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Philippines’ NHRI strengthens its work on women’s rights

Graphic: CHR staff take part in the APF training program

CHR staff have developed a series of programs that they will roll out to address the challenges faced by women and girls across the country.

Staff from the central office and nine regional offices of the Philippines Commission on Human Rights (CHR) have worked together to develop a set of programs that they will roll out in the coming months to address the challenges facing women and girls across the country.

These included programs to raise human rights awareness in regional areas, build strategic partnerships with stakeholders, mainstream gender equality into human rights work at the regional level and strengthen coordination among regional centres.

The plans were developed by the 21 CHR staff who took part in the APF's blended learning course on the human rights of women and girls.

Another important focus of the program was to identify steps that staff could take to integrate the human rights of women and girls more fully across all areas of the CHR's work.

While this is an issue that all national human rights institutions need to consider, it is especially relevant for the CHR, which in 2009 was designated as the Gender Ombud for the Philippines under the country's Magna Carta for Women.


This APF video describes why it is so important for NHRIs to make gender equality a part of their day-to-day work. It forms part of a training series on the human rights of women and girls.


In 2016, the CHR concluded its National Inquiry into Reproductive Health and Rights – the first national inquiry it had conducted.

The CHR's report included a series of targeted recommendations to improve access for women to reproductive services and information.

The training program included discussions on the national inquiry – including what aspects worked well and what challenges were encountered – with a focus on how the CHR could build on this experience to promote and protect the rights of women and girls.

Other discussions examined the particular challenges faced by vulnerable groups of women and girls, especially disabled women and indigenous women, as well as women and girls who have been displaced because of armed conflict or development aggression.


Graphic: Participants recording the key issues facing women and girls in the Philippines


The program featured five weeks of online learning and discussion (17 October-20 November 2016), as well as the week-long workshop in Manila (9-13 January 2017).

Alison Aggarwal, Principal Adviser at the Australian Human Rights Commission, and Krissi Shafina Twyla Rubin, CHR's Officer in Charge of Gender Equality and Women Human Rights Centre, jointly led the program together with support from Pamela Godoy, National Programme Officer from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The APF is grateful for the support and expertise provided throughout the program by representatives from local civil society groups.

Date: 18 January 2017


Image credits

  1. CHR staff take part in the APF training program - APF/Fasoha Aishath
  2. Participants recording the key issues facing women and girls in the Philippines - APF/Fasoha Aishath