I don’t quite see what took them so long to take this seriously. But it’s only now that the president of the Philippines signed the Magna Carta for Women. Thank heavens this little piece of paper will not just be some other piece of paper that’s debated upon over and over again in congress.
According to the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW), “The Magna Carta of Women is a comprehensive women's human rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination against women by recognizing, protecting, fulfilling and promoting the rights of Filipino women, especially those in the marginalized sectors.”
By the looks of it, the Magna Carta seeks to give women more opportunities to start their businesses, own land, pursue an education, and be protected from all forms of violence. One of the goals of the Magna Carta is to provide a women’s protection desk in all barangays (basic unit of government in the Philippines) in order to address all women’s discrimination and violence cases from the grassroots level.
Although the Magna Carta in itself is already impressive, the real challenge here really is making sure that it doesn’t just end up the way all other good laws have ended up in many developing countries like the Philippines—shelved after signing and gathering dust.
The key to effective implementation of the Magna Carta for women requires the concerted efforts of the various sectors of society. Government, first and foremost, plays a crucial role as the executive and decision making body in every country and in every society but in order for the magna carta to have an individual effect on the people, everyone—women, men, organizations, and local leaders—must understand what the core issue really is and where the magna carta comes in.
There must be a genuine understanding on the importance of why women have to be given as many opportunities to grow. People from various sectors and more importantly, the women themselves must be made to understand the crucial role that women play in the development of any kind of society.
The magna carta for women should prove to be the light at the end of this dark and winding tunnel that many of today’s women are currently traversing. Hopefully, that glimmer of light won’t turn out to be the headlights of a ten-wheeler truck signaling impending doom.