PCW pushes for gender equality amidst digital technology

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga (PIA) — Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) is pushing to address the rising cases of gender inequality in the midst of digital technology.

Technological innovations have caused the proliferation of online risks and vulnerabilities among women.

PCW Information Officer Nevicshky Calma said there are now cases of electronic violence against women, online gender-based sexual harassment, stereotyping, cyberbullying, and body shaming especially to young people.

There are also higher levels of violence including revenge porn, trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, and issues of mental health.

With this, Calma underscored that PCW is capacitating women on digital communications and technological innovation to address the said issues.

“Our aim is that women should be able to maximize the utilization of modern technology. For example, we want women micro entrepreneurs to have ample knowledge and skills on digital marketing. We want our learners to have access to digital ICT [information and communications technology] and various online platforms and tools to get the advantages and benefits of ICT,” she explained.

This is also anchored on the 2023-2028 Philippine Development Plan as it aims to build equal opportunities and inclusive growth for the development of the country.

Meanwhile, Calma highlighted that the advocacy for gender equality is not just for women as it is geared to ensure that all females, males, and people with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression reach their maximum potential.

“We want an inclusive society where nobody is left behind regardless of sex, cluster ability, generation, and status in life,” she added.

The Philippines ranks 19th out of 146 countries in terms of addressing gender gaps, making it first in Asia. It is consistent in the top 20 tier of this global ranking.

Despite this, Calma pressed that there is still a lot more to improve for women and girls especially in terms of violence and sexual harassment against them.

“Our advocacy should be two-way. Everybody should be pushing to make mechanisms, institutions, and other programs for women, and at the same time, women are willing to take the mechanisms and opportunities in place for them,” she furthered.

Data from the National Demographic Health Survey suggest that 17.5 percent of women aged 15 to 49 experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence from their husbands, partners, or ex partners.

Calma added that there should be a gender balance in terms of elected political officials.

“Women have limited political participation. If we look at the list of elected officials, women are not equally represented when in fact, women comprise half of the population of about 55 million,” she stated.

Curricula in educational institutions should be revised to remove gender biases and gender roles. (CLJD/JLDC-PIA 3)

Philippine Commission on Women Information Officer Nevicshky Calma emphasizes that modern technology is causing online risks and vulnerabilities among women, that is why they are capacitating women on digital communications and technological innovation. (Jag Lyra Costamero/PIA 3)

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