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'Women face discrimination, violence'

Much still needs to be done to improve the lives of women, says adviser

Presidential adviser on the peace process Teresita Quintos-Deles Presidential adviser on the peace process Teresita Quintos-Deles
  • ucanews.com staff, Manila
  • Philippines
  • March 15, 2011
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Filipino women face discrimination and violence in conflict areas across the country and this must be addressed in peace negotiations with rebels, president Benigno Aquino’s adviser on peace process said today.

Speaking at an equality forum, presidential adviser on the peace process Teresita Quintos-Deles said gender inequality and violations of women’s rights are prevalent in impoverished, conflict-affected regions in the country.

She said the issue must be taken up in the ongoing negotiations with with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the communist-led National Democratic Front.

“This is why [government] agencies are working hand in hand, addressing these issues,” Deles said. “These things usually all go together: conflict, poverty and oppression of women.”

Although there is a need to celebrate women’s achievements in various field, Deles said “a lot is still needed to be done to improve the lives of women in the country.”

She cited the “double burden” among women, in which men and women share equal workload to earn money, but at the end of the day, after a day of drudgery, the women are still the ones who need to tend to household chores.

Other issues surrounding women are also needed to be addressed, like violence against women “which affects females from different classes,” unequal opportunities and maternal deaths.

“The problem is not the ceiling, but the floor,” Deles said. “We may have a lot of successful women in the corporate world, two female presidents, but those from marginalized sectors are not as fortunate: they are more prone to exploitation and abuse.”
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