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The International Bill Of Rights Of Women Celebrated Its 40th Anniversary On December 18

It was adopted by the United Nations in 1979!

The Convention of the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) or what’s commonly called the International Bill of Rights of Women is celebrating its 40th year on December 18.

The United Nations (UN) adopted the CEDAW in 1979 and it took effect on September 3, 1981. It is the only human rights treaty that affirms the reproductive rights of women and targets culture and tradition as influential forces in shaping gender roles and family relations.

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In the Philippines, the Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women is the national translation of the CEDAW which defines discrimination against women in accordance with the convention.

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According to the Philippine Commission On Women, the most important points of the Magna Carta of Women include:

  • Leave benefits of two months with pull pay for women employees who undergo surgery caused by gynecological disorders given that they have continuous employment of at least six months for the last 12 months 
  • Non-discrimination of women in fields such as the military, police and other similar services that allow them the same benefits as men such as pay increases, benefits, and wards
  • Provision for equal access and elimination of discrimination in education, scholarships, and training. In addition, the “expulsion, non-readmission, prohibiting enrollment, and other related discrimination of women students and faculty due to pregnancy out of marriage shall not be outlawed
  • The non-discriminatory and non-derogatory portrayal of women in media and film to raise the consciousness of the general public in recognizing the dignity of women and the role and contribution of women in family, community, and the society through the strategic use of mass media
  • Equal status is given to men and women on the titling of the land and issuance of stewardship contracts and patents.
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The UN defines CEDAW as  “any distinction, exclusion, or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil, or any other field.”

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