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The Present State of Role of Women in Nation-Building in the Philippines

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THE PRESENT STATE OF ROLE OF WOMEN IN NATION-BUILDING IN THE PHILIPPINES

Author: Jovie Legaspi, October 25, 2011

WikiGender states that in respect to area of inheritance no legal discrimination exists between men and women. Other than that buts and although exist. Such as:

-Female genital mutilation is not a general practice in the Philippines, but reportedly exists among some Muslim groups.

-There are no longer any legal variations in men and women's access to land and property, but in practice men are still perceived as the primary property owners.

-There are no legal restrictions on women's freedom of movement, although their mobility outside the home is constrained in some Muslim groups.

-...there are no legal restrictions on women's freedom of dress, but Muslim women might veil themselves or cover their hair.

-...although women are allowed by law to enter into contract without their spouse's signed agreement, many financial institutions continue to require the male partner to co-sign any financial contracts.

Legally, women have equal access to bank loans, but reality and customs inhibit their financial independence (genderindex.org, 2011).

The Government through laws continuously strives to look after for the rights of Filipino women:

-Violence against women does occur but legal protection is more readily available since the adoption of the Anti-Violence against Women Act in 2004.

-In 1995, the government was mandated by congress to assist Filipino women in their pursuit of owning, operating and managing small business enterprises. Subsequently, any woman who is certified to have received appropriate training by any government or government-accredited training institution is eligible to get loans from government financing institutions.

...however there are circumstances that cannot be fully protected by the law such as when matters of religion and beliefs come in.

Moreover, the Government and The Constitution can only help those who help themselves. A survey was conducted by the NGO Social Weather Station in 2003. The results were 12% of men actually admitted physical harm done to women and women's reasons for not reporting such violence include embarrassment, not knowing how or whom to report, belief that the violence was unimportant and that nothing would be done. Indicators even suggest that cases of missing women might have occurred.

Monitoring the status of United Nations Development Programme Goal # 3 (Promote Gender Equality), a conclusion was established that males and females in terms of access to basic education have equal status. Figures supported such conclusions:

-The participation rate of females in elementary education was better than that of males. For example, in SY 2001-2002, female participation rate was 90.91 percent, compared to 89.33 percent of males (see Figure 5). In SY 2005-2006, female participation rate was 85.35 percent against 83.56 percent for males. The school leaver rate for females (6%) was lower than that of males (8.62%) in SY 2005-2006.

-In addition, female cohort survival rate exceeded that of males. Consequently, female participation rate in high school also exceeded that of males (63.53% vs. 53.65%). There was also a gender gap in achievement levels in favor of girls as shown by the performance of a cohort of children in the National Achievement Test (NAT). Test results, disaggregated by sex, show that the female advantage widened as the children moved up to higher grades in primary school.

However, decline in the school participation rates were observed. NCR, Ilocos Region, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, Bicol Region, and the ARMM were the only regions with equal or above national average participation rates. The rest fell below the national average. For me, this may indicate that education and human rights are not given importance and priority.

Looking at the total number of enrollees for A.Y. 2004-2005 in the technical-vocational education and training, an almost equal distribution between females and males can be noted that is 50.7% and 49.2% respectively. Higher education thus remained female dominated with women supported by data that indicates total enrolment in A.Y. 2004-2005 was consisted of 53.8 percent women.

Gender equality cannot be measured merely by the use of education participation rates of men and women so we must look at

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