Gender Roles in Governance Structures- Good Governance and the Rule of Law

Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016

The fact that women remain politically marginalized is both an indicator of their failure to advance as well as a reason for it (UNDP 2000). For the ability to claim entitlements and exercise rights is itself based on gender roles and relations of unequal power. Women’s “gendered interests” (for example health needs, the raising of children, and the prevention of domestic violence) cannot be interpreted
generically as the community or nation’s “common good” but as issues arising from the specific inequality of power between men and women (Sever 2005).20

These needs and deprivations cannot be addressed therefore without redressing gender inequality itself.

The Philippines has made some progress in reducing gender inequality, particularly with the passage of RA 7192 or the Women
in Nation Building Act of 1992, which set forth the indispensable role of women in all aspects of national development and asserted the fundamental equality of women and men. With the enactment of the Magna Carta of Women (RA 9710) in August 2009, the gender and development (GAD) budget became a key institutional mechanism to mainstream gender and promote women’s human rights, and eliminate gender discrimination. The same law requires monitoring and evaluation of GAD programs through annual audit by COA.

Major progress has been slow, however, as seen in more recent international gender assessments. The Gender Development Index in the 2009 Human Development Report of the UNDP and the Country Gender Assessment of the ADB in 2008 showed similar findings that the Philippines’ workforce continues to be dominated by males, despite increasing numbers of women having higher educational attainment.
Women continue to be burdened by the debilitating impact of poverty and the lingering economic crisis and out migration among women remains high, with many in service and domestic occupations. The challenge remains for government to ensure that statutory mandates  relating to gender and development concerns are observed and implemented efficiently and effectively by all concerned sectors.

This assessment of governance and the rule of law easily yields a wideranging and disparate set of issues and concerns. How these challenges are to be met and addressed requires a governance framework and a plan of action for the rule of law.


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