Local civil society organizations play vital roles in the Philippines as leaders in conflict prevention and crisis response, addressing humanitarian needs in their communities and championing efforts to build sustainable peace.

THE ADDED VALUE OF THE WPHF

In the Philippines, WPHF aims to support women-led and women’s rights civil society organizations on a range of local projects contributing to inclusive humanitarian action and sustainable peace.

Background

The Republic of the Philippines is a Southeast Asian nation made up of over 7,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean. With its fast growing population of 88.9 million in 2007 to 96.7 million in 2012, the Philippines is one of the most populous countries in Southeast Asia. Significant numbers of Filipinos are migrant workers abroad. In 2011, the number of overseas Filipinos workers amounted to over 10 million. The country is ranked 114 out of 187 countries and territories on the Human Development Index.

Women in the Philippines face persistent challenges regarding the feminization of migration, and the lack of bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding between key countries and regions to which Filipino women migrate. Women workers pursue employment opportunities through informal channels, and are subsequently victims of various forms of exploitation, violence and trafficking.

Migration further exacerbates issues around free trade, which negatively impacts employment opportunities for women in rural and remote areas. Unemployment rates and unequal wage gaps are prominent for women within the working sphere, and due to the overrepresentation of women in the informal economy, women are stigmatized and often ineligible for social security and health care.

The Issue

Women in the Philippines have limited access to justice in cases of sexual and gender based violence occurring in conflict zones. Transitional justice is a critical component to strengthen the rule of law in a post-conflict setting and an integral element to peacebuilding as it aims to redress for past human rights violations. In transitional or post-conflict settings, it is imperative that women’s right to access justice is recognized as part of achieving and sustaining peace and ensuring accountability for crimes committed in times of conflict against women and girls.