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Best practice: Gender Mainstreaming in Quezon City

Best practice: Gender Mainstreaming in Quezon City
08/03/2016

Philippines

What better day than International Women’s Day to draw attention to a best practice on gender mainstreaming in local government from the Philippines – courtesy of the League of Cities of the Philippines(LCP) and DELGOSEA’s partner, UCLG ASPAC, who first published an article about this great initiative.

The Philippines is already one of the more successful countries in terms of female participation in public life with 27.1% of parliamentary seats held by women in 2014 and a history of influential women in high profile positions. It is, however, on the level of local government that gender mainstreaming has been introduced in many municipalities and is making a difference to the lives of millions of Filipino women.

One of the most high profile successes of integrating women’s issues and perspectives into all government departments comes from Quezon City, part of Metro Manila and the most populated city of the Philippines. Already in 2002, even before the Philippine government passed the Magna Carta on Women’s Rights in 2006, Quezon City created a Gender and Development (GAD) Resource and Coordination office and signed the Quezon City Gender and Development Code in 2004. Under these policies, a network of gender focal point civil servants was established in all departments from 2003 onwards.

Since the establishment of the GAD code, Quezon City has ensured that this commitment was followed by concrete actions. Every year, for example, the city organizes a “Thank GAD it’s Friday” workshop to raise awareness amongst all the city’s departments on how they can include gender mainstreaming in all aspects of their work. A popular and visible way of promoting gender diversity is the city’s annual award for gender-sensitive local and national movies; it’s success led to the creation of a Teachers Film Forum to integrate gender sensitive media content into high school curriculums.

On a more practical level, Quezon City also increased the budget for its family planning center over the years and offers free legal services to its most vulnerable citizens, which allows in particular single or widowed mothers to access legal protection when they need it. Climate change and efforts to mitigate the consequences are an important topic in the Philippines which is more vulnerable to the effects of global warming than most other countries; Quezon City has recognized the fact that women, as victims of social inequality and often in precarious financial situations, are often hardest affected by such climate change effects and has put measures in place to pay particular attention to their needs. In 2015, the city implemented the Safe City Metro Manila program and joined the UN Women’s Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces Global initiative, which is aimed at raising awareness of and fighting against street harassment, probably the most visible form of gender-based violence in urban spaces.

Quezon City sets an example by reminding us that gender equality is at stake in every single local government project and decision; through gender mainstreaming, they can make small steps every day in order to achieve gender equality and contribute to creating harmonious and prosperous communities. 

For more information on www.delgosea.eu on UCLG ASPAC and LCP:

United Cities and Local Governments – Asia Pacific

LCP, The League of Cities, Philippines