) Wife (12) llife (4)

6. Oaughters Joint <60> Joint (61) Joint (36) 0.14 0.019

Camulit~ Hus (2\) Wife (19) Wife (5) (202)
participation Wife (11) Hus (14) Hus (4) (241)

1. husband' s
COIIIIU"' it y Hus (56) Hus (46) Hus (28) 0.10 0.057
pntlcipaticn Joint (42) Joint (44) Joint (2\)

8. Son's community Joir;t (57) Joint (64) Joint (33) 0.18 0.005
participation Hus (30) Hus (2?) Hus (10) (208)
Child ( 12) Ch\ld (11} Child (4)

(cont 'd next page)

ttusbendwlfe (HusHW) refers to the percentage of c~les reportlngo the sarre
9. ~if~'a wo~klne ~lfe (35) ~lfe (38) ~ife (20) 0.24 0.001
Joint (33) Joint (35) Joint (16) (199)

10. Oeughter'a Joint (63) Joint <n> Joint (42) o. 11 0.059

working Child (14) Wife (12) Child (4) (183)
Wife (8) Child (9) Wife (33)

11. Son's working Joint (57) Joint (65) Joint (31) o. 13 0.038
Hua (23) Child ( 16) Child (6) (188)
Child (18) Hus (12) H~.a (5)

12. F11111il \' s lze Joint (58) Joint (61> Joint (41) 0.23 0.001
None (21) None (19) None (10) (238)
Hus (19) H~.a (14) Hus (3)

13. Pregnency Joir.t (54) Joint (56) Joint (32) o. 15 0.005

interval None (21) None (21) r.:ne (11) (238)
!Ius (15) I!us (13) Hus (3)

14. Children's Child (54) Child (54) Child (36) 0.26 0.001
friends Joint (32) Joint (31) Joint (12) (234)

15. Children's Child (415) Child (53) Child (34) 0.34 0.001
course Joint <> Joint (39) Jo1nt (15) (21~)

16. Children's Joint (59) Joint (56) Joint (30) 0.23 0.001
school Child (28) Child (32) Child (15) (235)

17. Son's Joint (56) Joint (62) Joint (41) 0.37 0.001
discipline Hus (41) Hus (27) Hus (20) (216)

18. OAughter's Joint (69) Joint (64) Joint (47) 0.09 0.087
discipline Wife (18) Wife (32) ~ffe (8) (209)
Hus (13) Hus (S) Hus (1)

Data source: lllo (1977:191193).

Tlbte 6. Selerted Deter.lrw~ta of the Need for
the ~ to Ask ttust.nd's Pe111isalon

--.s eemlng
ISSI..I!, Pe,..lslon PerlliBBI on Total (II)
.nd household
~tat1.., needed not needed
Inca. level

To !!a clothes
F.amlng wo.n 57 42 99 (733)
Nonearnlng 110111e0 67 33 100 (531)

To lend~ 12 relatives
Eam i ng WOIIIen 90 10 100 (734)
Nonearning women 92 8 100 (532)
( 1266)

~ !!a clothes
PO to 199 76 24 100 (242)
200 to 399 70 30 100 (303)
400 to 799 62 38 100 (311)
800 to 12,000 so 50 100 (259)

~ lend !JKlOe'l 12 relatives

PO to 199 94 6 100 (242)
200 to 399 91 9 100 (303)
400 tom 88 12 100 (311)
800 to 12,000 92 8 100 (1120)

Data source: Bautista (1977:235, 2-36).

Tlble 7. EatiNted Average of Daily ProdJct ion Tillie of
ttarrled MM and \bllen In Two VI lieges In the Phil twines

Vll\age ard sex VaiiJe of Value of Total value of

of hous eho I d lllell'be r !!)tlrket tIme ~~~&rket time prod.. time
1983 1984 1983 1964 1983 1984

~ (Hodal agrlcul tural W.lge rate: P15 per day or P1.85 per hour) 8

Husbtv'ds P15.50 P11.:SO p 1.62 p 2.07 P17.17 P13.37

\lives 6.30 2.66 15.83 15.45 22.13 18.11

Gatbo (t'.odal agrfcul tural wage rate: P12 per day or Pt. 50 per hour) 8

II us bands 11.54 9.86 4.46 3.14 16.00 13.00

Ulves 4.14 4.04 1"1. 32 16.00 21.46 20.04

~ (Keen wage rate for market pr<d.lctlto, P15.33 per ~y or P1.92 per
hour; for home prock.ction, P3.33 per day or P0.42 per hour)

Husbands 15.90 11.55 0.34 0.45 16.24 12.00

Ulves 6.00 2.52 3.52 3.45 9.52 5.97

Gatbo (Keen wage rate for market prodJctfon, P14.33 per if or Pt. 7'9 per
hour; for home prodx:tfon, P3.33 per cby or P0.42 per hour)

Husbands 13.75 11.75 1.25 0.89 15.00 12.64

\lives 3.93 ~.86 4.82 4.43 8.75 8.29

a This pertains to the wage rate paid IIIOSt rice farm workers In the
village. For farming operatl~ Involving men and women, wage rate paid
to male and female workers were equal. The same wage rate was applied to
the home prodJct ion tIme of ooth men am wanen.

~~ wage rate was estimated by getting the simple average of the rates
given for all farming operations htlfch Involved hired labor, lillie the
mean wage rate for home prodJctlon was based on the wage rate paid
househelp In the ;lty nearest to the tw villages.
A Reconsideration of the Flllplna Image

Elena L. Samonte and Annadalsy J. Carlot~'


Many have labelled the phenomenon as the "Asian bride trade" (Aslaweek,
April, 1983) or "Mail-Order Marriage Business" (del~in, 1986) while others
have been more critical and perceive it as ''trafficking in human flesh"
(Asia week, April, 1983), the "new slave market" (Schmidt, 1985) or the "Asian
brides scandal" (Asiaweek, May, 1984). However it may be called, the fact
remains- there has been a significant increase in the number of men and women
who are using personal advertisements as a means of finding a marriage partHer.
A cursory review of the ads in a Manila daily, 17Je Sunday Bulletin, across a
ten-year period shows an increase in the number of advertisements placed main-
ly by marriage bureaus or by the individual foreigners themselves. Reaso>ls for
resorting to this option vary: for the .nen, a common reason is dissatisfaction
with their past marriages (te\atior.ships) with western women who are viewed
as relatively independent, agressive, and assertive, a contrast to the Filipina
who is pictured to be "affectionate, submissive, loyal and devoted, gentle, eager
to serve, with a strong sense of family'' (Asiaweek, Apri~ 1983). For the women,
the Filipina, in particular, the reasons run the whole gamut- historical (a
colonial mentality which still favors foreigners), demogr!lphic (there arc slight-
ly more women (51%) than men (49%) in the 52 million population), and

Unpublidled JUUKh report ol the authon;, Department or PiYCholosY, University ol the

Philippines, 1987.
::.;268~---------------'TI'-'-'--IB...:MA~I..;.;.L-_O_RO_;.ER MARRIA.GE 3USINP.SS

economic (a promise of a better life, at least financially).

Except for a few jownalistic reports (Belkin, 1986; Lipka, 1985; Schmidt,
1985; Asiawttk, 1983) and sociological surveys (Jedlicka, as cited in Belkin,
1986; and Cooke, 1986) that have been conducted, no systematiestudy has been
done on this phenomenon. Tbere has been a continuous discussion on the type
of people that subscribe to such a method for mcetin1~ future partners and the
reasons for doing so, but very little statistical data are available to support such

Some questions that need to be asked arc:

1. Who arc the people that participating in the "mailorder bride" business?
2. What arc th<:y looking for in a mate?
3. What do fowign men have to offer?
4. What arc the attendant problems of such a union?
5. What are the implications of such changes in mating patterns?

The present study is exploratory in nature. It is aimed at answering some of

the above questions. Essentially, it will draw up a personality profile of the men
and women that arc part ofthis phenomenon. Based on the litcratun~ and per
sonal observations, it will present some of the problems that have arisen. Last
ly, it will assess the situation, viewing it from the psychological, sociological and
cross-cultural perspectives.

Marriage Bureaus

Marriage bureaus arc those outfits whose sole business is to match potential
marriage partners. This is to be differentiated from introduction agencies that
arc said to look fo( dating partners and from travel agencies which usc adver-
tisements of their introduction services as part of their promotional tools
(Balano, 1984).
In Germany alone, marriage agencies which spe-:ialize in listing Southeast
Asian women have numbered some 210 (Wolf, 19_:13). The number of agen
cies seems to be variable, as some of these are fly-by-night agencies, out to make
a fast buck. It is estimated that in Germany, despite the claim of more than 200
marriage agencies, in reality, there are only si.'dy (60) "real" agencies. The rest
are subagents, postal addresses, or fake agencies (Schmidt, l985:67-68).

There are those, however, which arc well-established and enjoy a big clien-
tele. One such agency is the Individual Marriage Travel Agency (JMTA) -
Gunter Menger, that boasts of a wriuen money-back guarantee (Wolf, 19_j
(See Appendix A). It has seven employeelo working with computers, a photo
laboratory, and offers translation services. The agency also offers limousine and
wedding services, a package that takes c.arc of aU the details from beginning to
end. In tm, Menger was given full TV coverage, bolstering his popularity. The
fact that he has been instrumental to some 2000 marriages seem.~ to give his busi-
ness additional clout and credibility. Menger lc; a shrewd businessman: his
diversification into business concerns involving furniture, art objects, carpets,
jewelry nnd, antique attests to this.
In Germany, the partner-matching cum travel industry started in the early
1970s when the German tourists went home with their Asian wives and dis-
covered the possibility for a lucrative business. These agencies now deal with
"some 27 countries, but mostly with Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and
Sri Lanka" (Aslaweek, May, 1984:22). lll the U.S., there are some 100 such agen-
cies (Belkin, 1986:6).
Most of thc..se marriage agencies start out as none-man operation or a hus-
band-wife outfit. They grow in size a.s the business acquires its clientele. One
such agency is that of I. ou Florence of the American Asian Worldwide Services
(AAWS) who, himself, married a Filipina, Tessie, after his first 23-year mar-
ric.ge ended in divorce. Business was so good that his office in Canaga Park,
California, moved in 1980 to Santa Monica, a more affluent part of the stole
(Asiaweek, Aprii,I983:45). In 1985, their business grossed US$250,000(Belkin,
To find Asian women who would be interested in marrying foreigners, the
AAWS places adverti..Cments in Malaysian and Philippine news dailies (Ap-
pendix B). To attract male clients, AAWS advertises in flfty (50) periodicals
such as Psychology Today, New West, Sterto Review, and Car ond Driver
(Asia week, 1983:45). Just as the services of these agencies vary, so do the fees.
For example, a one-year client-membership of $90 entitles the client to "a
catalogue of women with photos, addresses and other details; one original un-
published letter a month from an Asian woman. an advertisement bearing his
name and address in a le.ading newspaper in Malaysia or the Philippines; a free
subscription to the Club bulletin and information on travel and marriage"
(Asiaweek, April, 1983:45). The most expensive package ($300) entitles him to
"aU the se1vir..~sof a onfyt:ar membership plus 24 letters with photos from
\1/Cltntlt who meet his specificationr., an unlimited suppl~ of the bi-monthly
AAWS cat.llogue, personality evaluadons of fifteen wom .:n, and visa assistance
Oh~..e the marringe is set" (lbid.:45).
Whereas some agency fees can cost a'> lillie as US$2.1 (600 Baht) (Asia
MagaziM, August, 1986:13), others can cost as much as US$1500 (DM4000)
(Asi,uwek, May, 1984:22). The former offers only introduction services while
the latter ind,1dcs transporting the woman from Asia t'.J Germany. Member-
ship fees or Joc.,l agencies mnge from as Jittlc as PlO (in 1983) to as much as
\>300 for fernale dients (Paganoni, 1986). S(1me agencies don't even charge the
female clknts but do charge the male clic:rts. As gathered from an interview
with a male client, Olll~ of th~ local marriage lp;encies was charging him US$100
for a set number or introductions,
A personal special ofler of Gunter Mengc:r (Appendix C) shows three types
of services, from "full senice" which includes a wedding in th~ bride's countY
(thus, including airline tick'! ts for both bride~ nd groom, introduction and trarv,-
lation of corresixmdcnoe, pa,'>Cr work, i.e., su1 lporting papers, letters to the Em-
bassy, etc.) to a weddin$ in Germany or anyOl her European country, whkh may
or may not include ail' line tickets. Cost of S'ICh services range from DM4980
(US$2731) to DM12860 (US~7.')53) (Schmid,i, 1985:70).
Frmn an intcniew of pmsonnel of one local agency which claims to ba\'e 7500
genlle~nen on their roster vnd Vl\fious offiw in Manila, Cebu, and Europe, it
was furthe1 discovere.d I bat for bgal matters, they employ the services ,e>f five
attomeys and twu judge!.. They clso claim to offer C:ttholic marriage services
with a Cardinal to perform the service.
Some application forms (an h<: as simple~ sa on~page form (Appendix D)
or as long liS an 8-page form (Asit-t+'eek, April, 1983:45) which can ask rather in-
timate que&tions. One form asked questions .u direct as" Are you a virgin?" or
"Have you experienced premarital sex?" (Belkin, 1986:10). Questions about
prcereno~s regarding sex '"How frequent,vould you like to have sex in one
week?" are also asked.
For m:!le applicants, the P.llplication form asks questions about the man's
education, job, income, social activitir.s fin.mcial status, and personal charac-
teristics. The IMTA applir~lion form also asks about diseases and handicaps,
hobbies, and details abont one's divorce. Moreover, it asks about the man's
prcferci1,CCS regarding hts future wife. n,is information includes age range, ap
proximatr. height and weight, r.gu..e, educ.:llion, OUpation, whether she has a
driver'r. license, !l child, or is divor,ed. The npplicant states his prefr.;rencc as
to wilere he wAAls to get nuuried, iu Germaty or in the country of his futun~
wife. He also states his target deadline for marrying. He is given a selection of
wom,m's photos from which he chooses one which approximates the type of
wornan he woulcllike to meet
Women who apply to the:;e marriage agencies are at times given a briefing
or oticntation such ao; the OM given by the Australian Embassy in Manila or at
the Comrnission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO). There are given after they ltave
been grunted their visas. Ho"Nevcr, for those who go ,\S tourists. their situation
is aggr.watedhy the fact that they do not even get a briet;og. Sometimes, thou,Jh,
the won1cn get a mimeographed sheet (Appendix E) wb.ich teaches thern w),at
to say to !.he Immigration authorities and l10w the.y should he have towards their
prospectiv~ husb.wds. Tht~y are encouraged not to bf, too coy lest they jcop
ardite tbeh chllllCI.~-S of getting a husband.

Pmblems Arlslng

It should be pointed out tltat all hough there l1ave beeu testimonies attesting
to happy union5, not all of these maniag=-s arranged by marriage bl'rcaus are
successful. Som.~ problems 11rising from such a phenomenon focu~ the ul o.,
terior n1otives of .~.orne of the applicants.
The r.rst problc~m which has serious mmifications is its usc as a front for pros
tilution. Tlere have been reported C<i.S'~S of women being offered marriage but
upon arrival in tht~ co1nlry of destinr.tion .ue forced to sign contracts bindir1g
them to work as prostitutes (Schmidt, 19'd5; Bulletin Todt.l)l, No\embtr, W85j
A.siaweek, May, 1')84; Asiaweek, April,1983). It is 5aid that of 15,000 J<1lipiuas
in West Germany, ilt least oW<~ o( them are not registered and may very well be
forced into :;ucb. jobs in order to sustain themselves (Sclunidt, 1985:2).
Misrepreseflt&tion ~,urns to be the "modus operandi" to get the women into
German~' fo~ {il.\Ch er.ds. The so-called operator comes to Manila y,ith a variety
of false documtmts to ~uit his needs, including passpo1ts and identilicatio111
papers. He offers marriage to the un:mspecting Filipina and brings J1er to his
home counlrywhere he forces her to work in a prostitute den.
Another story is that of a man advertising for a secretary. Jane, a Filipina.,
aruwer<'4 this advertisement Cor a se.cretarial post with a Mr. Albrecht May1:r,
----=-TI~lE. MAH...OR!;)]:!U~!!!M.l.!l ~USINESS
171 - - - - - - - - -

and ended up beinp, a "showgirl mc:rchandise" (Schm;dt, \98.~.

Various houses for battnred women havt: sprun,~ .tnd given testimony of
women who have been victims of l".bu.sebytheil husband:(Rt.ports oftheHo\l~
for Battered Women in Erla11gen, Hamburg, Humeln, H.:idelberg, Kassel, Lud-
wigshnfen, Marburg, Mor.ehengladbach, Neumfinsf,~t, O.m~hri\clc, Ulm,
Wi"lreudorf). Usually handicapped by their ina'bility to S'!)eak in Gt.rman, to find
their w.1y aroJnd, and, iu many CfiSeS, by theil illiteracy, m.altre11tmcnt of suth
womt"n goes unabated until such time that the police h;tervene or tbese women
esc.apc or nre brought to suth houses of refuge. However, thdr husbands
mannge to lind them and bring them. back hmr.e. nu~. tomcllow, it is not surpris-
ing to l'ind them Lack in these homes for ballerr...d wom.~n afh~r a while. Oc-
casionally,thc~>e women attempt to live on th!ir own but with very few slti,lls, the
likelihood of going into prostitution bccom.r.s ilr.rr.inent. The option of I'Cturn-
ing to onl~'s country is not so popular as this wo11ld mean a los~ of fllce fo1 them.
They would ratht>r suffer it out in Germany th:m f;u:e their fam\lywho are. under
thr. illusion that their daught1;r hl'.S made n tJCtter life for herself ahroad.
A lot of the conflicts also emanate frc,m false or too high expcc.tatiom;. The
man enters nucha marriage thinking that his wife would be "subr.1issire, domt.s-
ticaled, adaptable." The woman, on th~ other band, dreams of h'lving 11 bcHcr
life financially. Bul such dreams are shallered when she fmds out thai her hus-
band io; not rir.h at all and she can't r.ven send any m0111ey home to 1.uppmt her
pare11ts, brothe1s, and sisters. S'l'mc try to work but there have IY:.en c.~cs
wtwrc: the husband even took hL\ wife's sa!arJ, pwventing her from sending any
money to her family (Report from the H(lUSf' for Battered Women in Os-
nabrilck). The man's dreams arr. nlso shatte.red when lu~ finds .~1er not really tbJt
submiMive or that he "married her whole family'' (PaB.anoni, J9&.S:22).
Pmsonality problems also pr1~sent glaring difficultie.::. in the marriage. II. bas
beeo argued that the men who f;eek mail order brides are H1ose who ha\"e bwn
lejec:ted or ca.mot find partners in their own countr;. Some of them tum out
to b.:~ drunkard\ liars, wife beaters (Asiaweek, 1933: Pr.ganoni, 1986).
A growing trend is to get nu:il-order bride.~ for handicapped men. Tlae mar-
riag~ is then viewed itt terms of utility and fu.actiotJ\Rl v:.tlue. 'fbi!~ again, presents
pmblerns of adjustment. 111 some casc.s, these womr;n nre not l.old of the man's
c,on ~ilion, and the initial encounter be com.~ guite traumatic for th1~m.
The: language problem in non-English sveakh1g countries is at~o a problem
('De must contend \\ith (Samonle, 1986; Schmidt, 1985). Inability to c.ommuni-
cute in a common lan.~uage may C\V9'avate minor conOkts, enough to escal,ate
them i.nto bigger i.~ues.
Lastly, the adjustment to a dill"ercnt c:ulture, in terms of Vi\lues, customs,
traditions, and role e~:pectations caunot be' emphasi1.e~.l enou,gh. Even adjust-
ment to the cold weather presents it.~ difficulties. Sueh problems have often
been qu0tcd in studies involving cro!">scultural roan iagcs (Samontc, 1986;
Cooke, 1986; Wacla, 1981; T:wng, 19TI; Calhoun, 1955; and Rafel, .\954).

Methodology of ~he Resear<:h

In an attempt to provide an~wers to the questions posed earlier, the pwsent

r!Scarch employ,>;<~ two mcthotls, namely: 1) a survey of newsp<tpcr advertise-
ments, and 2) an analysis of letters responding to three such atlvertiscmtmt:;.
The detail!. of these mr~thods am provided in ihc following, &ections.

Survey of Nt!WS/Jfl{Jer Advoirllsements

Data Jver a four-year p1:riod (1982-1985} wen~ obtai11ed by c:xamining the

Pmsonal Classified Ads sea ion of the Sunday edition o{ Bulletin Today (now
calkd the Manila lJufletin), a J,hilippinc d.:!'.ly ncwspap~1:. Thi.s.r1ewspaper wa:.;
sclccte.d because it was, and still is, th'.: daily that bao;. the largest n.\\rnbcr of such
personal advcrtisenttmls in it~ Cla:;sllkd Ads section.
Advertisements which sought to initiate correspondence, cst1blish
frieudship or mentioned "mnrrit1.ge, serious or IMting relationship" and \he like
were compiled and furt~cr mw.mim~d in term.c; of several variltblcs I)U',I.ined in
th'.J. VariaiJ/es section.

Analysis of wuers

Ad<lilional datll. which W;;re. <HJaly;t~!d were sets of letters that the researchers
were given aco~"'" to by thrt!e advertisers.
Two of the ad't\:rtist;rs v;ere penonal acquaintances of the wsearchers who
contacted them reg.urlingthe po.\&\bility of placing ads in tb(:ir TJnmes. The thi.rd
adverti!.cr was an acquaintanc.e o{ a colleague of the re....ea.u:he;rs.

Brief dow;riptions or the two ad'ICrt.iscm nrc found bdow:

1) Advertiser 1: 27 year old rnaJe, German, tall a[ld handsome

?.) Advertis~r 2: 50'ish. male Israeli, University professor

In order to prepare a profile of the advertisers and the desired femak1 cor-
rc.sponJents they were seeking. data based on newspaper advertisements were
analy1.ed in terms of the following variuble.s:
1. Sociodemographic characteristics - The characteristics which were ex-
t:mined included age, civil status, and oe<:Jpation. Additional characteristics
1.vere noted when indicated in the advertisements, e.g., nationality, religion;
:ducational attainment.
2. Physical characteristics -- All the physical characteristics mentioned in
the ads were noted. Example.~ of these are handsome, tal~ white, slim, and the
3. Personality characteristics - Perwnality traits that wue specified in the
advertisements were likewise noted. Some examples are .sinet'l't!, loving, matul't!,
umkrstandin& etc.
From the newspaper r1dvertisements, addit.ional data that were analyzed in-
duded the number of ad.-ertisement.s, the frequency of ads placed by individuals
and by agencies, other information that advertisers wanted "respondt:nts" l'J
provide and the benefits offere.i by advcrtisus.
The analysis of the letters was guided ba,sically by the same set of variables.
Thus, sociodemographic characteristics, physical and personality trats that
were mentioned in the letters were all noted as were information rtB;arding
their Likes and disli'~es.

Analysis of Data

Data analysis wa.s descriptive in nature. The frequencies and percentages of

O<~rrence of the selected variables and ch~racteristics mentioned in both
nt!wspaper advt'.rtisements and let!ers wer~ determin.:d.

Results 1nd Discussion

The findir1gs of the study are presented separately for data from the
newspaper advertisements and for those from the letters writtea to the three

Survey of Neu.JsfJajH?r Advertisements

The total r.umber of newspaper advertisements showed a tremendous in-

crease across the four-year period or investigation. The weekly average climbed
from 16.85 advertisements in 1982 to 19.73 in 1983 and leaped to 31.83 in 1984
and, finally, 45.48 in 1985. These data serve as one concrete evidence for thr.
oft-quoted allegation of an escalating trend in the number of men and women
who decide to avail of this means for establishing more It> sting relationships, in-
cluding marriage.

7be Soclodemographlc Characterlsllcs of Adver/lsers

and Desired Respondents

Please refer to Table 1. For each sociodemographic variable, the categories

arc ranked on the basis of their mean percentage of occurrence in the ads over
the 4-year period of investigation.
The data in Table 'indicate thai al' overwhelming number of advertisers arc
either Americans, Canadians, Australians or Germans. They form a relatively
mature group, age-wise, with majority coming ~ro.n the age range 31 and older.
Most of them profess to be single; but in recent years, there has been a sizeable
number indicating that they were either divorced or separated. Many alc;o claim
to be "educated," to possess "stable jobs," and to be "financially secure." Un-
fortunately, these terms are not well defined in the advertisements.
For many advertisers, their jobs seem supportive of their claim to being "edu-
cateu" since the occupation~ mentioned do require tertiary education, e.g., en-
gineering, teaching, medicine, dentistry, etc. Over the )'ears, however, the data
consistently reveal that the largest occupational group is that of businessmen.
More often than not, the particular type or business engaged in is not indicated.
What are the preferences of these advertisers regarding the socio-
demographic characterisrics oflhe females they seek? Based on the newspaper
advertisements, advertisers would like to conununicate with single, younger
women, whNe ages are between 21-30 years. This age range was a strong
preference with a mean percentage of 51.25%. Comparatively, the next most
frequt~ntly mentioned age group was the 31-40 range with a markedly lower
mean percentage of 26%. It is also evident that priority is given to women who
are engaged in occupations that are profession~! in nature, particularly those in
the medical field. Consistent with this is the explicity indicated preference of a
!!..._ _ _ 1118 NAilt-OROF.tt MAI\RIAGB lUlSI~

number of advertisers for women who are educated or are college graduates.
The!>e requirem~nts with respect to <>upation and educational attainment
show that advertisers are &earthing for women wh~ come fmm the same
socioeconomic background that they themselves say they po!>Sess.

Physical and Personaltly CbarQCterlsUcs ofAdv>rUsers

and lkslred Respondents

The manner in which the advertisers deS<'ribed themselves and the female.
corrr.spondcnts they sought in terms of both physical and personality char a(:
teristics was noted. The relevant data are presented in Table 2. The charac\crh
tks are once more ranked on the basis of frequency of occurrence in the
newspaper ads.
There was great variability in characteristics mentioned by advcr\iscrs.
Quite a numbc::r of characteristics had small frequencies and are not inc\udct\
in the data presented in Table 2 which arc ba~cd only on those that Wt~re slated
by at least 5% of any yearly sample.
An cxamln~tion of the data clearly shows an attempt to create a favorable
impression of one's self on the part of advertisers in terms of both personality
traits as welt as physical characteristics. Thus, they have described them5e\vcs
as sincere and honest, loving and romantic, faithful, without vices like smoking
and drinking. This "likeable" personality, they claim, is a\so matched by an at
\ra~tive physical appearance. Advertisers present themselves as handsome or
good-looking, tall and slim.
The advertisers' glowing self-description is not unexpected in this situation
if we presume an intent to maximize the probability of a favorable reply.
Neither is it surprising that advertisers seek responses from women who are en
dowed with similar personality and physkal traits. Respondents, atrotding to
advertl~rs, should be just as sincere and honest,loving or affectionate but with
the added touch of being a c.aring and faithful person. H~wever, advertisers
seem to expect more of their prospective p3ilners with their impositiQn of the
additional "requirements" of intelligence, good morals (although this may per
haps be interp1eted as the "feminine" counterpart of"freedom from vices") and
being a "homelover or homebody." In terms of physical appearance, advertisers
prefer women who will match their good looks. Thus, they are desirous o{ cor
responding with women who are be.autiful, tall and slim with a "good figure."
The adherence to normative stereotyped ways of self-presentation is clearly
l'lUl'INO 'WOMAN JH J10CUS 177

evident in the classified ads. In general, the advertisers have tried to put their
"best foot forward" in the hope of at least initiating rorrespondence. Those
who do not lit the idealized mold and dare to declare so run the Jisk of limited
correspondence at the oulsel but wisely avoid the pitfalls of unfulfilled expec-
tations later. Apparently, few nl\vertisers d10se to ta\ce tl1is course oJ action as
may be gleamed from the finding thai majority described themsel\lcs in terms
of the positive stereotyped mold.
From the data, it is interesting to note that the common notion that Asian
women arc preferred because of the belief that they are subservicut or ~ubmis
sivc (Aslawee/(, 1983) is not included in the list of de.sired characteristics by the
advertisers. That they seldom did so is perhaps understandable. They may not
have wished to create an initial impression of a dominant, masterful, dcntand-
ltlg prospective lifetime partner. On the other hand, what this may reflect is a
tecent realitation that the trait is not as desirable as it was touted to be. Con-
&istent with this speculation is the fmllinglhat many advertisers cxpres.sed.
It is also worth noting that a few respondents, it seems, write letters in reply
to many advertisements. It was interesting to oome across one young lady who
had written replies to both advertiser no. 1 and advertiser no. 2. These two ad-
vertisements had been placed approximately a year apart. This observation ap-
pears consistent with information provided by other letters of respondents who
claim that "letter writing is a hobby.'' Jn adll~tion, I here were a few respondents
who asked that their \etters be passed on to others in case the advertisers did
not care to correspond with them.
The letters of these respondents were carerully examined in terms of the
same set ot variables utilized in the analysis of newspaper ads. lt wm be wcal\ed
that the classified ads presented largely stereotyped, idealized descriplions of
both advertisers and their desired respondents. The findings may, perht,ps, not
have been altogether unanticipated. An interesting question to ask at th\s poinl
is: Would the letters of actual respondents yield selfdescriplioos similar to
those culled from the advertisements? The results are presented in Tables 3
Table 3 shows that both advertisers recei1ed lellers from a very ttroad age
range. The ages of the respondents ranged from those in their teens, definitely
much younger than the advertisers, to those much older.
Ad~ertiser No. 2, who had specilicd a paticular age range for respondents,
received letters from older worn en, some of whom apparently just ignored the
178_ _ _ _ __ Till! MAIL-ORDER MARRIAGE BUSINF~~

age requirement. One resp<mdent noted the requirement but justified her reply

"I'm a lillie over 36 years and I believe lhli i& nola hindrance bul a plus ractor. Whal
rounls Is I he overall personality or a pcn.on -warmth, Knsc or humor, maturity, and un

Some of these cast"/ may have been honest errors on the part of tlte letter
writers. Or they may also indicate the extent to which some respondents tend
to disregard the "ptcliminary screening" imposed by the specifications in the
advertisement, to try one's luck in the hope that the advertiser may spot some
merit in one's letter and put aside his/her initial requirements.
The data on occupation displayed a great deal of variability in the kinds of
jobs that the letter writers engage in. These occupations range from the un
skilled type of job such as those of a domestic hclpcr/babysittcr/salcslady to
profcssio11als like a physician and a professor for the male advcrtist~rs.
The variati~n in type of jobs is congruent with similar variability in terms of
the educational attainment of the respondents.
One respondent disclosed hav;.tg finished only elementary education while
a number had obtai11cd graduate degrees. In general, though, the sample of
respondents claim to be a rather "educated" group on the basis of their having
obtained college degrees.
Most respondents said they were single, especially in. the case of those who
wrote to Advertiser No. 1. Advertiser No.2 obtained more replies from people
who, as mentioned earlier, were both older and ~ivorced/separatedlwidowed,
several of whom also mentioned having childfr.n, as well as the hope that this
would not be a hindrance to the correspondence they sought to establish.
As expected, ma.iority of the respondents were Metw Manila residents. But
the phenomenon is not confined to nrban residents as a sizeable number were
from places outside of Metro Manila. While a few such places were also urban
centers in the provinces, some re pondents Jived in barrios some distance from
urban areas. For instance, one female respondent who stated that she lived "
... far from the city 10 km. away" :~ptly called herself as the "'Lor..ely Girl' of
the Barrio."
Of special concern to the researchers was the socioeoonomie status of the
re3pondents since there is a common impression that females resort to this
means of looking for a lifetime partner due to economic considerations. Ini

tially, it must be recognized that there was no strong data convergence relative
to a specific socioeconomic level for respondents. Respondents seem to have
come from all levels based on information regarding occupation as well as
educational attainment.
However, if convergence must be sought, the data seem to indicate that most
of the respondents come from the Jov.'er or miC:.Jie lower socioeconomic strata.
There arc, of course, extreme cases from both ends oflt1e socioeconomic con-
tinuum as has been mentioned previously. For example, there was a domestic
helper who wrote Advertiser No. 2 in a Visayan dialect and requested to be
called at home only on specific hours which corresponded to the times she did
not have too much housework to do. On the other hand, a respondent to
Advertiser No. 1 claimed to be a medical doctor, with a post box address in
If such exceptional instance were disregarded, then the earlier claim seems
warranted on the basis of the following information. First, there seems to be a
preponderance of jobs of two types among the Jetter writers: 1) those that may
be steady, and, at times, tenured but do not pay well, e.g., government
employee; and 2) those that are business-oriented and highly influenced by fluc-
tuating economic condidmiS, e.g. garment factory workers. Second, quite a
number of the respondents mentioned being jobless or between jobS or waiting
for a decision regarding their application for overseas employment. Third, al-
though majority claimed to be college graduates, only l\ few graduated from
schools that are recognized as providing "quality education." Fourth, among
those who claimed to have graduated from college, a number obtained degrees
in technical- vocational courses. Fifth, a careful examination of their ability to
express themselves in their letters noted the following: poor vammar and/or
poorly organized ideas for many of the letters writteu in English; some letters
were written in a mixture of English and Pilipino that is far from elegant.
Titus the economic motive gains support on the basis of available data. To
be sure, there are only a few instances iu which the respondent makes an ex-
plicit admission of the possible economic value to her, should a relationshit~
prosper. But that there are such cases bespeaks ofthe intensity of such motiva-
tion. Furthermore, the evidence was available from letters to both male adver-
.tisers. The following excerpts (quoted verbatim) from a letter to Advertisers 2
and 1 illustrate !he directness with which this is addressed to the respondents.

1. RespondmlloAdvertlswNo. 2

I read in classified ads that you are seeking for a life partner (wife) in other
word. I am a ~'ilipina seeking also for my future husband ... I want to a man
one who care me and I need security in life because I don't want to be poor

2. Respomlent to Advertlser No. 1

It's only now that I was given the g\lts to do this application. I would like to
be honc~t then to accept that I only did assume this risk due to my brother's
conditii)Jl. He needs a brain operation and I honestly admit we could no longer
afford the same ... I don't know why I address this letter to you but I feel you're
the answer.
Sir, I would honet;tly admit that I would like to help my brother and I'm ready
to assume the risk as a consequence of my act.
Both respondents indicate a strong belief that the advertisers can provide
the economic relief that is needed despite the lack of any pertinent information
conceroing fmancial capability in these :.vo particular advertisements. The ur-
gency of the fmandal demand of the second respondent is clearly evident, as
weU as, the attempt to convey the idea that this act was resorted to after having
exhausted other possible remedies to the situation.
The belief that foreigners constitute a means for economic betterment is,
perhaps, not unexpected. Generally, newspaper advertisements allude to this
as an implied benefit that would accompany "marriage" or any "long lasting
relationship." This belief is further strengthened by additional information
regarding financial stability thai is often found in these advertisement-:. r ypical
relevant descriptions include "successful businr ssman," "owns house, has good
job," "rich," "financially secwed," and the like.
The economic motive must certainly be recognized as a significant factor
especially in the C&S(. of respondents who come from the lower socioeconomic
levels. For some, the promise of financial stability bas so t:mboldened them that
even with their initial communication, a blunt declaration of marital intent is
made as in the ftrSt letter above.
The straightforward reference to marriage truly seems uncLuracteristic of
F'ilipino women and appears to be understandable if considered a.; a "last
res(lrt" - the only remaining alterna!ive when other options have been tried

and failed.

Pbystrol and Personality Cbaraclerlsllc.(

It will be recalled that the relevant data from the classified advertisements
revealed stereotyped and somewhat ideali1.cd descriptions of advertisers as
well as their preferred characteristics for prospective respondents. It was in
teresting to examine the self-descriptions of actual respondents to determine
the extent to which they screened themselves so that only those who fit the
desired "mold" would respond.
In terms of physical charactert.itic.s, the data provided by those who answr.red
the ads showed a disparity between the advertisers' and the respondents'
descriptions. Most of them stated that they were of medium height or petite
and medium in build rather than the advertisers' preferred "tall, slim, and well-
proportioned" prospective respondents. In addition, none claimed to be
beautiful or handsome although a few described themselves as "nice-lookine"
or "presentable in appearance but not exactly good-looking." An examination
of pictures sent by those who wrote the advertisers did indeed show no outstand
ingly attractive actual respondents. Perhaps, in an attempt to minimize the dis-
appointment of the advertisers, some respondents emphasized their good
points such as a "a lovely smile," "have no grey hair," and the like.
On the other hand, the comparison of th(; personality characteristics from
the two sources of data indicated a similarity between the advertisers' require-
ments and the respondents' descriptions of themselves as honest, sincere,
loving, romantic, faithful and free from the vices of smoking and drinking. An
added bonus is their kind, understanding and thoughtful nature.
These data show that the actual respondents, as a group, fulfill the reqnire-
ments of advertisers with regard to personality characteristics but fail to come
up to their standards for a physical appearance that will match their own "good
looks." The findings of consistency between the desired and the actual with
respect to personality traits may reflect th~tt a self-screening process has
operated so that only tt.ose who possess the desirable characteristics do
respond. Or the respondents ruay only be telling the advertisers what they want
to read even if, in so doing, they become less than truthful. The validity of the
claims concerning personality takes time to verify - time that may profitably
be used by the respondent to enable the advtrtiser to get to know her better and

to bring to the fore other traits which may also be desirable but were not in-
cluded in the advertiser's initial preference. On the other hand, one would not,
for instance, dare to claim to have certain physical characteristics such as a
"sexy, well-proportioned figure" if this were not true since, with the first face-
to face meeting between advertiser and respondent, such a claim is immediate-
ly disproved.
The consistency mentioned above is evident only for the group of actual
respondents as a whole, however. It does not indicate absolute homogeneity
for there are indeed intragroup differences. A more careful and dett~iled
analysis of their letters show that those who responded to these ads comprise a
somewhat varied group whose individual personality descriptions do not seem
to fit a single mold: neither the preferences of the advertisers nor the submis-
sive, undemanding, docile oriental woman nor the assertive, ambitious person
mentioned earlier by Belkin (1986). The differences seem to depend upon the
professed aim or goal of the respondent in initiating the correspondence. The
latter, in turn, appears to be correlated with agent and socioeconomic status.
One group 'of respondents, generally female, directly declare their willing-
ness to marry the advertiser, sight unseen, and upon their initial response to
the classified ad. Excerpts from the letters of such respondents have been
provided in an earlier section in order to support the assertion that their primary
motive seems to be economic in nature. The economic need may be chronic or
precipitattd by some unanticipated event at the time that the reply to the ad-
vertisement was made. These letter writers appear to be more open and will-
ing to give more information about themselves. In general, their first letters are
longer and provide a more varied description of themselves, including both
positive and not so positive characteristics, the latter being information that one
would not normally volunteer to disclose to a virtual stranger which, in effect,
is what the advertiser is at that point. They write of themselves in a straightfor-
ward manner, implying a simple, guileless and trusting attitude towards people.
It may also be surmised that they are high-risk takers expressing a willingness
to venture into the "unknown" so to speak. Perhaps, this stems from a convic-
tion that they are resilient enough to adjust to the demands of a new culture, to
adapt to a foreign setting with different customs and norms of behavior.
The other group of respondents, by way of contrast, state that their im-
mediate purpose in answering the advertisement is, in the words of one respon-
dent, because they are "searching for a friend," "somebody to exchange views,

hopes and perhaps even troubles with , . ," They anticip:de the establishment
of "a lively correspondence (expecting us both to be very) completely hmaest
and frank." Nevertheless, the hope that eventually the rclation!'hip would be-
come more serious and lasting is hinted at. Generally, these are re~pondcnls
who are oldea, more financially secure, and are presently either engaged in a
profession, employed or arc retired. They are, likewise, ootter educated and
this is easily evident from the letters that they hnve written-In the clarity or
their penmanship, their ability to articulate their thoughts in an organized man-
ncr, their more care rut selection of words and the correctness of their grammar.
They display a more cautious approach to their correspondence. They Mite
shorter letters. They do not disclose as much information about themselves,
except perhaps information that is "safe" to provide and that would not make
them appear overeager to establish a more regular correspondence, but at the
same time, would clearly convey the message that they are, lndeed, interested.
They indicate a willingness or a promise to "tell more" about themselves upon
receiving the advertiser's reply. They exhibit independence and appear to
manage their Jives very well, balAncing the demands oHamily life (for those who
have a family), their career (for those who have one) and leisure activities.

Implications for tbe Image of tbe Filip Ina

Articles found in popular magazines portray and perpetuate an image oft he

Filip ina characterized by "loyalty, submissiveness, adaptability, devotion to her
husband and home lire." This stereotyped view is strengthened by statements,
such as the following from men who may indeed have married Filipinas who fit
this mold (Schmidt, 1985):

"I can do nytblngwirb her." She ro11ows everything I""'" (p.t)

These descriptions conjure an image of a "Maria Clara" whose entire exist-

ence revolves around making life as comfortable and as pleasant as is possible
tor her family, especially her spouse or mate. How prevalent is this image? Is
this the im~e that ma.lces the Filipina so attractive to foreigners? Are these truly
the characteristics that foreigners, whose personal ads crowd the classified ad-
vertisement section of newspapers, seek in female respondents and prospective
partners? Or, as is sometimes the case with stereotypes, is this a.a image of the
Filipina of the past- an image which may no longer have a present reality?

Indeed, our data tend to show that the portrait of the Filipina which has been
populari7.ed is an oversimplification that ignores the variety of rather stable In-
dividual differences that exist, as manifested in letters of female respondents.
EquaUy interesting are the implications of our findings from the analysis of the
desirable characteristics that male advertisers are seeking in female respon
dents. The.o;e two sets of data consistently indicate that the image of the Filipina
needs a face lift that will be more rencctive of pcriodkal data.
The self-descriptions found in letters of respondents to the two advertise-
ments that had been placed by the authors clearly show:
(1) that there is no exact match between the image of the Filipina which is
found in popular magarlnes nor that of the foreign advertisers as indicated in
their personal ads; and (2) that Filipinas are a more varied group than the
stereotype makes them out to be. The findings of the study show that the
respondents seem to represent two different "images" of the Filipina whic.h have
been described earlier. Both sets of description seem uniform, however, in
showing that t~e Filipinas is more assertive, independent minded, adventurous,
and wiiUng to take risks. These characteristics, perhaps, are renections of an
inner conviction that they possess the resilience and confidence to venture into
a whole new world of experience.
The data also belies the common impression that for most respondents to
such personal ads, the primary motivation stems from economic difficulties
while, there may indeed be Filipinas who are so motivated, they do not ron
stitute an overwhelming majority. Quite a number of respondents were pwfes
sionals, had graduated from some of the better schools, and gave every
indication of being comfortable financially.
The findings of this research therefore, provide an empirical basis for alter
ing the popular conception (or more appropriately, misconception) of the
docile, self-effacing and subservient oriental woman who is the Filipina.
Interestingly enough, the classified ads provide congruent data. Submissive
ness, docility, subservience and like characteristics are hardly mentioned as req-
uisite characteristics by foreign advertisers. The absence of specific references
to these characteristics may, of course, mean that these expectations have be-
come so ingrained in their image of the Filip ina that they need not even be men-
tioned. Other data, however, seem to point to an alternative explanation that,
perhaps, even the foreign advertisers, themselves, are engaged in evolving an
altered view of the Filipina. While they still put premium on loyalty, a caring,
I'JUPINO lV~ IN fOCUS -~----ltU

loving and home-centered disposition, in additinr "~y express a rather strong

preference for intelligent, articulate, educated .>lcssional women - wornen
who can hardly be expected to fit the ster~otypical mold described earlier.
' This double entendre message of the men wanting the best of both worlds
can very well put the woman in a difficult posillon, faced wilh two sets of molds
quite different front each other which she must lit into. The ambivalent posi-
tion can also put undue strain on the relationship where role conccptuaJiza.
tions arc not dear and role expectations are not met. Perhaps, a clarification
of these must first be done by both parties in the relationship.
As a final word, rertainly the impression that Filipinas arc best known as
domestics, entertainers, and prostitutes must be corrected. Despite the fact
that the bulk of women that work abroad seems to fall under these categories,
we cannot discount the fact that a good many of them are qualified profes-
sionals who have had to sacrifice the "comfort and security'' of their native land
in exchange for the economic comfort and security offered by the seemingly
greener pastures abroad. No doubt tbere are Filipinas who have excelled in
other kinds of professions. Perhaps, we n~ed to highlight such cases but at the
same time encourage each other to set our sights on home grounds rather than
pine away for unreachable stars.


The present research is an initial attempt at a systematic examination of a

phenomenon that has been the focus of so much attention and agitated concern
from many varied sectors of Philippine society. Although journalistic accounts,
anecdotal reports, and case studi~ on the topic have not been wanting, there
has been little and only sporadic effort devoted to a more scientific investiga-
tion of the topic. Obviously, more studies of this nature must be undertaken in
order to arrive at a more accurate and detailed description of this
phenomenon and its implication for the image/s (?) of the Filipina, on the part
of foreigners and host countries, {e\\ow Fi\\p\nos and the F'\1\p\nas tbe~\ves.
In addition, the information that such researches may yield will provide a solid
empirical basis that wi\1 rationalize orientation progams for Filipinas who may
be intending to marry foreigners. Ukewise, counselling sessions for Filipinas
who may need them will be guided accordingly.
Admittedly, the data obtained by the present study may be considered as

limited both in quantity and the depth of quality that the researchers had hoped
for. The study is, in this sense, exploratory in nature and should be considered
as the precursor to a series of researches thr.t will allow for a more extensive
and intensive look at various aspects of this phenomenon, especially the emerg
ing image/s of the Filipina that have been proposed earlier.
The data limitations partly stem from the methodology employed in this re-
search. Personal advertisements and initial letters of respondents convey rather
restricted, global, and somewhat stereotyped information which present a
macro-view of the phenomenon but do not provide sufficient detail for an in-
depth and comprehensive analysis of the topic. A greater accessibility to the
desired information may be expected with the use of the interview method sup-
plemented by focused group discussions with Filipina respondents as well as
with foreign advertisers. The administration of standardized indigenous per-
sonality tests to the Filipina respondents will also serve to maximize data genera-
Finally, it isrecommended that follow-up studies of Filipinas who do even-
tually marry their foreign correspondents be conducted. Such researches wiU
yield information regarding their stress experiences, problems generated,
coping responses and styles, and the differential efficacy of varied mechanisms
of adjustment. The knowledge thus gained will provide invaluable input to
guide behavioral scientists, social workers, representatives of the labor depart ..
ment and other practitioners whose work involve the protection of and provision
of assistance to Filipino women.
TDle 1. Socfcdemograj:hfc Characteristics of Advertisers
and Desired Re'lpordents Based on Newspape Advert fsements

Advertisers Respondents

Natfooalhv Rank
Americans/Canadians 1
Austral fans 2
Germans 3
Other Europeans 4
Asians 5

Advertisers Respoo:k'flts

20 - Below 4 20 - Below 3
21 - 30 3 21 30 1
31 - 40 2 31 40 2
41 - above 1 41 above 4

Single 1 Single*
Divorced 2
Widower 3
Separated 4

Occtpat ion Occuoatlon

BusInessman Doctor/Nurse
dentist other
Engineer 2 Medical pro-
Professional 3 Professional 2
Tear.her/college 4 Acc0111tant 3
Doctor/dentist 5.5
Executive 5.5

* The category most frequently and directly specified by

advertisers. Many are ranked on the basis of their mean
percentage of occurrence In the ads over the 4year period of
T~e 2. Physical and P~rsonellty Charact~rlstlca of
Adv~rtls~rs and R~pondents they Seek

Adv~rtlsers R~spoodents

Physical characteristics Rlll'lk Physical characteristics Rank

Handsc-/good lo?klng 1 Pr~tty/beautlful/good
Tell/good look!!)!, 1 looking 1
Slim 3 Slender/slim 2
White 4 Tell/5 1 811 - above 3
YOUlS 5.5 Hedllml/5'3" - 5'7" 1
HediUII/5 1 311 5.5 Oriental looks 5
lllth good health 7 Sexy/good figure 6.5
Black/dark 8 Hestlza 6.5
Blue-eyed 9 Pet lte/5 1 2" - l~s 8

Persone~jt~ characteristics Personal It~ characterls~lcs

Sincere/honest 1 Slncer~/honest 1
Nonsmoker/nondrinker/no vices 2 Loving/affectionate 2
Lov Ing/romBnt Ic 3 Intelligent/sharp 3.5
Good ~Drel charact~r 4 Decent/good morels 3.5
Mature 5 Home loving/homebody 5
Loyelifelthful/one woman-men 6.5 Good f111111l y bakgrOU'ld 6
Thoughtful/understanding 6.5 faithful
Reaponslble/rellable 8
Kind 9
Sensitive 10
Adverti!U 1 Advertlur: ~
(Gerllllln Male) (Hale University

D. Ecllca\\or.e\ t\\eh~
Gradlate degree 1 ( 3)
College gradUate 9 (28) 15 (47)
scwne College (stopped) 3 ( 9) .$ ( 9)
High school gradUate 3 ( 9) 9 (28)
Scme hlf/1 school
(II topped)
Elementary graduate 1 ( 3)
Vocational school
gradlate 5 (16) 3 ( 9)
Student 11 (34) 1 ( 3)

Total 32 (99) 32 (99)

E. Qcc!.p!l t Ion
Physician 1 ( 7)
Nurse 2 (l4)
Secretary 2 (14)
Prof~ssor/Teacher 1 ( 7) 2 (18)
Retired military
Garment factory
worl:er 2 (14) 1 ( 9)
Saleslady 1 ( 7) 1 ( 9)
Babysitter 1 ( 9)
Ocmestle Help 1 ( 9)
Librarian l ( 9)
AccCIU1t executive ( 7) 1 l 9)
Goverrment ~loyee (7) 1 ( 9)
Bus lnes..Vwanan 1 ( 9)
Contract Worker
Bank execut lve 1 l 9)
Others 5 (36) 1 ( 9)

Total 14 (99) 11 (99)

Teb(e ], ~lodeMographlc Characteristics of Actual Res~ltB
Frequency end Percentage (In Parentheses) Distributions

-A. ~ ~r.l!!.t!: 1 &ttttllur. l.

(G'!r!Mn Male) (Mete University

20 belolol 11 ( 18) 1 ( 3)
21 25 25 (42) 2 ( 6)
26 30 16 (27) 14 (47)
31 35 7 (12) 9 (30)
36 - 40 1 ( 2) 3 (10)
41 above 1 ( 3)

Total 60 30

B. Civil Status

Single 41 (95) 18 (78)

Separ11ted 2 ( 5) 1 ( 4)
\lldow/wldow~r 4 (17)

Totl1l 43 2:S

c. R~l!i!!!ltltl Acijress

Metro Manila 32 (78) 25 (83)

Outside of
Metro MMila 9 (22) 5 (17)

Total 41 (100) 30 (100)

con' t ne1.t page

T~e 4. Physical and Personality Characteristics of Actual
Respondents Ranked on the Beals of Percent* of Occurrence*

Physical Charecterlst lcs Adwrtlser 1 t ::lve r1!.!tt Z

Tall 7 7
Medlllll 3 1
Petite 1.5 4
Heavy build 9 9
MediUII bul ld 6 2
Snllll bu II d 4.5 4
Slim 8
Fair co.Tplexlon 1.5 6
Brown complexion 4.5 5
Longhafred 8

PersonalIty Che!:!f!erfstfcs

Honest/sIncere 1 2
LOYfng/rOIIBnt fc 2 8
fa! thful/loyal 3
Kind 5.5
Courteous 2
Marrlegemfnded 4
drll.lcer/no vices 1
Good moral character 8
Sweet/charming 7.5 8
Understanding 4 5.5
Thoughtful 5.5
Friendly 7.5
Conservative 5.5

*A particular characteristic should have been mentioned by

at least 10% of the sampl, to quality Cslc) for Inclusion.
The categories referring to height and t)Pe of build wc:re
sa~~etfmes Indicated usf~ the terN shown on the table. In
aci:fftlon, actual height and wefrl!t 111easurements were given by
some respondents. The researchers arbitrarily classified the
second type of Information as indicated below

Tall 5 '5" above
Medh.111 5'3" - 5'4"
SMell 5'2" - below

Heavy 121 \bs - above
Medfllll 111 lbs - 120 lbs
Small 110 lbs - wlow
Nat~o.w ~OD oa
lb-. RoJe of FWpioo Woaaao

PopulatJon I

female -49.-f /.
Fe mole. a ""'. I 7-
Figurll!- i.t

Sou~ce; 1980 Ceaaua of Popu1et1oa ad ~OUa1og,

Net1ooe1 Ceaaua ad Statlatlca Oftlce
Fiqure 1.2 Co~peretlve Age Structure of Male egd Feaale
Popultloo. Phll1pp1Gea
19n od 1980

1975 1980 1975 1980



10 0 20
zo 0:010


Source: 197' Igtegra~ed Ceoaua of Populatloo GOd lt~ Ecoeoalc

Actlvltlea. NCSO
1980 Ceosua of Populatloo aod Houalog. NCSO
Il. Ecoooalc PertlclpetlOG

Figure 2.1 Labor Force PertlclpetlOG Rete of the Houaehold

Populetloo I' reera Old eed OYer by A. . Group
eod by S.x, Phlllpplo-a: Third Quarter
1978 Od 1983



_... _.. __ ~


,;', ""'' \
~" \ f'liUU:


17-19 202..4 Z5~ 3:144 4:1 54 5~ '-1 10~ .,._

Source: Oete proceaaed by Metlooel Ceoaua a~d Statlatlca Otflce CMCSOI

for The Metlo~el Co. . lasloo oo the Rola ot Flllpl~o Woee~ CMCRFWI
Tlble 1.1 Population 10 Years Old .n:l OVer by Marital
St6tUS .xi by Sex, Philippines: 1975

Female Hale
Marl tal Status Nuar Percent Numer Percent

Total 14,556,907 100X 14,702,350 100X

Never Harried 6,m,591 46.53 7,539,147 51.28
Harried 6,978,874 47.94 6,853,154 46.61
Widowed 730,595 5.02 268,328 1;82
Divorced/Separated 68,481 0.47 37,623 0.26
Not stated 6,366 0.04 4,098 0.03

Tlble 1.2 Population 10 Years Old and OVer by Marital

Status and by Sex, Philippines: 1980

Female Hale
Marital Status Nurber Percent NU!ber Percent

Total 17,027,514 100X 16,799,303 100%

Never Harried 1,2ao,n8 42.76 7,869,898 46.85
Harried 8,614,162 50.59 8,501,080 50.66
WiJowed 992,011 5.83 347,884 2.07
Divorced/Separated 122,987 o.n 69,257 0.35
Not stated 17,576 0.10 11' 184 0.07

Source: 1975 Integrated Census of Population and Its Econanh:

Activities, NCSO
1980 census of Population and Housing, NCSO.
Tlbte 2.1 ~loyment Rate of the Household Population 15 Years
Old end OVer bot AgeGrcx.p end by Sex, Philippines: Third Quarter
1918 .-.d 1983

1918 1983
Age Grcx.p Female Male Fe1111le Male

Total 92.5X 97.8X 91.~ 96.4X

1519 90.4 95.2 87.5 94.3
2024 87.7 94.9 82.4 90.6
2534 92.4 98.2 90.3 96.5
3544 94.2 99.4 95.6 98.4
4554 95.7 99.2 96.9 98.5
5564 95.8 98.3 96.4 98.5
65 & over 96 98.7 98.1 98.6

Source: Data processed by National Census and Statistics Office

(NCSO) for the National Carmission on the Role of
Filipino Women (NCRFW).

Table 2.2 Percent Distribution of E~loyed Persons by Class

of WOrkers end by Sex, Philippines: Third Quarter
1978 llld 1983

1978 1983
Class of WOrker Fe~TSle Hale Hale

OWn Account Workers 24.8X 75.2X 30.6X 69 .4X

Enployer 13.2 86.8 16.1 83.9

Sel fE~loyed 26.3 73.7 32.4 67.6

Wage and Salary Workers 35.7 64.3 36.8 63.2

Private 34.2 65.8 34.7 65.3

Governnent 42.0 58.0 44.7 55.3
OWn Femll y Enterprise 31.4 68.6 36.0 65.0

Ul"f)8id Family Workers 53.2 46.8 54.0 46.0

Note: The figures represent the percent of enployed fenles/

males for each class against the total number of employed
persons for that class.

Source: Data processed by National Census and Statistics Office

f?r the National Carmisslon on the Role of Filipino
Wolnen (NCRFW).
Table 2.3 Percent Distribution of Enployed Persons by Major
lrd.Jatry Group and by SeK, Philippines: Third Quarter
1978 and 1983

1978 1983
Major Industry Group Male Fe~~~~le Male

Agriculture, Fishery and

Forestry 25 .6X 74 .4X 29.7X 70.3X
Mining and Quarrying 6.6 93.4 6.9 93.1
Manuf ac: turIng 48.8 51.2 46.8 53.2
Electricity 8.0 92.0 14.1 85.9
Construe: t I on 1.9 98.1 2.6 97.4
WholeEale and Retail Trade 64.3 35.7 66.1 33.9
Transportation, Storage and
CCIIIIU:ll cat I on 4.0 96.0 4.4 95.5
Finance, Insurance and
Real Estate 33.0 67.0 39.9 60.1
Camunlty, Social and
Persona\ Services 54.0 46.0 56.6 43.4

Note: The figures represent the percent of enp\oyed females/

1111\es In each Industry group against the total no. of
~toyed persons In that sector.

Source: Data processed by National Census and Statistics Office

(NCSO) for the National Commission on the Rote of
Filipino Women (NCRFW).
Tlble 2.4 Percent Distribution of E~loyed Persons by Major
Occ\4)8t tonal GrOLf) end by Sex, Phil fpplnes: Third Oulrter
1978 end 1983

1978 1983
Major Occupation Group Fe.ale Male Female Male

Professional, Technical
and Related Workers 58.65X 41.4X 62.7X 37.3X

Administrative, Executive
and Managerial Workers 17.5 82.5 25.0 75.0

Clerical Workers 45.9 54.1 50.3 49.7

Sales Workers 64.5 35.5 66.1 33.9

Service Workers 57.2 42.8 60.6 39.4

Agriculture, Animal Husbandry

end Forestry Workers,
Fishermen end Hunters 25.7 74.3 29.8 70.2

ProdJct ion end Related

Workers, Transport Equip-
ment Operators, and
Laborers 26.4 73.6 23.1 76.9

Note: The fiQ\Ires represent the percent of enployed females/

males In each occupational group against the total number
of enployed persons In that group.

Source: Data processed by National Census and Statistics Office

(NCSO) fc.r the National Comnlsslon on the !\ole of
Filipino Women (NCRFW).
III. EducatS.oQ

Figure 3.1 Fe~ale RepreseotetioQ iQ Eorolleot of Private

aod Public Schools

Source: ~1Q1stry of Educet1oo. Culture eod Sports.

T~e 3.1 Literacy Rate By Sex and By Residence,
Phi I IRllnes: 1970 and 1980

~ 119801

Female (Total) 80.9 82.8

Urban 91.3 92.3

Rural 75.3 76.1

Male (Total) 84.3 83.9

Urban 94.0 94.0

Rural 79.6 17.6

Phil iRlines 82.6 83.3

Urban 92.5 93.1

Rural 77.4 76.9

Source: Census of Population and Housing, NCSO.

Table 3.2 Private Household Population 7 Years Old and OVer

by Highest Grade Completed, PhiliRlines: 1975

Female Female
Grade Completed Nurber rercent Number Percent

Total 16,963,638 100X 17,257,923 100X

No Grade Completed 2,450,376 14.43 2,349,409 13.61
Elementary 9,905,785 58.32 9,941,923 57.61
High School 2,861,421 16.85 3,268,870 18.94
College 840,059 4.95 888,789 5.14
Academic Degree
Holder 642,575 3.78 522,443 3.03
Not stated 283,422 1.67 288,489 1.67

Source: 1975 Integrated Census of Population and its Econanic

Activities, NCSO.
hble 3.3 Private Household PopulatIon 7 Yeftrs Old and OVer
by Highest Grade CO!Ipleted, Phil fpplnes: 1980

Fenmle Male
Grade CQ~llleted NU!ber Percent NI.IWer Percent

Total 18,894,884 100X 18,711,394 100X

No Grade Completed 1,901,640 10.06 1,677,033 8.96
Elementary 10,631,494 56.27 10,~52,898 56.40
High School 3,956,135 20.94 4,279,285 22.87
College 1,330,929 7.04 1,378,588 7.37
Academic Degree
Holder 1,006,382 5.33 764,336 4.08
Not stated 68,304 0.36 59,254 0.32

source: 1980 Census of Population end Housing, NCSO.

T~e 3.4 Fem9le Representation In Hale-Dominated Professions*

Professions 1975 1983

1) Agricultural Engineer 11X 23X

2) Architect 13 23
3) Civil Engineer 6 16
4) Electronics and COIIIIU'Iica
tlons Engineer 6 10
5) Forester 12 22
6) Geodetic Engineer 8 19
7) Geologist 5 21
8) Lawyers 7 22
9) Sanitary Eng\neer 8 15
10) Veterinarian 23 ( 1976) 30

Source: Data from Philippine Regulations Coomission accessed

trom National Ctirp.Jter Center.
Data from the Office of the B~r Confidant, Supreme Court.
*OVer 50X are 1111le.
Tllbte 3.5 F. . le Representation In FetMleD0111Ineted Profession*

Profeul0f18 1975 1983

1) Certified Public Accountant 67X

2) Chlcel Engineering 47 67

3) Chemist 80 81

4) Dentist 53 70

5) Medical Technologist 82 n
6> Midwife 100 100

7) NutrltionistDietltlan 95 100

8) Optometrist 76 88

9) Pher1111clst 97 45

10) Physician 46 52

11) Registered Nurse 96 92

12) Teacher1 80 (1976) 84

Source: Data from Philippine Regulations Commission accessed

from National Computer Center.
Date fr~ Civil Service Commission.
*Over SOl ere female.
IV. Heel th erd DMt~~~rephy

T~e 4.1 Herriage Statistics

lrdlcators 1975 1980 Source

1. Sex Ratio (f~le/Male) *1975 Integrated

Census of Population
end Its Economic
Activities, NCSO.
Philippines 97.74 99.34
Urban Areas 102.83 104.n *1980 CensUs of Popu
Rural Areas 95.28 96.27 lation and Housing,
2. Marriage Rate
(per 1000 population) 14.2 14.7 *1975 Vital Stat is
tics, NCSO.

*NCSO printed In
Philippine Statis
tical Yearbook.

3. Median Age at
First Marrlege

Bride 21.1 years *1975 Vital Statis

GrO<IIII 23.7 years tics, NCSO.

4. Registered Marrlr.ges 299,514 354,300 *1975 Vital Stat is

tics, NCSO.

Daily Average 821 971 *NCSO printed in

Philippine Statls
tical Yearbook.
T~e 4.2 Birth Statistics

Indicators 19~ 1979 Source

5. Live Births

Total 1,223,837 1,429,814

feme\e 585,600 692,232
fen~le Dal\y
Avert~ge 1,604 1,896

6. Average ege 1975 & 1979

of 1110thers 26.1 years Vital Sta
at illrth tfstlcs, HCSO.

7, Cru:ie Birth Rate

Totl 29.09 births/

1000 pop
fens\e 28.16 F births/
1000 Female

S. Ufe Expectancy
at Birth 1975 1960 Note: est Imates
for 1980
lll8de use of
the Jofoderate
oect fne

Fe~~~~\e 59.9 years 6.3.4 years

Ma\e 56.9 years 59.8 years source: liCSO
'lrinted In
Stat 1st I
cal Year
book 1984.
T.bte 4.3 Mortallly Statistics

lndlcetors 1975 1979

1. Rrglstrred Oreths
Total 271,136 306,427
Fe~~~ale 117,631 130,864
fefll!lle Dally
Average 322 356
2. CrWe Death
Rate 6.4/1000 pop
3. Specific Death Rate
Fet~Wtle 5.7 female
female pop
Hale 7.3 male
ms Ie popu-
I at ion
4. Median Age at Dllath
female 28.2 )'\'ars
5. Infant Mortality Rate
Total 53.3 lnf&'flt 50.2 Infant
deaths/1000 deaths/1000
live births live births
female 47.2 fr~Mie 44.6 fem~~le
Infant infant
deaths /I LXJO deaths/1000
fr~Mle 11\e fem~~le live
births births
6. Maternal Mortality
Rate 1.4 IIBternal 1.14 maternal
deaths/1000 d-!aths/1 000
live births live births

Source: 1975 and 1979 Vital Statistics, NCSO.

T~e 4.4 Other Health Statistics

lndl catora 1975 1980 Source

1. Total
Fertility Rate 5.2 4.5 *Replbllc of the
Fertility Survey
*Pop.~latlon Studies,
2. Chlld\kllln Ratio
for all WOIIIef'l 57'9. 99 5n.61 *1975 Integrated
1564 years Census of Pop~
\atlon .00 Its
Economic Activities
*1980 Census of
Pop.~latlon end

T~e 4.5 Nlllb!r of Acceptors By Method of Family

Plamlng, Philippines: 1978 end 1982

Method 1978 1982

TOTAL 495,586 412,871

Sterilization 52,769 63,606
Female 47,950 61,382
Male 4,819 2,224

IUD 35,402 48,231

Pills 194,299 188,285
Condclll 170,075 90,670
Rhythlll 33,157 15,625
Injectable 4,599 4,385
Others 5,285 2,069

1978 1980
Rate of Participation In
Femi ly Plaming
(data reported for Married
Couples of Reproductive 37.7 45.7
Ages, MCRA)

Source: C~isslon on Pop.~lation.

V. Political Participation

Tml.e 5.1 Fe~~~ale Representation In Elective Posts, 1980

r- 10 of 181
Members of Parliament
--------------------------- ~-------5--of___n__J
Governors ~ ~
j 6 of n
VIce-Governors ~ ...-
--~--~~-----------~ 28 of ~~6
Provincial C<UlCII Mellilers
,. . ,- _....t 2 of 59
__s ______________~~i------~----~~
_ 3 of 59
City VlceMa~:s

City CCU'..;Il_M_entle
__ rs-------~~ 35 of ~ 37
~ ......( 78 of \,50\
Mu'llclpa\ Mayors ~ :-----------.
~ ~ 87 of 1,501 1
~ :
Municipal ViceMayors
~ __r 965 of 11,900 J~
Mu'liclpal COliiCII~ ~
..- ~ 2,500 of 39,~~3 J
Berangay Captllins ------ ; -
--------'---------~ _.J 28,050 of 2~0,371
S.rangay C<UlCit Merilers
-~ 1

Source: Comniss.lon on Elections.

!1964 Regional MP Menbers, Batasang PanbanSa.

1982, National Barangay operations Office, Ministry of local
Gove ITI!Ient
T.ae 5.2 f11111le Representation In the Judiciary, 1979

----------------------------J ~L_~ o_f_4_n~

Melltler In the Judiciary ~ L __

~ 1 of 14
__ r~ __r_t_A__~
___c_ou J~
__I_at_e__ __t_lc_e_____,~ 'L--------~

Court of Appeals As~late Justice

---------------------------~ ~_z_o of--35_7~

Court of first Instance ~ l __

--------------------~ ~ aotro
Jwenlle & Domestic Relations Court ,/ L--.~I

Court of Agrarian Relations ,/ ~~-6_o_f_~--~

Source: Court of Administrators, Supreme Court of the

T~e 5.3 f~le Repretentatlon In Appointive Posts, 1964

~ 2 of 18
~-___f_ _ - J
_._L_I_ne_M_In_l_st_e_r_s1_ _ _ _ _ _ _/

, MeMbers of the Judiciary ~ ;

11 8 0 1 _

1 5 73

1 o.f 14
Associate Juatlces of the
$"Pt"et~~e court

lnter.ediate Appelate Courts

Reqlonal Trial Courts

Metropollt~ Trial Courts

Municipal Trial Courts/

Municipal Circuit Courts

source: Supreme Court of the Philippines as of July 1984.

1Phftlppine Govern.ent Directory, Office of Media
T~e 5.4 FeMale Representation In the Diplomatic service

Chief of Mltslon, Class 11

'i of 48 J
Chief of Mission, Class 11 1
9of 40; (
13 of~
Foreign Service Officer,
Class l

Foreign Service Officer,

Class II

Foreign Service Officer,
Class Ill __,//

Foreign Service Officer,

Class IV

Source: 1979 Data fran PersorY'Iel Division, Ministry of Foreign

1984 Data from Ministry of Foreign Affairs Blographic
Register of Ambassadors of the Philippines, Career Chiefs
of Mission, Counselors, Foreign Service Officers.
wlth rank of Ambassador.
Tlble 5.5 C~rfson of Male end female Voters TurnOut
Ratea In Local Elections, 1980


Total Actual Voters Turn

Voters Registered Voters Out Rate

Male 12,598,910 9,622,194 76.37X

Female 12,282,111 9,459,076 n.ozx

Total 24,881,021 19,081,270 16.69%

49.36" 49.57X
" F

Tllble 5.6 Cc:q:>erlson of Male end Female Voters

Tumout Rates In Local Elections, 1982

'toters Total Actual Voters Turn

Registered voters Out Rate

Male 14,731,260 9,706,645 65.89%

temale 14,359,892 9,592,265 66.80%

Total 29,091,152 19,298,910 66.34%

XF 49.36ll: 49.70X

Source: Colmllsslon on Elect10fl5.

Table 5.7 Percent of fenele as Hetrbers of the Civil Service

1979 1983

I. Career Service 4~ 53 X

A. First (lowest) Level 34 36

B. Secord (Middle) Level 1 59 64

c. Third (Highest) Level 2 25 36

II. Noocareer Service 27X 32X

A. Regular 28 18

B. casual 26 34

c. Contractual 30 40

Total 41X 45X

Source: Civil Service Commission.

1rncludes teachers and nonteschers
21ncludes Career El!ecutive Service Officers (CESOs>
Tlbte 5.8 F.-le Occ~ of career Executive Poaltlons
by Ministry, 1984

Total Total
Ministry OCCI.flled fettBle

1. Agrarian Refol'lll 36 1 2.8

2. Agriculture end foods 67 11 16.4
3. Ministry of Education, Culture
and Sports 55 16 29.1
4. Ministry of Energy 10 0
5. Ministry of Finance 65 3 4.6
6. General services Actnlnistrlltfon 9 2 22.2
7. Ministry of Health 43 11 25.6
8. Ministry of Human Settta.ents 3 1 33.3
9. Ministry of Justice 54 6 11.1
10. Ministry of Labor and Employment 45 15 33.3
11. Ministry of Local Government 37 2 5.4
12. Ministry of Nat tonal Defense 15 0
13. Ministry of Natural Resources 99 6 6.1
14. Ministry of Public WOrks and
Highways 52 2 3.8
15. Social Services and Devetopment 25 21 84.0
16. Ministry of Trade and Industry 22 5 22.7
17. Ministry of Transportation ~1
Coom.n Icat Ion 68 3 4.4
18. Ministry of Yourism 11 9.1

Other Executive Offices

19. Ministry of Budget and Management 22 8 36.4

20. Media Affairs 28 4 1.f.3
21. Ministry of Cultural Minorities 3 0

Constitutional Commissions

22. National Economic and Development

Authority 56 11 19.6
23. Nat tonal Science and Technology
Author It~ 15 2 13.3
24. Office of the President 61 9 14.8
25. Civil Service Commission 40 14 35.0
26. Commission on Elections 41 6 14.6

* Career Executive Service refers to the third and highest level of

positions In the Civil Service. These are positions of Deputy Minister,
Assistant Secretary, Bureau Dire~tor, Assistant Bureau Director,
Regional Director, Assistant Regional Director, and all other positions
of equivalent rank In the National government Identified and classified
by the Career Executive Service Board (CESS) as belonging to the CES.

Source: Career Executive service Board Plantllla, Career Executive

Service Board, Pasig, Metro Mani Ia as of August 9, 1984.

Selected Annotations

AbeUo, Eliza. "Our women of the past." lnRiul/ and the Filipino Woman: RWU's
'LA Liga F'ilipina,' Compiled and edited by Scverina Luna-Orosa, pp. 6-12.
Appreciative biographies of women who have unselfasbly labored for Philip
pine freedom and progress are featured in this paper: Ma. Josefa Gabriela,
Trinidad Tekson, Luisa Magbanua, and Agueda Kahakagan for military
heroism; Melchora Aquino, Gliceria Marcella de Villavincencio, and Gregoria
de Jesus for valor and generosity in serving the defenders or our freedom by
providing medicine aid, food, shelter, clothing, protection, and support; Mar
garita Roxas and Asuncion Ventura for philanthropy; and Rosa Sevilla de AI
vero and Librada Avelino for their contribution in education.

AJcid, Marylou. 1982. Village development: Changes in the roles of women (A

case study on two Philippine villages)." M.S. Thesis, Asian Institute ofTech
nology, Bangkok, 69 pp.
The study attempts to identify the changes undergone by women in an
agricultural and a semi-industrial village in the province of Laguna. A compara-
tive analysis is made using three basic orientatioras: domestic, public and
ideological. The women have been classified into any of the foUowing: strictly
traditional, tradition-oriented, oscillating between directions, progress-
oriented and overtly modern.
Results tend to show that the women in the semi industrial setting manifest
more modem characteristics in all three orientations. In both villages, though,
the domestic orientation continues to be the strongest. This restricts, to a cer-
tain extent, the economic and organizational participation of the women.

Alzona, Encarnacion. 1934. The Filipino Woman: Her Socia~ Economic and
Political Status, 1565-1933. Foreword by Alexander G. Ruthven. Manila:
University of the Philippines Press, 146 pp.
The changing position or the Filipino woman through the different periods

of Philippine history is discussed. The study covered the pre-Spanish period,

the Spanish period, the revolutionary period, and the so-called era of progress.
Alzona identifies women's high status during the pre-Spanish period with the
presence of women rulers and priestesses and the equal sharing of inheritance.
During the Spanish era, schools were opened to women to produce devout,
chaste, modest, and diligent women. F'tlipino women then participated in
economic development, operating smaU-scale business or helping in agriculture
either as administrators or laborers. During the American period, women were
given better education and were thus equipped to fight for their civil and politi-
cal rights. They began to engage in social work.

Amor, Ester de Jesus. 1966. "The Working Mother." In The Filipino Family:
Selected Readings. By the Family Life Workshop of the Philippines, Inc.
Quezon City: Alemars-Phoenix Publishing House, pp. 113-8.
The nature of women's jobs - ranging from the primitive to tbe industrial-
ized tasks of employed women - are here discussed. Women, today, enter gain-
ful employment more out of economic necessity than by preference.
Occupational hazards of a working mother are alienation from her smaU
children and neglect of her traditional role of fostering a happy and healthy
family atmosphere.

Angangco, Ofelia; Laura Samson; and Teresita Albino. 1980. Status of Women
in.Jhe Philippines: A Bibliography. Quezon City: Alemars-Phoenix.
This is a modest contribution toward understanding the modern woman of
the PhilippiDes. It is specifically intended to serve as a meaningful guide in
clarifying the status of women in the country. The number and the extent of pre
vious attempts at understanding the F'ilipino woman are highlighted. A prelimi-
nary listing (until1976) of relevant literature is provided together with selected
annotations. A brief review of the literature is also included to stimulate criti
cal reflection and invite further study on problematic aspects of women's status.

Benito, Gregoria. 1951. "Women in Industry in the Philippines." M.A. Thesis,

University of tbe Philippines, Quezon City. 441.
The paper gives an overview of the conditions of women in industry. The
woman is deencd to be a good factor in the labor force because of her efficien-

cy and industry. But she cannot give her fullest contribution because of physi-
cal and social limitations.

Bley, Nina Valmonte. 1972. "The Urban Filipino Women." M.A. Thesis,
Ateneo de Mauila University. 97l
The study (a) examines the cognitive categories by which F'ilipinos think
about urban F'ilipino women; and (b) empirically investigates the subject of the
traditional and the modem among the urban Filipin<'S who are subjected to for-
ces of modernization. It includes an inventory of suggested traditional -
modern descriptions: personal and ~hysical traits, attitudes toward men,
behavior toward men and dating practices, interests, and independence of

Castaneda, Leticia C. 1953. "Women and Children in Industry in the Philip

pines." B.S. Thesis, University of the Philippines, Quezon City. 771.
Part one of the paper discusses women employees, their physical limitations
as well as their assets in the work force, the reasons for the increasing employ-
ment of women, and the physical, social and economic effects of their employ
ment. Part two focuses on the child workers, their wages, and the labor turnover.
Part three discusses the legal protection for women and minors employed in in-

Castillo, Gelia 1979. Beyond Manila: Philippine Rural Problems in Perspective.

Ottawa, Canada: International Development Research Centre.
A comprehensive overview of research on rural scx..-iety and rural problems
is presented. The actual problems and needs of the rural areas in relation to
countryside development are also deeply analyzed.

Castillo, Gelia. 1976. The Filipino Woman As M11npower. The Image and Em-
pilicoJ Reality. Los Banos, Laguna: University of the Philippines at Los
Banos, 263 pp.
This is a defense of the observation that the Filipino woman is a creature of
many images, as emerg~ from historical accounts and media-generated projec-
tions. It synthesizes a mass of existing information on women and comes up wilh

a comprehensive profile of the Filipino woman with respect to ten different

aspects of her life - as a demographic stat~ic, a matrimonial risk-taker, a
childbearer, an adolescent, a recipient of education; a migrant, and a participant
in politics, in formal organizations, and in church activities.
It includes lhe general environment of the Filipino woman since her life and
status cannot be viewed apart from the stage of development and the
socioeconomic patterns prevailing in the country. It maintains that rural-urban,
regional, and income disparities are reflected in the level of living a woman is
heir to.

Castillo, Gelia T. and Guerrero, Sylvia. 1969. "The Filipino Woman: A Study
in Multiple Roles." Lipunan 3:16-29. Also in Joumal ofAsian and African
Studies (January) 4(1):18-29.
The study shows how wives and husbands react to the multiple roles they
play. It sheds light on why wives work, the husband's attitude toward the work-
ing wife, relations of working wives and domestic helpers, the wife's role in
decision making, and career aspirations of F'Liipino women. It concludes that
the challenge the Filipino woman faces in her multiple roles is how to maintain
her femininity in spite of her work, children and husband.

De Jesus-Viardo, Alma. 1970. The Educational Dilemma of Women in Asia.

Philippine Women's University, 50 pp.
This is a compilation of p~pers on the education of women in developing
countries. If includes {1) background papers on the education of women, the
population upsurge in Asia, and human rights; {2) regional area and group
papers on studies prepared and conducted by planners of the conference; (3)
panel discussion papers and other materials contributed during the conference
proper; and (4) papers on the education of women in developing countries also
contributed during the conference proper.

Flores, Pura Medina. 1969. "Career Women and Motherhood in a Changing

Society." In Sociopsychological Development of Filipino Children. Manila.
The study explores (a) why married women seek gainful occupations out-
side the home; (b) whether child rearing and homemaking activities are satis-
fying to them; (c) who takes care of the children when mothers assume a

full-time job; (d) the usual difficulties which arise when the mother is away from
home; and (e) the husband's reactions to a woman's full-time job. Findings show
that most mothers work for financial reasons, a few for self-satisfaction, and a
handful for professional growth. In all cases, the husbands approve of their
wives' full time jobs and aU working women enjoy both motherhood and
Gonzales, Anna Miren and Mary R. Hollnsteiner. 1976. Fi:ipino Women as
Partners of Men in Progress and Development. Quezon City: Ateneo de
Manila - Institute of Philippine Culture.
This is a survey of empirical data on women: their domestic orientation,
public orientation, and educational orientation. It stresses the importance of
the school system in breaking concepts of traditional sex-stereotyped roles,
states the basic goals for achieving male-female partnership, and outHnes the
desired attitudes and behaviors which the school can inculcate in boys and girls.

Guerrero, Sylvia. 1965. An Analysis of Husband-Wife Roles Among Filipino

Professionals at U.P. Los Banos Campus. Philippine Sociological Review
13 (4): 275-284.
An analysis of the wife's conception of her role and the husband's concep
tion of hls wife's role; expectations husbands have of their working wives, and
vice-versa; also, the wive's perception of the husband's expectations; husbands'
and wives' attitudes toward the wife's working; division of labor in the house;
and the wife's motivation for working and her career aspirations. Futy-two
couples were interviewed to obtain data.

Infante, Teresita R.1969. The Woman in Early Philippines and Among the Cul-
tural Minorities. Manila: University of Santo Tomas, 196 pp.
A reconstruction of the beginnings of F"ilipino society and an appraisal of
womanhood in tbal society are reconstructed in this study. The Filipina in the

All~ risk mart.(") indicates that the annotation wu taken from AnpAJCO, 0; SaiiiiOft, L; and
Albino, T. Sll#"' oj'ffl- I" tH Philippi- A~ .Wh Sel<l AlflltOialloru.
Quezon aty: Alemar&-Phoenil: fublishin& H0111e, 1980.

ancient past was accorded high status, and today's woman is skeptical and dis-
dainful as she faces the Western world which claims to have raised the Filipino
woman to the higher dignity that only a Christian culture can bequeath.

'KaJaw, Pura. 1952. "How the Filipino Got the Vote." Manila: Crown Print., 58
A historical account of the granting of woman's suffrage in the Philippines.
Tbe contribution of the different associations organized by the suffragettes is
made much of.

'Licuanan, Patricia and Anna Miren Gonzales. 1976, Women in Development:

A Social Psychological Shldy of Women in Three Communities. Quezon City:
Atcneo de Manila - Institute of Philippine Culture.
An exploratory study to understand the lower class Filipino woman as a so-
cial actor in order to define her current role in national developm~nt, based on
responses from three hundred lower class respondents in urban, senti-urban,
and rural communities. Findings arc on the following topics: self-concept; so
cia! role perception, performance, and statisfaction; social norms and expecla
tions; spheres of influence; socialization of sex roles; participation in
occupational activities; participation in community organization; and the
aspirations, needs, and problems of tower class women.

'Mendez, Paz and F. Landa Jocano. 1975. The Filipino Family in its Rrtral and
Urbar. OrientatiOtJ: Two Case Studies. Manila: Centro Escolar Research
and Development Center.
An ethnographic description of the structure and organi7.ation of the Filipino
family in its rural and urban settings, in terms of the broad areas oft he life cycle
and adaptation to specific environments.

"Mendoza-Guazon. Ma. Paz. 1928. The Development and Progress of the

Filipino Women. Manila: Buresu of Printing. 49 pp.
A presentation of the transformation of the woman's social role in three
periods of Philippine history - pre-Spanish, Spanish, and American. From the
woman who enjoyed equal tigbts w\th man in the pre-Spanish period, the

Spanish era; and fmally, in the American regime, she emerged as the educated,
involved, and active Filipina. Many of the ancient customs, rules, conventions,
and social obligations of F'ilipino women during these periods are described.

"Montiel, Cristina and HoUnsteiner, Mary. 1976. 1he Filipino Woman: Her
Role and Status in Philippine Society. Quezon City: Institute of Philippine
Culture, Ateneo de Manila University. 1976. 51 I.
The analysis of the Filipino woman in society - her physical well-being, her
participation in the economy, and her status measured in terms of her participa
tion in public and domestic decision making and the quality of income and
educational benefits.
It proposes that developmental programs approach the problem of women
from two angles~ the domestic scene and the public scene and suggests that on
the domestic scene, women should be freed from the demands of household
routine through the development of nurseries for preschool children, communal
kitchens, technological innovations for food preparation, and other household
chores. On the public scene there should be training programs to give women
the skills necessary to function effectively in a develcping society.

Philippine Women's Research Collective.1985. "The End is the Beginning, An

Alternative Philippine Report on the Impact of the Decade of Women
(1976-1985)." (Mimeographed)

- - - - - - - - - - - Pamphlet Series No.1, 1985.

Cruz, Pennie Azarcon dela. Filipinas for Sale: An Alternative Philippine Report
on Women and Tourism. N.p.
The growing number of Filipinas engaged in the prcstitution business are
focused on. The government's heavy reliance on tourism as foreign exchange
source is shown to extend to the point of tolerating, even encouraging, the
blatant use of women as come-ons.

- - - - - - - - - - - and David, Rina. TowQI'ds our own image: An

Altemative Philippine Report on Women and Media. N.p.
~s~==~~~ANN~~OT~~~n~o~N~s ___________________________________ ~

The study looks into certain characteristics of Philippine media and bow cer-
tain images and stereotypes of women have come to be created, reinforced and
perpetuated in the public mind. Philippine newspapers, magazines, comic
books, radio-TV combines, and movie production outfits could be summed up
in a few key phrases: elitist in ownership and control, dominated by men;
western, specifically American, in orientation; motivated by profit; heavily de-
pendent on advertising; and vulnerable to government intervention and sup-

Ofreneo, Rosalinda Pineda. Women ofthe Soil: An Alternative Philippine Repott

on Rural Women. N.p.
This study focuses on the condition of rural women in the Philippines. The
adv~rse socioeconomic conditions in the countryside have placed rural women
in a more disadvantaged position vis-a-vis their urban counterparts in terms of
attainment and opportunity.

Orozco, Wilhelmina. Economic Refugees, Voyage of the Commoditized: AnAl-

ternative Philippine Report 011 Migrant Women Workers. N.p.
The Filipino women suffer from being copped up in menial jobs tradition-
ally held by European women. They work as housemaids or domestic helpers;
as hotel chambermaids, as auxiliary nurses or stewardesses, meaning cleaners
of urinals, toilets and hospital floors, and as waitresses.
Because they need to earn in order to help their familir.:s back home, they
suffer mutely from low wages, or even from lack of union benefits regularly en-
joyed by the natives of those countries.

- - - - - - - - - Towards our own Image 11: An Altemulive Philippine

Report on Women Industrial Wo'*er.r. N.p.
The paper focuses on the status of industrial women worker,; in the Philip-
pines. Data reveal that the women workers are the most exploited group since
they suffer from low wages, long hours of work, and sometime,; limited or very
short noon breaks.

Salinas, Alexis and Liamzon, Tina. Too Little, Too Late: An Alternative Philip-
pine Report on Government Initiatives for Women. N.p.

This paper analyzes the official policy statement on women found in the na-
tional five Year Development Plans (1978-1982 and 1983-1987) and their ap-
plications and implications on government initiatives. lt then goes on to analyze.
the orientation and program highlights of government agencies with women-
oriented activities, namely: the Ministry of Social Ser.ices and Development
(MSSD), the Bureau of Wome and Miuor~ (BWM) of the Ministry of Labor
and Employment (MOLE), and the National Commission on the Role of
Filipino Women (NCRFW).
The paper also asses.~es the NCRFW's major grassroots program, the
Balikatan sa Kaunlaran (BSK).
The final section presents the conclusion.
Discu~ion is based on the data gathered from both secondary and primary
sources. Secondary data were provided by official publications and reports of
NEDA, NCRFW, MSSD, BSK and researches/studies of academic-based
groups. Primary data we.re gathered from personal interviews with several key
officials of NCRFW and MSSD.

Red, lsagani V.1974. Mass Media Exposure and Attitude Towards the Socio-
Political Leadership of Women. Thesis (A.B.), University of the Philip-
pines. 151.
One hundred UP students were asked if media exposure has an effect on at-
titudes toward the sociopolitical leadership of women, i.e., women managing
business and industry, educational institutions, state affairs, the religious min-
istry, and the military. Findings show that exposure to media content on the
sociopolitical leadership of women is not significantly related to students' at
titudes toward it.

AbeUo, Eliza. Our women of the past. Riz4J and lhe Filipino womlllt: Rizal's
'La Liga Fi/ipina.' Compiled and edited by Severina Luna-Orosa. N.p., pp.

Aganon, Virgilio C., and Aganon, Marie E. 1919. ''A study of women workers
in women-dominated manufacturing establishments in Metro Manila."
Women in Development Special Studies. FinaJ Report submitted to the
Philippine ln.stitute for Development Studies lhru the Institute of Philip
pine Culture, Ateneo de Manila University. Diliman, Quezon City: Asian
Labor Education Center, University of the Philippines System, 124 pp.
Alcid, Marylou. 1982. "Village Development: Cbangl~ in the roles of women
(A case study on two Philippine villages)." M.S. Thesis, Asian Institute of
Technology, Bangkok, 69 pp.
Alcid, N.H. 1976. Women's participation in the lnbor force. Philippine Labor
Review, 3rd Quarter, 2:55-68.
Aleta, Isabel Rojas; Silva, Teresita; and Eleazar, Christine I". W77. A profile of
Filipino women: Their status and role. Manila: Philippine Business for So
cial Progress.
Alzona, Encarnacion. 1934. The Filipino woman: Her socia~ economic and
political status, 1565-1937. Foreword by Alexander G. Rutbeven. Manila:
Benipayo Press, 146 pp.
Am or, Ester de Jesus. 1966. The working mother. The Filipino family: Selected
readings. By the Family Life Workshop of the Philippines, lnc. Quezon City:
AJemars-Phoenix Publishing House, pp. 113-118.
Ancheta, Rufma R. 1982. "The F'llipino women in rice fanning." NFE/WID In
formation Exchange Center - Asia, UPLB, College, Laguna. Occasional
Paper No. 4., 15 pp.

Angangco, Ofelia R.; Samson, Laura L.; and Albino, Teresita M. 1980. Status
of women in the Philippines: A bibliography with selected annotations.
Quezon City: Alemars-Pboenix.
Arceo-Ortega, Avelina. 1963. A career housewife in the Philippines. Women
in new Asia: The changing roles of men and women in South and Southeast
Asia. Edited by Barbara Ward. Paris: UNESCO.
Arcinas, Fe. (Ongoing). "A study of Filipina entertainers in Europe." Depart-
ment of Sociology, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.
A WRAN. 1985. ''Asian Women Speak Out."
Bacabac, Consuelo. 1970. "Personality adjustment of career women." M.A.
Thesis, University of San Agustin.
Bagtas, Marie Jose. 1970. The world vision in the education of women. The
educational dilemma of women in Asia. Edited by Alma de Jesus-Viardo.
Manila: Philippine Women's University.
BALAI Asian Journal. Comparative study of women workers in Asia (1981 In-
terviews), Volume II, No.4.
Bautista, Cynthia. 1977. Women in maniage. Stereotype, status and satisfactions:
The Filipino among Filipinos. Edited by R. Bulatao. Social Research
Laboratory, University o the Philippines.

Beauvoir, Simone de. 1968. The second sex. New York: Bantam Books.
Benavides, Enriqueta.1958. 17te Filipino woman's social, economic, andpoliti-
cal status. Manila: Cultural Foundation of the Philippines.
Benito, Gregoria S. 1951. "Women in industry in the Philippines." M.A.
Thesis, University of the Philippines, Quezon City. 441.
Bley, Nina Valmonte. 1972. "The Urban Filipino Women." M.A. Thesis,
Ateneo de Manila University, 97 I.
Bona de Santos, Sofia. 1947. "Woman versus conscientious objector." N.p.

Bowles, G., and Klein, R.D. 1983. Theories of women's studie..~. London: Rout-
ledge and Kegan Paul.

Bulatao, Jaime. 1970. "The Manilefios mainsprings." In Alfonso de Guzman II


and Frank Lynch (eds). Four Readin!P on Philippine Values. Quezon City:
Ateneo de Manila University Press.
Bulatao, Rodolfo. {Ed). tcl'T1. Stereotype, status, and satisfaction: The Filipino
among Filipinos. Diliman: Social Research Laboratory, University of the
- - - - - - - 1978. "The double standard in sex roles." Philippine
Sociological Review 26:201-2.
Bureau of Women and Minors Report, 1985.
Burns, Emile. (Ed). 1936. A llandbook of Marxism. London: Victor Gollancz.
In Eviota, 1978.
Business Day, 1985.
Bustrillos, Ncna, and Torreta, Delfina. 1976. "Use of time by 100 Los Banos
hor.1emakcrs." Project 1255. College of Human Ecology, Universiti' of the
Philippines, Los Banos, Laguna, 1976.
Carpenter, F. 1925. Through the Philippines and Hawaii. New York, n.p.
Castaneda, Leticia E. "Women and children in industry in the Philippines."
B.S. Thesis, University of the Philippines, Quezon City. 771.
Castillo, Ge\ia T. 1961. "Occupational sex ro\es as perceived by Filipino adoles-
cents." Philippine Sociological Review 9 (Jan-Apr'61)(12):11.
- - - - - - - 1976. The Filipino woman as manpower: The image and
the empirical reality. Los Banos, Laguna: University of the Philippines at Los
Banos, 236 pp.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _,. 1981. 111e Filipino woman: Wife, mother, worker, citizen.
Los Banos, Laguna: University or the Philippin ...s at Los Banos, pp. 16-33.
- - - - - - - 1979., Toward understanding the Filipino farmer.
Beyond Manila. Ottawa, Canada: International Development Research
- - - - - - - 1985. "Women in rice-farming systems: Some empirical
evidences." Paper presented at the Scientific Meeting of the ().lational
Academy of Science and Technology, July 18, 1985.

-------..:> and Guerrero, Sylvia H. 1969. The Filipino woman: A

study in multiple roles. Lipunan 3:16-29. Also in Jownol of Asian and
African Studies (January, 1969) 4 (1): 18-29.
Center for Women's Resources. Marso 8, 1985.
Clark, Blake. Reader's Digest, June 1950.
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sion of the European Communities, Directora.te- General Information, In-
formation for Women's Organizations and Press.

AMARYLLIS TIGLAO-TORRES is presently Professor in the Depart-

ment of Community Development, College of Social Work and Community
Development (CSWCD) oft he Universityofthc Philippines. Concurrently, she
is the Director of the Office of Research Coordination for the U.P. at Diliman.
Dr. Torres earned her doctorate degree from the University of the Philip-
pines, majoring in Social Psychology. In 1985, she was recognized .as one of the
Outstanding Young Scientists oft he Philippines, an award given by the Nation-
al Academy of Science and Technology. Her dissertation entitled The Urban
Filipino Worlcers in an Industrializing Society was publish~d, early this year, as
a monograph by the University of the Philippines Press. Other recent publica-
tions include a chapter on "Participatory Action Research: an introduction" in
the book A Relationship of Equals (PROCESS-SEAFDA, 1987), a monograph
entitled A Study of People's Power: Bangus Fry Catchers in Control of Produc-
tion (Seafda, 1988) and "A Portrait of the Filipino Culture" in Readings in
Philippine Psychology (1985). Her current research pursuits include a "Gender
Analysis of Selected Development Programs," under the UNFPA-assisted
University Research Program on Human Resources, Population and Develop-
ment (UP-CIDS).

MARIA LUISA T. CAMAGA Y is Assistant Professor in the Department

of History, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of the Philip
pines. She earned a B.S. Education (major in history) from UP in 1970. Later,
she left for the Universite de Paris (Pantheon So.rbonne) as a scholar of the
French government where she completed a Maitrise en Geographic. In 1982,
Ms. Camagay earned her Doctorat de Troisieme Cycle at the Ecole des Houtes
Etudes en Sciences Sociales.
Dr. Camagay is the co-author of a book entitled Philippine Community Life

the past three years, Dr. Camagay bas been a prodigious writer, having par-
ticipated as resource person in six different social science seminars and con-
She bas completed two historical studies on women: "A Study of the Work-
ing Life of Women in Manila in the 19th Century: An Historical Approach
(1986)" and "Encarnacion Aizona: An Anthology" (1987). Both studies were
under the auspices of the Oflice of Research Coordination ofthe University of
the Philippine-S.

JUDY CAROL SEVILLA is Assistant Professor in the Department of Be-

havioral Sciences of the De La Salle University {DI.SU). At the same time, she
is Research Associate of the Integrated Research Center at the same Univer-
She graduated with honors from the University of the Philippines with a B.S.
in Psychology and completed a master's degree in Social Ecology (major in En-
vironmental Psychology) from the University of California at Irvine. Presently,
she is pursuing a doctoral degree at the same university.
Prof. Se\'illa is the co-author of a book entitled "Sex and the Single Filip ina"
(with Gilandas and Conaco). She was also involved in a research program of
the Development Academy of the Philippines on the Filipino Family in 1982.

ROSARIO S. DEL ROSARIO is Assistant Professor in the Department of

Community Development, CSWCD, of the University of the Philippines. Her
educational background includes a bachelor's degree in anthropology, a
master's degree in socioanthropology and doctoral units in Ethnology.
An active researcher on women's issues in recent years, Dr. Del Rosario's
works include "The Struggle of Filipino Women Workers in Export-Oriented
Industries" (with R Pineda-Ofreneo) and the monograph Life o11the Assemb-
ly Li11e with the Philippine Women's Research Collective. She is also a co-author
(with husband Rody del Rosario) of Unyon, a manual on trade unionism.
Prof. del Rosario is actively involved with several grassroots women's or-
ganization, with whom she undertakes organizational, educational and research
activities. Currently, she is Coordinator of the recently implemented Master of
Arts (Women in Development) Program of the College of Social Work and
Community Development.

Community Development.

CYNTHIA ROSE BANZON-BAUTJSTA is Assistant Professor in the

Department of Sociology, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, Univer
sityof the Philippines. She completed her B.A. in Sociology (with honors) from
the University of the Philippines and went on to do her masteral and doctoral
work in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She is the past
Chairperson of the Philippine Social Science Council and former President of
the Philippine Sociological Society. She is also an Outstanding Young Scien
tist, having won this honor in 1988.
In 1974, Dr. Bautista was a member of the research team which undertook
a series of studies on the status of women in the Philippines. As an offshoot of
the project, she wrote the chapter on "Status of Women in Marriage" in the
book Stereotype, Status attd Satisfaction: 17Je Filipino among Filipinos. (Bulatao,
R., 1977). She has also completed the project entitled "The Impact of Tech-
nological Changes in Rice Production on Rural Men and Women: The Case of
Two Luzon Villages," a cross-cultural study funded by the Asian Pacific
Development Center, researches on Asian Migration to the Gulf Region, and
on Acrarian Differentiation.