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Women in the Philippines call for 120 days’ maternity leave

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30 March, 2016Fourteen IndustriALL Global union affiliates in the Philippines marked International Women’s Day with a unified call for improved maternity protection. 

Through the IndustriALL Philippines Women’s Committee, 95 women leaders across industriALL sectors validated the 2016 workplan and vowed to push for the passage of the Maternity Protection Bill and the Ratification of ILO Convention 183.

With 52 days remaining before general elections on 9 May, the group agreed to campaign for the inclusion of maternity protection in labour’s political agenda, and to make support for maternity protection a determinant on which national candidates to support. Representatives from the Philippine Legislative Committee on Population & Development presented the legislative advocacy for the 17th Congress and insights on strategies to influence legislators’ priority agenda.  

Other highlighted priorities were the institutionalization of women representation in trade unions and workplaces both in terms of gender quota and budget allocation as well as support for the IndustriALL 40 per cent gender-quota; mainstreaming and implementation of women-specific and related laws policies and programs via CBAs and the Labour Law Compliance System; and capacity building, including the development of women negotiators.

The International Women’s Day Event, which was held on 18 March, also provided the perfect opportunity for women to get together and have time for themselves. The event also included video presentations on existing women-specific and related laws and policies, free basic health and family planning services, wellness massage, grooming, and physical exercises. A medical team was also mobilized for the event. Social partners like the Department of Health-National Capital Region, Quezon City Health Office and Workers’ Fund provided free medicines, vitamins and family planning commodities for the event.