Gender Equality – A Beginning

GENDER EQUALITY

Presented by: Jenna, Jeff, Annabel, Lovielyn, Carmella, Christine, Arah, Ayah, and Debbie.

This website has been made to discuss more information about gender equality that has been presented last March 2, 2011. This blog was intended as an accomplishment of the tasks to promote the programs. We personally dedicate this site to DILG, Globe, Mrs. Lanie Salazar, and to all Filipinos.

We are very sorry for the delays that we have instituted. We are very sorry for the time that have passed for completing this, primarily due to technical problems. Well, anyway, the world celebrated the International Women’s Month last March 8, 2011. In fact, although it was observed, to a lesser degree, still women fought for equal rights with men. According to Kuya Kim of TV Patrol, women have several advantages over men. These are: women can endure hardships, such as Aling Susan of Mara Clara; women have longer life expectancy; and women are more disciplined than males, such that they are being recruited by MMDA.

WHY ARE HOMOSEXUALS (gays and tomboys) NOT INCLUDED IN GENDER EQUALITY?

Third sex, known as gays and lesbians, were also not exempted from abuse. In some liberal countries like in the United States, many laws implied rights for third sex. One good example for this is the Same Sex Marriage. In the Philippines, although there are no laws enacted for the third sex, many gays and lesbians are increasing, especially in key cities. But why homosexuals are not given emphasis on gender equality? It is because God Himself createdman and woman.(Genesis 1:27) God created only Adam and Eve, not Adam, Eve, Edam, and Evo.


SOROSORO IBABA DEVELOPMENT COOPERATIVE is one of the largest cooperatives in the Philippines. It was founded by Victoriano Barte and about 200 members with a capital of about 11,000 pesos. From a small store, it has now its own egg farm, gasoline station, coop mart, water station, and many other businesses. Its membership also expanded, amounting to about 11,200 regular and associate members. SIDC has reached out of Southern Tagalog’s boundaries, stretching from Nueva Ecija to the north to the Panay Island in the south. The cooperative is also a part of AGAP Partylist, which solves agricultural problems in the Congress of the Philippines. In this report, the researchers will determine the progress of gender equality in the cooperative. If gender cooperative programs are implemented, surely that business will progress more.

CHAPTER I
THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND

Introduction

“It is better to tame a lion or a dragon than to live with a naughty woman…And a man will choose…any wickedness, but the wickedness of a woman…Do not be deceived by a woman, and do not wish to possess her…Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die…If she does not submit herself to you, it is better to divorce her.” Ecclesiasticus, 25:14, 18, 19 & 33.

Gender equality (also known as gender equity, gender egalitarianism, or sexual equality) is the goal of the equality of the genders or the sexes, stemming from a belief in the bias of many forms of disparity. Gender equality does not mean that women and men are the same, but that they have equal value. It is central to economic and human progress in a country. Eliminating inequalities gives society a better chance to develop itself.

World bodies have defined gender equality as related to human rights, especially women’s rights, and economic progress. UNICEF defines gender equality as “leveling the playing field for girls and women by ensuring that all children have equal chance to develop their talents.”

The United Nations Population Fund stated gender equality as “first and foremost, a human right.” “Gender equity” is one of the goals of the United Nations Millennium Project, to end world poverty by 2015. The project claims, “Every single Goal is directly related to women’s rights and societies where women have not given equal rights as men can never attain growth in a sustainable way.” Thus, endorsing gender equality is seen as a support to greater economic success. For example, nations of the Arab world that deny equality of opportunity to women were warned in a 2008 United Nations-sponsored report that this disempowerment is a critical factor crippling these nations’ return to the first rank of global leaders in commerce, learning and culture.

Scope and Delimitation of the Study

This study deals on GENDER EQUALITY, which refers to the equal valuing of roles of women and men. It works to beat the barrier so that both sexes are able to give to the common good within society. When women and men have virtual equality, economies grow faster and there is less corruption when women are healthy and educated their families. Through gender equality, communities and nations will benefit. This consists of two parts:

PART 1 consists of the data and facts related to gender equality embodied in millennium development goals. Apart from goal tree, which directly tackles gender equality the issue, is a vital factor in achieving most of the other goals. PART 2 consists of several chapters vital in this study.

This study is delimited to Batangas City. The problems that might be encountered are the retrieval of the questionnaires and time constraint.

Importance of the Study

Poverty affects poor women and men, boys and girls differently. Poor women and girls find it often more difficult to access suitable social services and income.

At the same time successful poverty cutback in societies in the region particularly gains from the active involvement of poor women and girls in the development process. So, improving the status of women is essential to any strategy to reduce poverty.

Gender equality is embodied in Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Apart from goal 3, which deliberates on gender equality, the issue is a vital factor in realizing most of the other goals. The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) aims to remove poverty, improve health and education, ensure environmental sustainability and set up global development partnerships by 2015. The MDG clearly targeted the good of women and girls in Goal 2 (universal primary education), Goal 3 (promote gender equality and empower women) and Goal 5 (improve maternal health).

For these reasons, the writers objectively formulated a study to find out the essence of gender equality and its effects to the society.

Statement of the Problem

Specifically, this study seeks to answer the following sub-problems.
What is the profile of the respondents in terms of:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Degree obtained
  • What is the history of gender equality?
  • What are the effects of gender equality in the Philippines?
  • What are the significance of equality in Europe and Asia?
  • What laws are enforced for the equality among men and women?
  • What is gender discrimination?

Definition of Terms

The following words will be used in the study. For the purpose of clarity, they are defined conceptually and operationally.

Crime. This term means violation of the law, wrongdoing or sin.
Discrimination. This term means to treat unfairly.
Feminism. This term means the theory of social and legal equality with man.
Implement. This term means an instrument or tool.
Inheritance. This term means to receive as heir.
Legislation. This term means act of law making.
Millennium. This term means a thousand years.
Prosperity. This term means success or thriving business activity.
Violence. This term means physical or moral force.
Wicked. This term means evil in principle or practice.


CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

History

Gender Equality in the World

Gender equality and feminism cannot be separated. According to the Islamic commentary, when gender equality programs are not yet implemented, the Greek women were sold and have no rights. Instead, the rights are kept only to Greek men. Even Socrates said: “The life of women is the cause of the ruin of the world. The woman is compared to a poisonous wood that becomes beautiful in the outside but when its fruits are being eaten by the birds, the tree will die.”

Romans believe that the woman has no soul. For them, the woman has no value and no rights. That is why they punish them by throwing unto them with boiling oil and chaining them in the posts. Not only that, even women are tied at the tail of a horse and made the latter ran until the woman dies.

India has also the same belief. In addition to that, they burn the wife with her husband if the latter has died. The Chinese compared the woman with the water that strips off happiness and wealth. A Chinese man at that time can sell his wife and to bury it alive. The Jews considered women as a curse because it urged Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. They also considered a woman unclean if she menstruated. Jewish women cannot inherit anything from their parent if she has an older/younger brother. Even the Christendom (possibly at medieval times) look upon them as the door to the demons.Another Christian who obtained a higher position said that all women have no relation at all to the human race. Even Saint Buenaventura said, “If you see a woman, never think that you saw a person or an animal. The one that you see is Satan and the voice that you heard is the rattle of the snake”.

In Britain, even cruelty against women prevailed. In southern part (England), Englishwomen were not included as citizens. They have no personal rights and have no right to own personal things, even the dresses that they wore. The Parliament of England in the time of Henry II did not allow women to read the Bible because she is unclean. The law that existed until 1805 gave Englishmen the right to sell his wife at a price of six sterling pence (almost 2 pesos). Feminism in England started thanks to Mary Wollstonecraft. In northern part (Scotland), its own Parliament created a decree in 1567 prohibiting women to hold any positions in the authority. At the start of the 20th century, notable persons like Emmeline Pankhurst were jailed in London due to her feminist ideas.

In France, the people held a conference in 586 C.E. to discuss if the woman is a person or not. Afterwards, they agreed that she should serve man. In the United States, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony initiated feminism. In the Arabs before the arrival of Islam, women were treated as nobody, were not treated equally, and have no rights. Although Islam changed the lives of its believers, still disciminations occur. For example, although Saudi Arabia upholds the Quoran, its law did not allow women to involve in politics and even to drive.

The equality of men and women has been accepted as a fundamental principle of human rights since the adoption of the United Nations Charter in 1945. Many international treaties, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979), the World Conference on Human Rights (1993) and the Millennium Development Goals (2000) have stressed the need for countries to take action against discriminatory practices.

The better focus on women since the International Year for Women (1975) has led to many changes in the lives of women. At the 119th meeting of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers in Madrid, 12 May 2009, Ministers for Foreign Affairs and representatives of the 47 Council of Europe member states adopted the Declaration: Making gender equality a reality. 20 years after its Declaration on equality of women and men, the Committee of Ministers renewed its promise to attain a real equality between women and men and urged its Member States to commit them fully to bridge the gap between equality in fact and in law.

The 7th Council of Europe Conference of Minister responsible for Equality between women and men was held on 24-25 May 2010 in Baku, Azerbaijan. The main theme of the Conference was: “Gender equality: bridging the gap between de jure (the law) and de facto (the reality) equality”

There were two sub-themes devoted to:

  • Positive action and gender mainstreaming to reach de facto gender equality;
  • combating gender stereotypes: the role of education and the media

There are a number of approaches to addressing inequity. The ‘Women in Development’ (WID) approach focuses on women. This helps to raise the data and skills of women to overcome social, economic and political drawback but it may boost the workload of women and fail to identify the role of men as a crucial part of change. The ‘Gender and Development’ (GAD) approach adds gender planning in all parts of growth programs. It works to know the force of the future changes on both men and women but it may not always address the specific needs of women and men. Attaining gender equality needs men and women to work together in search of solutions, in ways that pushes mutual respect and trust.

Gender Equality in the European Union

Equality between women and men is a basic right and an essential state for the success of the European Union objectives of growth, employment and social unity. Although variations still exists, the EU has made major changes over the last decades in realizing equality between women and men. This is mainly thanks to equal treatment legislation, gender mainstreaming and actions for the progress of women.

The Condition of Women in Asia Today

If Europe has made some progress in implementing gender equality programs, how about in Asia? In some Asian countries like China, Japan, and India, men were superior. In the Philippines before the arrival of the Spaniards, women and men are equal. There was a time that Filipino women entered their own clergy as priests, called as babaylan. In general, Asian women are paid 48 percent of the men’s wage in the same job.

Modernization has changed the way of life of both genders for the past hundred years. In modern Japan, the small family, its separation, more freedom, and the absence of parents in the home gave the wives influence and more power in the house. There are laws that place the wife in freer status. The new civil code states that couples must live together and help each other. In the past, Japanese women were “robots” to their husbands. Now, many women are studying and can work.

The Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in September 1995, produced an important human rights document concerning women and female children, the Beijing Platform for Action. The objective of the Platform for Action is the empowerment of all women. It seeks to achieve this by making recommendations and outlining actions in 12 critical areas of concern: poverty; education and training; health; violence; armed conflict; economy; power and decision-making; international mechanisms; human rights; media; environment; the girl child. The Platform was critically reviewed in 2000 (Beijing +5), and again in 2005 to monitor progress towards achieving improvements in the 12 critical areas.

Half of the whole population in the Chinese communities is women. Many of them in Japan work in factories. Even the women are involved in politics. Indira Gandhi became prime minister of India. Sirimavo Bandaranaike became a prime minister and Chandrika Kumaratunga a president of Sri Lanka. Benazir Bhutto became the first woman prime minister in the Islamic world and especially in Pakistan. Aung San Suu Kyi, an opposition leader of Myanmar, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize of 1991. In the Philippines, Corazon Aquino, the first Philippine woman president, received the award as the Time Magazine’s 1986 Man of the Year.

The Spread of Women’s Suffrage

 
New Zealand    1893
Australia      1902
Finland        1906
Norway         1913
Denmark        1915
Soviet Union   1917
Britain        1918
Germany        1918
Luxembourg     1918
Poland         1918
Austria        1919
Czechoslovakia 1919
Netherlands    1919
Sweden         1919
Canada         1920
United States  1920
Ecuador        1929
South Africa   1930
Ireland        1922
Brazil         1932
Sri Lanka      1932
Uruguay        1932
Cuba           1934
Brazil         1934
Turkey         1934
Philippines    1937
Jamaica        1944
France         1945
Italy          1945
Japan          1945
Argentina      1947
Belgium        1948
South Korea    1948
Israel         1948
China          1949
India          1949
Mexico         1952
Egypt          1956
Kenya          1964
Switzerland    1972
Jordan         1982

Gender Equality in the Republic of the Philippines

In the Philippines at the time of the Spaniards, women and men attended separate schools. Schools for girls were Colegio de Santa Potenciana (1589),Colegio de Santa Isabel (1632), and Colegio de la Concordia (1868). Schools for boys were Colegio de San Juan de Letran (1630), Escuela Pia (1817, nowAteneo de Manila), and University of Santo Tomas, the oldest university in Asia.

After the first establishment of the Katipunan (Tagalog, “association”), at first only men were allowed to join the secret society. Later, Katipunanadmitted women for some reasons. First, to lessen the suspicion of the Spanish authorities by conducting a mock party. Second, to collect more members. Third, to serve as nurses and warriors. Lastly, to protect the important documents of the society. Notable women in the Katipunan areGregoria de Jesus and Josephine Bracken.

In the Philippine history, women were figured as both warriors and mothers. Among them were Teresa Magbanua, the Joan of Arc of Visayas; JosefaLlanes Escoda, who founded the Philippine Girl Scouts; Melchora Aquino, dubbed as the Tandang Sora; Trinidad Tecson, one of the founders of the Philippine Red Cross; Gabriela Silang, the Joan of Arc in Ilocos; and Teodora Alonzo, the mother of the greatest Malay, Dr. Jose Rizal.

In 1987, the government of the Philippines introduced a constitution that asserts equality for all citizens regardless of gender. Still significant gender and imbalances remains and customary laws that discriminate against woman prevail, particularly in rural areas, where girls and boys have unequal access to education and men and woman how different to the employment and opportunities. In the cities government agencies are slowly recognizing women’s right and granting them legal authority to exercise does right specially and concluding contracts and owning land or property.

In theory, men and women now have equal legal access to land and access to property other than land. However, men are in fact, the primary property owners, despite several plans to set up land reform.

In accord with valid necessities on property tenure fixed in the Family Code and the Civil Code, the Agrarian Reform Department was in charge for giving wives (both legally married and common-law spouses) equal rights to own land. The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law states that all qualified women members of the agricultural labor force have equal rights to tenure of land, equal share of farm produce, and equal representation within decision-making bodies that represent agrarian reform beneficiaries. In turn, the Environment and Natural Resources Department amended (in 2002) its regulations on alienable and disposable public lands, thereby granting women – regardless of civil status – equal rights to apply for the purchase or lease of public lands.

Legally, women have equal access to bank loans, but reality and customs inhibit their financial independence. Having the greater share of property ownership, men are better able to provide collateral for larger loans, whereas women’s access to credit is limited to smaller amounts. Similarly, although women have the legal right to independently enter into contracts; many financial institutions still demand that the male partner co-sign any financial contracts. Customary laws, primarily prevalent in rural areas, also make it difficult for women to act independently on financial matters.

In 1995, the Congress gave the government an order to help Filipino women in their pursuit of owning, operating and managing small business enterprises. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) reports that this mandate included terms that all women who received appropriate training (at any government or government-accredited training institutions) are eligible to get loans from government financing institutions.

The Philippines ranked ninth in the top 10 ranking of countries where women face the least discrimination, the World Economic Forum said Tuesday. According to WEF’s Global Gender Gap Index, which measures economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, political empowerment, health and survival of women in 134 countries, the Philippines was the only Asian country in the top 10. The Philippines had “closed the gender gap on both education and health and is among only 12 in the world to have done so,”

Gender Equality according to Islam.

In the Quoran, women and men are equal. But in some strictly Islamic countries, women were not allowed to join in politics, to mingle with men, and even to drive. Neverethless, some Islamic countries, like Pakistan and Turkey, have allowed women to enjoy rights as what Muslim men do.

According to the quotation from the Quoran,

“Oh world, we have created you from a man and a woman and We have created you as nations and tribes…Allah knows all things.”(49:13)

“Whoever has good deeds – whether man or woman – and have faith, will enter the paradise, and neither a little bit of injustice will be inflicted upon them.”(4:124)

Laws that promote Gender Equality

The United States, especially in California, has made a large step in endorsing gender equality in the office by ratifying vital laws dealing with the issue of bias not only on gender but also on race, religion, national origin, and disability.

These major federal discrimination laws are:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is the law that prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.
  • Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA). It is the law that protects men and women who perform equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination.

On the state level, California has ratified similar laws that protect employees and workers from being discriminated based on sex or gender. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is the principal decree that protects employees and workers form office discrimination. Under this law, it is illegal to discriminate an employee because of his/her race, national origin, gender or sex, disability and age. This law covers employers, labor organizations, employment agencies, apprenticeship programs and any entity or person who “aids, abets, incites, compels, or coerces the doing of a discriminatory act”.

The 1997 Family Code in the Philippines removed several discriminatory provisions under the Civil Code. Among other things, it equalized the age requirements for men and women to contract marriage at the age of 18. Women’s age at first marriage increases with the level of education and urban women generally marry at a later age than rural women. An estimated 10 percent of girls between 15 and 19 years of age are currently married, divorced or widowed.

Filipino law does not provide for divorce, although courts generally recognize the legality of divorces obtained in other countries if one of the parties is a foreign national. It can be noted also that arranged marriages are not part of Filipino life, but that interfaith marriages are uncommon. Men and women were granted equal parental authority in 1987 and they are jointly responsible for the upbringing of their children.

The Family Code provides that in child custody cases resulting from annulment, illegitimacy, or divorce in another country, children under the age of seven are placed with the mother unless there is a court order to the contrary. Children over the age of seven normally also remain with the mother, although the father can dispute custody through the courts. There is no legal discrimination between men and women in the area of inheritance.

Female genital mutilation is not a general practice in the Philippines, but reportedly exists among some Muslim groups. Violence against women does occur but legal protection is more readily available since the adoption of the Anti-Violence against Women Act in 2004. The Act criminalizes physical, sexual, and psychological harm or abuse to women and their children committed by their spouses or partners. Incidents are nevertheless believed to be underreported.

A 2003 survey by the NGO Social Weather Station found that 12 percent of men admitted to having physically harmed women. Women in the same survey cited the following reasons for not reporting violence: embarrassment, not knowing how or to whom to report, belief that the violence was unimportant, and believe that nothing would be done.

Gender discrimination

Gender discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employee, whether male or female, is treated differently and unfairly which affects the employee’s terms or conditions of employment. By terms or conditions of employment, this refers to “position, pay, title, being hired or fired from a job, and advancement and training opportunities. To be considered discriminatory, an act must not only be different but also unequal and unfair. For instance, it is considered sex discrimination to provide different working conditions, salaries, hiring, promotions or benefits criteria to men and women.

Gender discrimination may manifest in the following circumstances:

  • Hiring. It occurs when the hiring process gives preference to one gender over the other, in complete disregard of one’s qualifications or experience
  • Firing. When female employees, for instance, were laid off from work but men in the same job and with less seniority keep their jobs
  • Promotion. When a male employee, for instance, gets promoted although you have better experience and skills than him, yet you were bypassed , not on the basis of your skills and experience but because you are female.
  • Pay. When male workers are paid higher than female workers with the same job and qualifications
  • Benefits. Happens if a female employee is required to use her sick and vacation leave because the employer does not provide long-term disability leave for pregnancy and other medical conditions. But a male colleague who had a heart attack was able to use the long-term disability leave.
  • Sexual harassment.

This is considered a form of discrimination and therefore illegal. Gender equality in the workplace is protected by both federal and state law. Under Title VII, employers are prohibited from the following acts:

  • To fail, refuse to hire, or discharge any individual, or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to his/her compensation, terms, or privileges of employment because of the individual’s sex
  • To limit, segregate, or classify employees or applicants for employment in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise affect the person’s status as an employee because of the individual’s sex or gender.

CHAPTER III
RESEARCH DESIGN, METHODS, AND PROCEDURES

Research Design

This research paper focuses on Gender Equality and its social Impact in Batangas City.

The descriptive method of research is used by the researchers.

Descriptive Method. A method in technical writing used to express or describe any topic.

Methods and Procedures

This report was initiated after a series of lectures provided by an instructor. Afterwards, the research was started, supervised by some teachers. The report would be presented next week, but because of time constraint, more delays were instituted.

Then another intervened and gave aid to the students. The help needed was used to continue the report. One method is to compile and devise questionnaire/s. The questionnaire used was taken from a British University and translated into Filipino. Together with the cover letter, the students printed the needed documents to start the thesis.

The student-researchers headed on to the city proper and gave copies of questionnaires to the intended agency, which is Sorosoro Ibaba Development Cooperative. However, they have to go back several times because of different excuses. Days passed before 2010 ends, but the questionnaires were not yet fully retrieved.

Christmas vacation passed, until 2011 came. The students, like in the past, managed to resume the thesis. Still, the instructor reminded the researchers several times.

More flaws appeared while they spearheaded the unfinished task. However, as they retrieved the questionnaires, the results were consolidated, tallied, and interpreted. Originally, the report was entrusted to the whole section of the students who attended last November 25; about 20 were involved in the report. The number drastically reduced until 3 students took over the task. Also they started planning the ways and means of accomplishing the report, feeling that they have to do it urgently. They have also defended the thesis last Monday, January 24, 2011. The report took also many days to finish because of technical problems and lack of free time. Afterwards, the researchers will launch a blog.

Statistical Treatment of Data

The researchers used the survey questionnaires attached to the cover letter forwarded to the intended agency. The following statistical tools are used:

For finding the percentage:
part divided by total*100

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