Angara: Make inequality in the workplace a thing of the past

Angara Rappler

Despite making some headway in bringing in more female employees into the labor force, the Philippines still has a long way to go to achieve gender equality in the workplace, according to reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara.

“We need to work harder to remove the barriers for women to advance in the workplace because progress in this area has been slow,” Angara said.

He cited Republic Act 9710 of 2009, or the Magna Carta of Women (MCW), he co-authored when he was still a member of Congress representing the lone district of Aurora province, which seeks to eliminate discrimination through recognition, protection fulfilment and promotion of rights of Filipino women.

Among others, the law mandates 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.

Angara said, however, that almost a decade since the enactment of MCW, underrepresentation of women remained within the government workforce, particularly in third level positions.

Third level positions include the positions of Undersecretary, Assistant Secretary, Bureau Director and Regional Director.

“When it was enacted in 2009, the MCW was expected to achieve a 50-50 gender balance in third level government positions within the next five years or until 2014,” Angara pointed out.

Out of the 1,896 third level positions in government, only 43 percent or 815 are female and the rest of the 57 percent or 1,081 are male, according to data from the Career Executive Service Board as of 2018.

This is pretty much similar in the private sector based on the 2019 report by the Grant Thornton International Limited which showed fewer Filipino women in senior management positions compared to last year, the senator said.

The Grant Thornton report said that Filipino women accounted for 37 percent of senior management teams this year as opposed to 47 percent in 2018, falling to fifth this year from first last year in terms of global ranking of women in senior management jobs.

“We have to work towards closing the gap and making inequity in the workplace a thing of the past,” Angara said.—BagongSenado