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Advancing Girl Children’s Access
to Reproductive Health in the
Context of Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights
A Presentat...
Introduction
✹ Children’s Legal Rights and Development
Center (CLRDC) is a non-profit, non-stock
human rights organization...
Children’s Month Activity
✹ CLRDC is based in the Philippines and is
currently the Secretariat of Children’s Legal
Advocacy Network (CLAN), a coalit...
The Philippines
✹ a sovereign state in South east Asia, with a
total of 7,107 islands and a total land area of
300,000 squ...
✹
✹ As regards the current population, the
Philippines ranks in the top 20 most
populated countries with the total number ...
Contextual framework on
Reproductive Health (RH) rights
✹ Right to decide, when and how to have
children within the contex...
Reproductive Health: ICPD
✹ Refers to the wellbeing - - physical, mental
and social aspect in relation to the
reproductive...
Human Rights Issues involved
in the exercise of RH rights
✹ The Right to Health Care, including
reproductive health care a...
Reproductive Health rights in the
Philippines: Issues at a glance
✹ Access to Reproductive Health Care
✹ Child Mortality
✹...
Girl Children access to RH rights
✹ By definition of girl, in the Philippines we
follow the definition of minority age of
...
Access to Reproductive Health
rights; the Philippine situation
By the lack of access to RH rights, girl children
who have ...
✹ 12% of all deaths related to pregnancy
were due to abortion.
✹ Over 1,000 women have illegal and
unsafe abortions everyd...
Child Mortality
✹ Infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births
is 29 according to the National Statistics
Office.
✹ Estimat...
Contraception
✹ Access to modern contraception in the
Philippines were banned through local
policies in Laguna, Puerto Pri...
Access to education and information
on RH
✹ Due to misconceptions, pre-marital sex
rose to 23% in 2012 from 20% in 2000.
✹...
HIV and STD
✹ HIV/AIDS prevalent among 15-24 years old
pregnant women.
✹ The latest HIV/AIDS registry in 2012 shows a
tota...
Violence Against Women or VAW
✹ Rape is still rampant despite the enactment of
Anti-Rape Law of 1997;
✹ Trafficked women a...
Unsafe Abortion
✹ Abortion rate was 27 per 1,000 women
aged 15 – 44.
✹ Abortion ratio was 18 induced abortions
per 100 pre...
Challenges in Elevating Girl Children
Issues to Human Rights in the
Context of RH rights
✹ Lack of Knowledge and Information on RH
rights as a human rights issue
✹ Lack of access to affordable and quality
health...
How are human rights of women
Protected, Promoted, Defended
and Fulfilled?
Principle of State Complicity
SOURCES OF RIGHTS
✹ International Documents
✹ Constitution
✹ Jurisprudence
✹ Statutes and Laws
✹ Ordinances
✹ Codes
✹ PD’s...
THE PHILIPPINE LEGAL SYSTEM
✹ Not indigenous: borrowed from US, Spain
✹ Founded on laws which are rules of human
conduct, ...
GENDER EQUITY IN THE PHILIPPINE
LEGAL SYSTEM
✹ Are there laws which deal with all issues
relating to women?
✹ If there are...
Women and the Philippines Law
✹ The “othering process” – women’s issues
are considered other issues, the
miscellaneous
✹ C...
Examples of double standard laws
✹ Higher penalty for penis-to-vagina rape
✹ “good father of the family”
✹ Adultery vs. co...
Example of Jurisprudence
✹ “A rape victim’s failure to escape from or plead
with her rapists could only mean that she gave...
Filling in the Gaps
Towards elevating the women and
girl children rights to Human
Rights
STATE OBLIGATIONS
✹ Obligation to RESPECT
✹ Obligation to PROTECT
✹ Obligation to ENSURE AND ENFORCE
✹ Obligation to PROMO...
All human beings are born free
and equal in dignity and rights
ARTICLE 1 – UDHR, 1948
PHILIPPINE COMMITMENT
✹ RA 7877, Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of
1995
✹ RA 8353, Anti-Rape Law of 1998
✹ RA 7192, Women in N...
RH Law enacted in 2013
✹ This law after its passage in 2013 was
immediately legally challenged by some
groups
✹ Its curren...
Still a way ahead…
✹ There is still NO law that defines discrimination,
encompassing both direct and indirect, in
national...
Walking the Talk…
✹ Intensify awareness raising and public
educational campaigns in view of eliminating
stereotypes
✹ Revi...
Elevating Asian Girl Human Rights Panel (6 of 6) Speaker: Rowena Legaspi
Elevating Asian Girl Human Rights Panel (6 of 6) Speaker: Rowena Legaspi
Elevating Asian Girl Human Rights Panel (6 of 6) Speaker: Rowena Legaspi
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Elevating Asian Girl Human Rights Panel (6 of 6) Speaker: Rowena Legaspi

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Rowena Legaspi, Chairperson of Children's Legal Rights and Development Center (CLRDC)(Southeast Asia/Philippines) gave the presentation "Advancing Girl Children's Access to Reproductive Health in the Context Economic, Social and Cultural Rights"

View her presentation on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WATajYaXSaU

The parallel event "Elevating Asian Girl Human Rights: Releasing the power of Asian girls to bridge the gender gap" was held at the 58th NGO-CSW in New York, USA. To learn more about the Asian Girl Human Rights Campaign, please visit girlday.org

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Elevating Asian Girl Human Rights Panel (6 of 6) Speaker: Rowena Legaspi

  1. 1. Advancing Girl Children’s Access to Reproductive Health in the Context of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights A Presentation by: Rowena Legaspi-Medina Executive Director, Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center, Inc., Philippines NGO – UN CSW Parallel Event, March 11, 2014 Hardin Room, UN CC Building, 43rd Avenue, NYC, New York
  2. 2. Introduction ✹ Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center (CLRDC) is a non-profit, non-stock human rights organization committed to advancing the rights, interests, and welfare of children victims of violence with particular focus on children sexually abuse (CSA) as well as children in conflict with the law (CICL), through direct legal intervention and psychosocial intervention programs.
  3. 3. Children’s Month Activity
  4. 4. ✹ CLRDC is based in the Philippines and is currently the Secretariat of Children’s Legal Advocacy Network (CLAN), a coalition of sixteen NGOs that is directly engaged in the promotion of children’s rights and welfare through education and advocacy. ✹ CLRDC also heads the Child Rights Defenders Forum, a loose network of children’s rights advocates (of more than thirty five membership around the Philippines).
  5. 5. The Philippines ✹ a sovereign state in South east Asia, with a total of 7,107 islands and a total land area of 300,000 square kilometers.
  6. 6. ✹ ✹ As regards the current population, the Philippines ranks in the top 20 most populated countries with the total number of 99,231,982 population according to the Philippines National Statistics Office.
  7. 7. Contextual framework on Reproductive Health (RH) rights ✹ Right to decide, when and how to have children within the context of social, economic, political and cultural conditions and orientation ✹ Right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, free of discrimination, coercion and violence (ICPD Cairo, Egypt)
  8. 8. Reproductive Health: ICPD ✹ Refers to the wellbeing - - physical, mental and social aspect in relation to the reproductive health system and its processes ✹ Failure to observe and respect the exercise of one’s RH is therefore a human rights violation
  9. 9. Human Rights Issues involved in the exercise of RH rights ✹ The Right to Health Care, including reproductive health care and family planning. ✹ Rights and access to information. ✹ Right to Privacy. ✹ Right to freedom of speech. ✹ Right to self determination. ✹ Equal Right before the law. ✹ Violence against women and children
  10. 10. Reproductive Health rights in the Philippines: Issues at a glance ✹ Access to Reproductive Health Care ✹ Child Mortality ✹ Contraception ✹ Poor Education ✹ Unsafe Abortion ✹ Violence Against Women ✹ HIV/AIDS
  11. 11. Girl Children access to RH rights ✹ By definition of girl, in the Philippines we follow the definition of minority age of girls and boys under the UN CRC, which is below 18.
  12. 12. Access to Reproductive Health rights; the Philippine situation By the lack of access to RH rights, girl children who have been uneducated and un-informed about her rights often become the victims of numerous health rights violations; ✹ Maternal death rate is 200 per 100,000 death. ✹ 5.6% of pregnant women, no pre-natal care
  13. 13. ✹ 12% of all deaths related to pregnancy were due to abortion. ✹ Over 1,000 women have illegal and unsafe abortions everyday. ✹ Every hour, 46 unsafe induced abortions are performed in the Philippines. ✹ Unintended pregnancy rates increased from 68 in 1994 to 2000 in year 2007.
  14. 14. Child Mortality ✹ Infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births is 29 according to the National Statistics Office. ✹ Estimates of induced abortions among adolescents (girl children) reached 319,000 in year 2000 and could approximate to 400,000 by 2015.
  15. 15. Contraception ✹ Access to modern contraception in the Philippines were banned through local policies in Laguna, Puerto Princesa and Manila, - which resulted in higher rate of pregnancy and unsafe abortions in these areas.
  16. 16. Access to education and information on RH ✹ Due to misconceptions, pre-marital sex rose to 23% in 2012 from 20% in 2000. ✹ 51% of pregnant women were not informed about the danger signs of pregnancy. ✹ One in every 6 adolescent pregnancies end up in illegal abortion because of lack of awareness on reproductive health rights.
  17. 17. HIV and STD ✹ HIV/AIDS prevalent among 15-24 years old pregnant women. ✹ The latest HIV/AIDS registry in 2012 shows a total of 4,499. ✹ Ages 18-29 – largest group of women infected with HIV. The male age group is between the ages of 20-39. ✹ The youngest 15, male ✹ Young women are vulnerable to HIV – no access to information about protection.
  18. 18. Violence Against Women or VAW ✹ Rape is still rampant despite the enactment of Anti-Rape Law of 1997; ✹ Trafficked women and children in year for forced prostitution, reached up to 1000,000 in 2012. ✹ PNP documented 12,204 cases of VAW in 2010, a seven-fold times increase from 1,100 cases in 1996. Cases included physical injuries, and rape.
  19. 19. Unsafe Abortion ✹ Abortion rate was 27 per 1,000 women aged 15 – 44. ✹ Abortion ratio was 18 induced abortions per 100 pregnancies. ✹ Complications associated with unsafe abortion were the 3rd leading cause of hospital admissions.
  20. 20. Challenges in Elevating Girl Children Issues to Human Rights in the Context of RH rights
  21. 21. ✹ Lack of Knowledge and Information on RH rights as a human rights issue ✹ Lack of access to affordable and quality health care services ✹ Political positions of leaders hampers the implementation of RH law in the Philippines ✹ RH is not seen as a core issues, much less as the commonly understood statement of women’s human rights issue
  22. 22. How are human rights of women Protected, Promoted, Defended and Fulfilled? Principle of State Complicity
  23. 23. SOURCES OF RIGHTS ✹ International Documents ✹ Constitution ✹ Jurisprudence ✹ Statutes and Laws ✹ Ordinances ✹ Codes ✹ PD’s, EO’s, RA’s,
  24. 24. THE PHILIPPINE LEGAL SYSTEM ✹ Not indigenous: borrowed from US, Spain ✹ Founded on laws which are rules of human conduct, just and obligatory, to which the greater body of inhabitants render habitual obedience ✹ Criminal and Civil ✹ Punitive, Regulatory, Preventive and Rehabilitative Nature
  25. 25. GENDER EQUITY IN THE PHILIPPINE LEGAL SYSTEM ✹ Are there laws which deal with all issues relating to women? ✹ If there are, whether these laws discriminate against women and rely merely on male- defined assumptions? ✹ Are they faithful to the concepts of neutrality and equality?
  26. 26. Women and the Philippines Law ✹ The “othering process” – women’s issues are considered other issues, the miscellaneous ✹ Construction and/or definition of legal rules according to the generic male standard ✹ Women being considered as a deviation from the norm ✹ Construction of women and their sexuality from the male point of view ✹ Trivialization in law of women’s concerns, issues and activities
  27. 27. Examples of double standard laws ✹ Higher penalty for penis-to-vagina rape ✹ “good father of the family” ✹ Adultery vs. concubinage ✹ Family code: Supremacy of the father’s rule ✹ Women as chattels ✹ Good woman and bad woman prototypes ✹ Trivial: support, violence, sexual harassment, prostitution, trafficking, etc.
  28. 28. Example of Jurisprudence ✹ “A rape victim’s failure to escape from or plead with her rapists could only mean that she gave her full consent, and that she prostituted herself.” People vs, Navales, 102 SCRA 86 (1981)
  29. 29. Filling in the Gaps Towards elevating the women and girl children rights to Human Rights
  30. 30. STATE OBLIGATIONS ✹ Obligation to RESPECT ✹ Obligation to PROTECT ✹ Obligation to ENSURE AND ENFORCE ✹ Obligation to PROMOTE
  31. 31. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights ARTICLE 1 – UDHR, 1948
  32. 32. PHILIPPINE COMMITMENT ✹ RA 7877, Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 ✹ RA 8353, Anti-Rape Law of 1998 ✹ RA 7192, Women in Nation-Building Act ✹ Executive Order No. 273 (Philippine Plan for Gender Responsive Development, 1995- 2025) ✹ RA 8369, Family Courts Act ✹ RA 9208, Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act ✹ RA 9262, Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004
  33. 33. RH Law enacted in 2013 ✹ This law after its passage in 2013 was immediately legally challenged by some groups ✹ Its current implementation was suspended by the Supreme Court in its decision last September 2013
  34. 34. Still a way ahead… ✹ There is still NO law that defines discrimination, encompassing both direct and indirect, in national legislation ✹ No revisions have been made to the discriminatory provisions in national laws and NO legal framework pertaining to gender equality and women’s human rights ✹ No institutional authority to effectively support gender mainstreaming in all sectors (i.e. government and education)
  35. 35. Walking the Talk… ✹ Intensify awareness raising and public educational campaigns in view of eliminating stereotypes ✹ Review macroeconomic policies and their impact on women ✹ There has to be sexuality education for boys and girls with special attention to prevention of early pregnancies and STI’s ✹ Absence of a comprehensive framework to promote and protect reproductive health rights

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