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Responsive workplace gender-based equality

Employers in the country have agreed to promote gender equality in the workplace as a commitment to the program of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Country Office for the Philippines which is gender-responsive pandemic recovery plan.

Indeed, employers play a crucial role to shape a future of work based on dignity and respect for all, free from violence and harassment”, stated the ILO report.

On this, the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) and the Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PhilWEN) have signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to create a Diversity and Inclusion Committee to promote gender equality in the workplace.


Accordingly with a clear commitment to a world of work free from violence and harassment, trade unionists all over the world has been calling world leaders for ratification of ILO Convention 190 adopted during the International Labor Organization (ILO) 108th Centenary Session, June 2019.


The ILO Convention 190 considered a landmark labor instrument got an overwhelming support from countries worldwide including our country as a signatory to Convention190. The Duterte administration have yet to ratify the ILO Violence and Harassment Convention.


Consequently, trade unionists in the country are also challenging the administration to observe and promote ILO Convention 111, elimination and discrimination with respect to employment and occupation, on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, political opinion, among others, as stipulated in the international core labor standard 


Nevertheless, our country is listed as one of the countries with a general interest to ratify the landmark labor instrument. So far only Argentina. Fiji, Namibia, Uruguay have ratified the Convention. And there are a growing number of countries that have taken steps towards ratification, stated the ILO report.


Taking cognizance on the issue, the Associated Labor Unions (ALU), an affiliate of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) is urging the administration to put premium in reclaiming women’s fundamental right to dignity, equality and inherent power as change-makers in society.


Sadly, there is nothing in the long list of government’s 2021 priority agenda that directly tackles these concerns, mentioned an ALU press statement.


With the union’s steadfast belief, achievement of gender equality, end of violence and harassment in the world of work and government’s ratification of ILO Conventions 190 and 111, respectively are both achievable and doable.


“Although this pandemic drove us to be flexible and innovative at work and be resilient in life, there are young women who became vulnerable to exploitation just to earn or survive. That is why, implementation of laws that protect young women is essential”, added a feminist advocate.


Eva Arcos, ALU NVP and Women’s Committee Chair, stated that the pandemic and the stringent restrictions imposed by government have made violence more glaring, reduced women’s capacities and casted out of political participation in governance.


With the forthcoming elections next year, women leaders and politician are getting to be more and more the attractive choice. A comparative study with hard evidence presented by PDI Columnist Solita Collas - Monsod involving 193 countries and their COVID-19 outcomes showed that women-led countries have performed better, experiencing fewer cases as well as fewer deaths. 


That goes to show that women power and leadership could not be underestimated. As of June 2020, 70 countries in the modern era have seen women-led government.