As part of the month-long celebration of National Women’s Month, the Philippine Statistics Authority XII initiated a Webinar on Ensuring Gender-Responsive Interventions to COVID-19 and the New Normal including Ensuring Prompt, Effective, and Survivor-Centered Response to all forms of Gender-Based Violence or the Joint Memo Circular DILG-CHR No. 2020-01.
The activity was highlighted by a lecture from Ms. Rizalyn C. Isnani-Concha, Special Investigator III and GAD Focal Person of Commission of Human Rights (CHR) XII.
Ms. Isnani-Concha shared that CHR is still doing its job as a Gender Ombud in the time of COVID-19 through protection, promotion, and policy work. She added that they also investigate gender-based violence even in times of crisis and responds through e-lawyering, referral for services, and even accepting to a certain extent, some clients for shelter support. In promotion and policy work, they issue IECs, statements, advisories on human rights standards during the COVID-19 pandemic. These issuances include protection of vulnerable groups during crisis like women and girls, pregnant and elderly women. CHR also draws attention to the risk posed by containment measures to women and girls, and the increased risk of gender-based violence (GBV) specially for women and girls, and of domestic violence cases, child abuse, and online sexual exploitation of children. Included in CHR advisories are issuances on the reproductive rights of women – including those about to give birth. She also discussed the need to highlight the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 crisis on women, girls, and vulnerable sectors. She said that the initial response missed the needs of women and girls and that gender was not mainstreamed into government’s COVID-19 response.
Ms. Isnani-Concha said that one of the aims of JMC DILG-CHR No. 2020-01 is to make concrete directives and recommendations towards gender-responsive and intersectional interventions during COVID-19 crisis, during transition, and even during recovery period, including responses to the new normal. To ensure that the said JMC is properly executed/implemented, LGUs are required to provide update through the regional DILG and CHR Offices for feedbacking.
PSA XII has lined-up series of webinars and activities to take part in the month-long celebration of National Women’s Month. The activities will highlight gender-related topics in relation to COVID-19 pandemic.