Org Spotlight: Philippine Commission on Women

January 19th, 2016

philippine-commission-on-womenThe Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) is the primary policy-making and coordinating body on women and gender equality concerns. As the oversight body on women’s concerns, the PCW acts as a catalyst for gender mainstreaming, authority on women’s concerns, and lead advocate of women’s empowerment, gender equity, and gender equality in the country.

The PCW was formerly known as the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) until August 14, 2009. This was the date that NCRFW was renamed as PCW and its mandate was expanded by the enactment of Republic Act 9710, otherwise known as the Magna Carta of Women (MCW).

The NCRFW was established on January 7, 1975 through Presidential Decree, as an advisory body to the President and the Cabinet on policies and programs for the advancement of women. It was mandated “to review, evaluate, and recommend measures, including priorities to ensure the full integration of women for economic, social and cultural development at national, regional and international levels, and to ensure further equality between women and men.”

During the first decade of its operations, the NCRFW thrust were on the following major programs:

  • Organizing women into a nationwide movement called “Balikatan sa Kaunlaran” (shoulder-to-shoulder in development). This organization is now registered as an independent women’s organization;
  • Conducting policy studies and lobbying for the issuance of executive and legislative measures concerning women;
  • Establishing a clearinghouse and information center on women; and
  • Monitoring the implementation of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

From 2001, the NCRFW that became PCW in 2009 supported the administration’s poverty alleviation agenda by sustaining the gains of the past in making the bureaucracy work for women under the thrust of advancing and protecting human rights, promoting women’s economic empowerment and promoting gender-responsive governance.

On July 8, 2010, the PCW launched the MCW Implementing Rules and Regulations to its partners and stakeholders. It is currently revising its structure and staffing pattern to effectively and efficiently undertake and accomplish its mandate.

Article of Note

January 19th, 2016

 “I Get Angry If He’s Always Drinking and We Have No Money”: Exploring Motivations for Male and Female Perpetrated Intimate Partner Violence in the Philippines

by Jessica A. Fehringera & Michelle J. Hindinb

UHCW-Color-Cover-2010-208x300Our objective was to describe the context of and motivations for female and male perpetrated intimate partner violence (IPV) in Cebu, Philippines, using data from in-depth interviews with 19 married women. We found three categories of IPV motivations—self-defense or retaliation, reactivity, and control. Motivations differed by gender, with women acting out of self-defense more often and men acting out of control more often. Effective IPV prevention and treatment programs should take these gender differences into consideration. Moreover, it is important to look at how IPV occurs within relationships and how this may vary by context and by gender.

Health Care for Women International, Volume 35, Issue 4, pages 476-491
DOI: 10.1080/07399332.2013.770003

GGP film screening: Tall as the Baobab Tree

January 15th, 2016
 The Global Gender Program and the Africa Working Group present:
Tall as the Baobab Tree
When: Thursday, January 28, 12:30-2:15 pm
Who: GGP and AWG
Where: 1957 E St. NW, Washington DC
Lindner Family Commons, Room 602

“In a rural Senegalese village poised at the outer edge of the modern world, a teenage girl hatches a secret plan to rescue her 11-year-old sister from an arranged marriage. A powerful voice from Africa’s young generation, Tall as the Baobab Tree poignantly depicts a family struggling to find its footing at the outer edge of the modern world… where questions of right and wrong are not always black and white.”

To learn more about the film click here.

To check out our even posting on the GGP website click here.



A light lunch will be provided for those who RSVP.

RSVP here

Online with Professor Aisling Swaine

January 14th, 2016

by staff contributor Camry Haskins

Aisling Swaine Jan 2014Tune in on Tuesday to hear, professor Aisling Swaine, and others, discuss National Action Plans. What are they and how they can help to increase implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. This event is specifically looking at these issues from an African context. For anyone who knows professor Swaine, you know that she is an expert in the Women, Peace and Security agenda. She works at GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs, where she teaches four courses a year.

In the Fall she leads an undergraduate course, “Women, Rights, and Gender Equality”, and a graduate course, “Global Gender Policy”. She follows those courses up in the Spring with an undergraduate course, “Gender and Conflict”, and a graduate course, “Gender, War and Peace”.

In Tuesday’s webinar, National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security: What is the experience on the ground?, they will discuss whether National Action Plans are useful tools or only serve a superficial purpose. We are all eager to hear where professor Swaine stands and what prospects she sees for National Action Plans in Africa’s future.


Org Spotlight: International Indigenous Women’s Forum/Foro Internacional de Mujeres Indígenas (FIMI)

January 11th, 2016

IIWF/FIMI is a network of indigenous women activists, leaders, and human rights promoters from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. FIMI’s goal is to bring together indigenous women leaders to coordinate agendas, build unity, advance leadership and advocacy, raise indigenous women’s voices in the international arena, and to promote overall women’s human rights. FIMI envisions a world where all women can exercise all of their human rights while fully participating in the decision making processes that affect their lives, free from discrimination.

FIMI was officially founded following the First Forum of Indigenous Women in New York in 2005 during the session for the Commission on the Status of Women. This forum was a critical moment for indigenous women because a specific resolution on indigenous women was approved for the first time in history of the CSW. In the past 15 years, FIMI has grown from a small network to a powerful collective.

FIMI has five core programming areas: participation and political advocacy, research, education and training, indigenous women’s watch against violence, and the indigenous women’s fund, a philanthropic arm of the organization.

Article of Note

January 11th, 2016

Creating Opportunities for Women in the Renewable Energy Sector: Findings from India

by Bipasha Baruaha

Feminist_Economics_(journal)_March_2000This paper identifies opportunities and constraints that low-income women face in accessing livelihoods in the renewable-energy sector in India through qualitative and quantitative research conducted in collaboration with The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) and the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in 2012–13. Whereas previous research has focused on women mostly as end users of solar and biomass technologies, this research attempts also to understand women’s potential as entrepreneurs, facilitators, designers, and innovators. Findings reveal that although access to technology and employment in the energy sector is limited by inadequate purchasing power and low social status, there is tremendous potential to create livelihoods for women at all levels of the energy supply chain. Broader findings indicate that women can gain optimal traction from employment in the energy sector only if there are wider socially progressive policies in place, including state intervention to create a robust social welfare infrastructure and accessible, high-quality, public services.

Feminist Economics, Volume 21, Issue 2, 2015, pages 53-76 [Open access]

Org Spotlight: 18twenty8

January 3rd, 2016

18twenty8 logo

18twenty8 is a South African young women’s organization focused on empowering girls from marginalized communities to pursue higher education. The organization is unique in that it is 100% led by young women, many of whom come from similar backgrounds as girls that are assisted by 18twenty8’s services. The organization encourages young women to view higher education as a desirable and necessary tool for empowerment. The five primary objectives are:

  • Facilitate life-skills workshops at high schools in marginalized communities
  • Provide mentorship for women in tertiary-level schooling
  • Provide financial assistance for education
  • Produce successive generations of mentors and educated women professionals
  • Reduce youth unemployment through youth-led community workshops

18twenty8’s youth-led workshops address issues including the environment, health, professional development, and self-empowerment.

18twenty8 has been in existence for six years and is the recipient of numerous awards including the Inyathelo Philanthropy Award.

What women want, what women need: Female leadership in East Asia

December 31st, 2015

by staff contributor Camry Haskins

east asiaOn Tuesday, December 15, the Asia Program at the Wilson Center put on an event titled, “What Women Want, What Women Need: Challenges and Opportunities for Female Leaders and Executives in East Asia”. This event was paneled by four women representing a host of organizations and different countries throughout East Asia. Wenchi Yu is the Asia Pacific head of corporate engagement at Goldman Sachs. Junko Tanaka is the Washington Bureau Chief at NHK. Jamie Younghee Sheen is the Founder and CEO of naisA Global. And finally, Doris Chang is an Associate professor of women’s studies at Wichita State University. Together the narrative was varied and telling of what East Asian women are facing today.

The discussion started out by highlighting the benefits of women in leadership roles, such as how increasing women can add trillions of dollars to global GDP. They also discussed the number of East Asian countries that had elected female heads of State, with Japan likely to be the next. And though, 2016 is said to be the year of women’s leadership in East Asia, there are still many areas that could use improvement.

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Article of Note

December 31st, 2015

Ethnic Politics and Women’s Empowerment in Africa: Ministerial Appointments to Executive Cabinets

by Leonardo R. Arriola and Martha C. Johnson

AJPcoverUnder what conditions do women participate in executive power in multiethnic societies? Previous research has examined how political institutions, socioeconomic factors, and cultural norms affect the appointment of women as cabinet ministers. However, no study has assessed the extent to which the politicization of ethnicity—a cleavage that shapes political life in many countries—affects women’s cabinet appointments. Focusing on sub-Saharan Africa, we argue that women are less likely to become cabinet ministers where incumbents use such appointments to build patronage-based alliances with politicians who act as advocates for ethnic constituencies. Using an original dataset on the composition of cabinets in 34 African countries from 1980 to 2005, we show that women’s share of cabinet appointments is significantly lower in countries where leaders must accommodate a larger number of politicized ethnic groups, but it rises with higher levels of democracy and greater representation of women in parliament.

American Journal of Political Science, Volume 58, Issue 2, pages 495–510, 2014

DOI: 10.1111/ajps.12075

Engaging men and boys: Partners to reach gender equality

December 27th, 2015

by staff contributor Camry Haskins

US-Official-PeaceCorps-Logo.svgOn Tuesday, December 15, the Peace Corps office in Washington, D.C. hosted an event entitled “Engaging men and boys: Partners to reach gender equality”. This event had speakers discussing the role of men and boys from Armenia, to The Gambia, Croatia, and the United States of America. Though aspects of their stories differed, the constant that did not alter was the importance of including men within gender in ways that will both improve their own lives while also helping to reach gender equality for women.

In Armenia, a Peace Corps employee helped to start an all girls soccer team. She overcame the obstacles of boys who weren’t supportive by empowering the girls to reach out in their own way. The girls brought the boys in as referees for the game. This allowed the boys to feel a part of the action and soon they were rooting for the girls on the sidelines. Girls were given the power to problem solve, and boys were made into a positive force rather than a barrier.

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