Senator Sonny Angara has urged newly confirmed Civil Service Commission (CSC) Commissioner Aileen Lizada to help improve gender balance in the bureaucracy by ensuring 50 percent female representation in government as envisioned in Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women.
Angara made the appeal during the plenary session of the Commission on Appointments where he expressed his support for the confirmation of Lizada’s appointment.
“I support the appointment of Commissioner Lizada. Ms. Lizada, I think, will be a good addition to the CSC. I would just ask her to be a champion for women in the CSC,” the seasoned legislator said.
Despite the rollout of notable initiatives to promote and empower Filipino women, the veteran lawmaker lamented, the underrepresentation of women remains reflected within the government workforce, particularly in third level positions.
“The underrepresentation of women remains reflected within the government workforce.”
Third level positions include the position of Undersecretary, Assistant Secretary, Bureau Director and Regional Director.
The senator said the Magna Carta of Women, which he co-authored when he was a member of Congress representing the lone district of Aurora province, mandated the adoption of special measures for the incremental increase of women in third level positions in the civil service until a 50-50 gender balance is achieved.
Section 11 of RA 9710 provides that the government shall undertake “temporary special measures to accelerate the participation and equitable representation of women in all spheres of society particularly in the decision-making and policy-making processes in government and private entities to fully realize their role as agents and beneficiaries of development.”
When it was enacted in 2009, the Magna Carta of Women was expected to achieve a 50-50 gender balance in third level government positions “within the next five years” or until 2014.
However, Angara said that a lack of gender balance still persisted in government based on the latest data. Records in 2018 showed that third level positions in government were mostly occupied by male or about 57 percent.
“A lack of gender balance still persisted in government.”
The Magna Carta of Women is a comprehensive women’s human rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination through the recognition, protection, fulfilment and promotion of the rights of Filipino women, especially those belonging in the marginalized sectors of the society. It conveys a framework of rights for women based directly on international law.