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25 FEBRUARY 2011
At 55 th session of Committee on the Status of Women:
PH NOTES NUMBERS GAIN IN GENDER EMPOWERMENT IN EDUCATION, S&T, TRAINING; CALLS FOR MORE QUALITATIVE IMPROVEMENTS
25 February 2011 United Nations, New York Even with sustained improvement in gender empowerment in the fields of education, science and technology and training, the Philippines will continue to work for “qualitative improvements” to benefit the marginalized and those in the rural areas.
In the Philippine statement delivered at the 55 th session of the Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) by Honorable Patricia Licuanan, Chair of the Commission on Higher Education, pointed that while “Girls fare better in terms of enrolment indicators in primary and secondary education” and “continue their advantage in tertiary or higher education,” there remained gender empowerment issues to which the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III is committed to address.
“In the Philippines, the issue seems not to be gender equality in access to education but access to quality education for the poor and those living in rural areas,” Chair Licuanan said.
“We are also warned not to be lulled into complacency by simple access statistics as gender sensitivity and access to gender fair education are also issues, surfacing in situations where girls and young women suffer more subtle discrimination such as sexual harassment and violence against women and girls,” Chair Licuanan added.
Underscoring the need to expand opportunities for women in other professional, technical and vocational fields, Chair Licuanan also stressed, “There are also concerns about lingering gender tracking in fields of study and career choice.”
According to Chair Licuanan, “Women dominate the fields of teacher education, humanities, social sciences, business administration medical and allied fields, home economics, mass communication, and even natural sciences and mathematics, but remain underrepresented in engineering and technology, fine and applied arts, religion and theology, law and jurisprudence, architecture and town planning, trade and industry, agriculture, fisheries and forestry, and maritime studies.”
Chair Licuanan also emphasized, “It is important to note that while girls and women perform quite well in most traditional educational indicators, their educational gains have not fully translated into increased employment opportunities and better quality jobs.”
To address these concerns, Chair Licuanan reiterated the Philippines’ commitment to pursue the Decent Work Agenda as spelled out in its Philippine Development Plan which seeks to increase employment and income opportunities for women, and recognizes that gender is a major cross cutting issue that should be a major concern in all decent work projects.
Chair Licuanan also outlined major programs of the Philippine Government to facilitate decent work, including gender based discrimination legislation, vocational and technical education and training of women in non-traditional trades such as auto mechanics, electronics and welding, enhancement of the enabling environment for women’s access to microenterprise development, well as social protection through agencies like the national health insurance system. END
Reference:Robert E.A. Borje
Philippine Mission to the United Nations
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