GAD News Feed for January 16 - 22, 2016


January 16 - 22, 2016

Philippine Commission on Women (PCW)

local news



News article brief

MB/January 22, 2016/ News/ AP

Pope changes church rules, opens foot-washing rite to women


VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has changed church regulations to explicitly allow women and girls to participate in the Easter Week foot-washing ritual, after having shocked many Catholics by performing the rite on women and Muslims just weeks after he was elected.

PS/January 21, 2016/ Opinin/ Domini M. Torrevillas

Women for Leni Robredo movement/Evelyn del Rosario’s bash

Last Dec. 13, 13,500 women grassroots leaders attended the formal press launch of the Women for Leni Movement, otherwise called the Lakas ng Kababaihan Para Kay Leni. The mammoth event was followed by large gatherings of women in Albay, and in the works are large ones in Albay, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro City, Pasay, Makati, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Bukidnon, Ilocos Sur, Cotabato and Bulacan. Being organized are meetings with women all over the country.

PDI/January 19, 2016/ World/ AFP

Muslim women must learn English or risk deportation—British PM


LONDON, United Kingdom—Muslim women who fail to learn English to a high enough standard could face deportation from Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron announced Monday. He also suggested that poor English skills can leave people “more susceptible” to the messages of groups like Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Cameron’s comments came as his centre-right Conservatives launched a £20 million ($28.5 million, 26 million euro) language fund for women in isolated communities as part of a drive to build community integration.

MT/January 19, 2016/ World/ TNS

Japan FM decries use of the term ‘sex slaves’

TOKYO (Japan Times): Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida argued Monday that “comfort women” should not be described as “sex slaves,” challenging widespread use of the term by Western media outlets.

MT/January 19, 2016/ World/ AFP

Women’s rights campaigners pin hopes on Taiwan’s Tsai

TAIPEI: Once derided as unfit for leadership because she was a “skirt-wearer”, the election of Tsai Ing-wen as Taiwan’s first female president is fuelling hopes the island can break free of the entrenched sexism rooted in its traditional culture.

MB/January 19, 2016/ Metro/ Hannah Torregoza

Senate approves extension of maternity leave to 100 days


The Senate has approved the bill that seeks to lengthen the maternity leave of employees in the public and private sectors to 100 days, regardless of the mode of delivery. Sen. Pia Cayetano, chair of the Senate committee on women, children, family relations and gender equality, lauded the passage of Senate Bill No. 2982 on third and final reading  and sponsor of Senate Bill No. 2982, as it would amend the current allowable maternity leave which is less than the 98-day minimum requirement of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

MB/January 19, 2016/ National/ AFP

Richest 1% own more than the rest of us – Oxfam


Paris – The richest one percent of the world’s population now own more than the rest of us combined, aid group Oxfam said yesterday, on the eve of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos … The report, entitled “An Economy for the 1%,” states that women are disproportionately affected by the global inequality. “One of the other key trends behind rising inequality set out in Oxfam International’s report is the falling share of national income going to workers in almost all developed and most developing countries… The majority of low paid workers around the world are women.”

MB/January 19, 2016/ News/ Hannah Torregoza

Pia Cayetano lauds Senate passage of maternity leave bill


The Senate has approved the bill seeking to increase the maternity leave benefits of female employees in the public and private sectors to 100 days, regardless of the mode of delivery.

PS/January 19, 2016/ Opinion/ Lila Ramos Shahani

Who eviscerated the Reproductive Health Law?

Today, even after 14 years of protracted struggle, reproductive health (RH) remains heavily contested in this country. For the most part, the Catholic Church—led by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines—vehemently opposes the implementation of the law, claiming that the use of modern contraceptives is tantamount to using abortifacients—which remains illegal under the Revised Penal Code … This was echoed by Emmeline Versoza, the Executive Director of the Philippine Commission for Women: “Providing free access to family planning commodities to poor women is meant to help address our country’s high maternal mortality rate. We can no longer allow poor mothers to die of pregnancy and child birth complications when we can provide them with free options.” Today, the country’s maternal mortality rate continues to rise at 221 deaths per 100,000 live births.

BM/January 18, 2016/ World/ AP

Taiwan elects first female president

TAIPEI, Taiwan—Taiwan elected Tsai Ing-wen as its first female president on Saturday, handing her pro-independence party its first majority in the national legislature and rejecting the China-friendly party that has led the self-governing island for eight years.

TS/January 16, 2016/ Main stories/ Sandy Araneta and Macon Ramos- Araneta

‘Enough funds for RH’

THERE are enough funds to meet the budgetary requirements of the Reproductive Health Law in 2016 even if almost P1 billion was slashed from the allocations for the Department of Health, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said on Friday.

TS/January 16, 2016/ Opinion/  Elizabeth Angsioco

Mocking the legislative process, stabbing poor women’s backs

By now, Senators Loren Legarda and Tito Sotto should already know that reproductive health advocates will not take moves to make the RH law useless sitting down.  Their underhanded action to cut the Malacañang-proposed P1.157-billion peso budget for the procurement of contraceptives and other modern family planning supplies from the 2016 General Appropriations Act has been met with strong public consternation and criticism. Perhaps they thought that the issue would not be this big.

MT/January 16, 2016/ World/  AFP

Taiwan elects first woman leader

TAIPEI: Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan’s main opposition party will become the island’s first female president in a landslide victory over the ruling Kuomintang Saturday, as voters turned their backs on closer China ties.

MB/January 16, 2016/ News/  Mike Crismundo

Unwanted pregnancy, teenage childbearing affect Caraga’s booming population

BUTUAN CITY – Unwanted pregnancy and teenage childbearing are among the factors affecting the fast-growing population in Caraga region, said a top official of the Commission on Population (PopCom) on Saturday. PopCom 13 Regional Director Alexander A. Makinano said low contraceptive use is also among the factors of the ballooning population in the region.

MB/January 16, 2016/ News/  AFP

Zika virus: US issues travel warning for pregnant women


MIAMI, United States — The United States warned pregnant women Friday to avoid travel to 14 countries and territories in the Caribbean and Latin America due to the mosquito-borne Zika virus, linked to birth defects.


international news

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UN Women/ January 22, 2016

Stakeholders tackle how to make the SDGs a reality for women and girls

New York—At a UN Women-organized Multi-Stakeholder Forum on 21 January in preparation for the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60), States, civil society and the United Nations system discussed ways to accelerate realization of gender equality and the empowerment of women and implementing related commitments in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They emphasized that gender equality needs to be at the core of national policies to ensure that no one is left behind.

UN Women/ January 22, 2016

UN Women’s HeForShe IMPACT CEOs from Fortune 500 companies reveal gender data

Davos—Ten of the world’s leading companies have released new workforce gender diversity figures, including details on leadership roles and board membership, in UN Women’s inaugural HeForShe Parity Report. The unprecedented disclosure was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where many of the firms’ heads gathered alongside Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson.

Global Citizen/January 22, 2016/ Joe McCarthy

Afghanistan makes way for first women's university

The first-ever women's university will be built in the Afghan capital city of Kabul sometime in the future. "Sometime in the future" is vague. It could mean 1 year or it could mean 10 years. When it comes to education, every day matters.  This lack of specificity no doubt frustrates a lot of women's rights advocates, especially because the president, Ashraf Ghani, announced he would back a college for women during his election campaign in 2014.

UN Women/ January 21, 2016

UN announces first-ever High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment

Davos— UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the first-ever High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment to provide thought leadership and mobilize concrete actions aimed at closing economic gender gaps that persist around the world.

IPS News/ January 21, 2016/ Kizito Makoye

Tanzania: Girls Struggle to Avoid Forced Marriage, Yearn to Learn

KAHAMA, Tanzania- Maria was barely 16 when her father removed her from school to marry her off to a man 20 years older than she was just so that the family could receive eleven cows as her dowry. “I didn’t want to get married, I wanted to study and become a doctor, but all my dreams seem to have been crushed,” she told IPS. Distraught, Maria who is now 18, repeatedly pleaded with her father to let her finish her education but he completely refused.

The Guardian/ January 20, 2016/ Fiona Hodgson

Women must be at the peace table for a chance of ending war in Syria

With devastating conflicts raging in so many countries, creating a more peaceful and stable world has to be top of everyone’s New Year resolutions. Yet the voices of half the population of these countries are ignored, as women are excluded from the peace table.

Forbes/ January 20, 2016/ Tim Worstall

Why Do Retailers Charge Women More Than Men? Because They Can

Britain is the latest place to notice that largely similar products aimed at men and women can have rather different prices. Those aimed at women seem to have higher prices. The usual example given is that pink disposable razors found in the ladies’ section of the toiletries department cost more than the equivalent blue razors found over in the mens’ section. The government is now to ask retailers why they do this. And there’s a very simple answer to it all as well. Retailers charge women more because they can. This is just an outcome of product differentiation in a market economy and it is not some evil ploy by retailers, rather it is a response by retailers to female preferences. It is that women will pay those higher prices which drives the actions.

Channel News Asia/ January 20, 2016/ Eveline Gan

More women seeking medical attention for sexual health issues

TODAY reports: Less embarrassment, more awareness and extra treatment options all play a role in women being more willing to get medical help for female sexual dysfunction, say doctors.

ILO/ January 19, 2016

Global unemployment projected to rise in both 2016 and 2017

Despite falling unemployment levels in some developed economies, new ILO analysis - World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO) - shows the global job crisis is not likely to end, especially in emerging economies.

UN Women/ January 18, 2016

Fostering a new, empowered generation

Growing up in Cairo, Nora Hamdy, 21, saw domestic violence all around her. She recalls seeing men hitting their wives because they didn’t do as they were told, not allowing their wives to go to work or to be financially empowered. She even heard of a man kicking his pregnant wife in the abdomen because he wanted a boy, not a girl. Nora said she felt like she needed to do something so she searched online for organizations working to empower women. That’s when she found the Empower Women platform and network for women’s economic empowerment.

Quartz/ January 18, 2016/ Cassie Werber

How the job market is about to get even tougher for women

Gender gaps are closing, slowly. But future industrial trends may see them blasted wide open again. A new report—The Future of Jobs (pdf)—released today by the World Economic Forum has found more than one way in which women could stand to lose out, despite the efforts being made to improve everything from wage gaps to the inclusion of women on corporate boards and at senior management level.

IPS News/ January 18, 2016/ Ambassador Mette Knudsen and Siddharth Chatterjee

Maternal and Child Health Key to Kenya’s Economic Growth

Mandera County, Kenya - On Friday, 06 November 2015, we had the honor of meeting the First Lady of Kenya Ms Margaret Kenyatta, a tireless advocate for “every woman and every child”, during the launch of the Beyond Zero campaign in Mandera County, North-Eastern Kenya, a place which has often been described as ‘the worst place on earth to give birth’. January 17, 2016/ Emily Crockett

A new survey explains one big reason there are so few women in technology

A new study finds that sexism is rampant in the tech industry, with almost two-thirds of women reporting sexual harassment and nearly 90 percent reporting demeaning comments from male colleagues. The study, called "Elephant in the Valley," surveyed 200 women who work at tech companies, including large companies like Google and Apple as well as startups. The study focused on women who had 10 years of experience in the industry, and most worked in Silicon Valley.


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WEF/ January 6, 2016

The Industry Gender Gap

Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 18 January 2016 – The Fourth Industrial Revolution will have a disproportionately negative impact on the economic prospects of women, although the emphasis on talent brought about by sweeping changes caused by disruptions to the labour force will result in more women progressing into senior positions, a new study by the World Economic Forum has found. According to The Industry Gender Gap Report, published today, the burden of job losses that will result from automation and disintermediation as a result of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will impact women and men relatively equally, with 52% of the 5.1 million net job losses expected globally between now and 2020 affecting men, compared with 48% affecting women. However, the fact that women make up a smaller share of the workforce means that today’s economic gender gap may widen even further than the current 40%.