Speaking out: a consultative forum toward a legislative and administrative advocacy program for women
This document contains highlights of what tranpired during the three regional consultative fora (CFS) held in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao in the latter part 1992. It also briefly discusses the outputs of the National Strategizing Meeting (NSM) held in the National Capital Region last february 1993. Women’s full and effective political participation is a matter of human rights, inclusive growth and sustainable development. Women’s political empowerment is an essential requirement of democratic governance and can be measured in terms of both the legal rights afforded women to vote, express their opinion, and run for elected (or other) office, as well as the practical exercise of these legal rights. Participating in public institutions – such as parliaments, local councils or government – allows women to contribute to the decision-making and law making that impact on people’s rights, behaviours and lives. Arguments about women’s participation in these institutions are often premised on the question of rights (women represent half the population, and therefore have a right to contribute to decision-making on issues that affect women’s lives), and on the question of impact or value (women bring a particular perspective to decision-making which should be heard). OECD research has shown, for example, that inequality rates tend to decrease in countries with a greater share of women in legislatures (OECD, 2014a) and that women’s inclusion in executive government (as ministers, for example) can strengthen public confidence in national governments (OECD, 2016). In local government as well, research shows that more balanced representation among men and women in local councils ensures that local policy and service delivery issues are examined from a broader perspective, recognising the needs of minority and underrepresented groups. Some research has shown women members of local council are often seen as more sensitive and responsive to community concerns and voters.
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