List of laws protecting women in PH

By Christine Cudis

March 5 2019, 8:12 pm Updated on November 29, 2023, 11:48 pm

MANILA -- As the government recognizes the role and influence of women in the Philippines, many laws have been crafted to guarantee their protection and well-being, may it be in work or household.

And in light of the National Women’s Month celebration, here is a list of laws covering Filipino women’s rights in the Philippines:

105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law

Signed into law on February 2019 by President Rodrigo Duterte, Republic Act 11210 or the Expanded Maternity Leave Law extends the previous 60-day (78 days for caesarian section delivery for women workers in the private sector) paid maternity leave to 105 days.

The law also entails an option to extend for an additional 30 days of unpaid leave. Additional 15 days paid maternity leave shall also be granted to female solo parents.

Prohibition on Discrimination Against Women

RA 6725 prohibits discrimination with respect to terms and conditions of employment solely on the basis of sex.

Under this law, any employer favoring a male employee over a female in terms of promotion, training opportunities, and other benefits solely on account of sex is considered discrimination.

Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004

RA 9262, or An Act Defining Violence Against Women and Their Children, Providing Protective Measures for Victims, Prescribing Penalties Therefor and for Other Purposes, recognizes the need to protect the family and its members particularly women and children, from violence and threats to their personal safety and security.

Under this law, the state also recognizes the need to protect the family and its members particularly women and children, from violence and threats to their personal safety and security.

Assistance for small-scale women entrepreneurs

This law seeks to provide all possible assistance to Filipino women in their pursuit of owning, operating and managing small business enterprises.

RA 7882, or the act that states the Provision of Assistance to Women Engaging in Micro and Cottage Business Enterprises, and for other purposes, was approved in February 1995.

Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995

RA 7877 addresses the issue of sexual harassment committed in employment, education or training environment. It was signed into law on February 14, 1995, under former President Fidel Ramos' administration.

Sexual favors made as a condition in the employment or granting promotions or privileges; or the refusal to grant the sexual favor results in limiting, segregating or classifying the employee which in any way would discriminate, deprive or diminish employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect is punishable by law.

The Anti-Rape Law of 1997

RA 8353 states that any person having carnal knowledge of a woman through force, threat, or intimidation or by means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority will be punished.

Depending on the severity of the case, the offense may be punishable reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment.

Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act of 1998

RA 8505 declares the policy of the State to provide necessary assistance and protection for rape victims.

The government shall coordinate its various agencies and non-government organizations to work hand in hand for the establishment and operation of a rape crisis center in every province and city that shall assist and protect rape victims in the litigation of their cases and their recovery.

Magna Carta of Women

RA 9710 is a comprehensive women's human rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination through the recognition, protection, fulfillment, and promotion of the rights of Filipino women, especially those belonging in the marginalized sectors of the society.

It conveys a framework of rights for women based directly on international law.

Pursuant to this law is Executive Order 273 that states the approval and adoption of Philippine Plan for Gender-Responsive Development, 1995-2025.

National Women's Day

RA 6949 declares the eighth day of March every year as a special working holiday.

This ensures meaningful observance of the holiday, where all heads of government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations as well as local government units, and employers in the private sector shall encourage and afford sufficient time and opportunities for their employees to engage and participate in any activity conducted within the premises of their respective offices or establishments to celebrate National Women's Day. (PNA)