Progress with women’s rights too slow, Pinay activists say

NEW YORK – It has been 20 years since the adoption of what is considered a landmark agreement towards women empowerment and gender equality — the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action or Beijing +20.

Global leaders and activists celebrated the milestone at the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York.

“Twenty years ago when the Beijing platform was adopted, women held a mere 11.3 percent of the world’s parliamentary seats. Today that percentage has almost doubled to 22.1 percent,” IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong said. “We have come a long way. Progress has been made in almost 90 percent of the countries around the world.”

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said, “Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights and that remains important for us to try and achieve.”

Pinay attendee Joan Salvador believes there’s but little progress on the situation of grassroots women.

Joan Salvador of GABRIELA, Philippines said, “Dapat aminin nila kung ano talaga ang totoo sa kalagayan ng kababaihan. Pangalawa, dapat ay mag implement sila ng mga policies na talagang magbibigay ng improvement sa buhay ng mga kababaihan.”

Shahra Razavi, Chief of UN Women Research and Data said, “The progress that has been made has been too slow and it has also been marked by regression and stagnation on some issues.”

Activists say in the Philippines alone, 7 in 10 of the unemployed are women and a large number of women are barely earning $1 a day to feed their families.

Salvador said, “Maraming mga kababahihan pa rin ang mahihirap at lalong naghihirap ngayon kaya di ba dapat dito nila mine-measure o dito nila sinusukat kung ano ba talaga yung success ng Beijing +20.”

Anak Bayan, NJ’s Joelle Eliza Lingat said, “If they’re really going to be a representative body of us young women, as women in general, then you have to be able to open your eyes, open your ears to the realities of our conditions and do something to change it.”

The UN Session on the Status of Women will conclude on Friday and global leaders are expected to take action on draft proposals submitted during the two-week convention.

You can contact Don Tagala at for more information.

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  • Generoso Magaoay
    18 March 2015 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    Don Tagala should talk to Aiza Seguerra or Charice Pempengco regarding women’s progress. These two women are iconic figure for a change we can all believe in.