Women empowerment and narrowing down the gender gap are still pressing issues in this time of global change in the employment dynamics. There is an increasing demand for the presence of women in the labor force.
“Providing women with equal economic opportunities and unleashing their potential is seen as a key to economic growth. We acknowledge the many benefits that can be derived when women are in the work force, such as greater equality and narrowing the gender gap, increasing household income, and increased financial stability for families,” Secretary Baldoz said.
Government agencies such as the DOLE strive to take their part in the campaign to eliminate discrimination against women as provided for in R.A. No. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women. The law provides for recognition, protection, fulfilment and promotion of the rights of Filipino women, especially those belonging in the marginalized sectors of the society.
The Philippine Statistics Authority reports that two in five or 40% of wage and salary workers are women. Of the approximately 8.3 million working women in the country, 78% of them work full time.
The DOLE recently resumed the full implementation of the Labor Laws Compliance System, its enforcement mechanism geared at promoting voluntary compliance with labor laws and regulations among establishments across industries and geographical locations.
“The DOLE takes part in promoting the welfare of women in the work force by ensuring that their benefits, as mandated by law, are properly provided to them. In fact, among the compliance indicators verified by our LLCOs when they conduct assessments of establishments are the compliance with women-related benefits. These benefits include maternity leave, leave for victims of violence against women and children (VAWC), and special leave for women with gynecological disorders. We also check their compliance with the Expanding Breastfeeding Promotion Act on the provision of lactation stations and lactation breaks for breastfeeding women,” Baldoz explained.
Since the start of the LLCS, the DOLE has covered more than a hundred thousand establishments employing 1,805,683 workers. Of this number, 635,408 or 35.2% are women. High compliance rates have been shown for women-related benefits: Maternity Leave (99%), VAWC leave (97.88%), Special Leave for Women (97.94%), and Lactation Stations (95.83%).
Sec. Baldoz assured everyone of the DOLE’s relentless efforts in ensuring that all workers enjoy their rightful benefits. According to her, “[a]s we intensify our LLCS activities, we will make sure that the welfare of our women workers is adequately protected. We will continue to take our part in encouraging not only their participation in the workforce but also that they become empowered participants thereof.”