The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading, a proposed ordinance mandating all schools in the city to provide advocacy activities on women’s rights for junior and senior high school students and children’s rights for elementary pupils.
City legislators stated that all elementary schools, both private and public, from Grade I to VI shall include in their curriculum, and in any related subject, advocacy activities on children’s rights, and women’s rights to high schools, both junior and senior students.
The council stipulated that the advocacy activities must be suited to students according to age, and must cover Philippine laws that protect the rights of women and children such as, but not limited to, the Rights of a Child under Article 3 of Presidential Decree No. 603 of the Child and Youth Welfare Code; Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Special Protection of children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act; RA 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 20004; RA 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women, and other related laws on women and children.
Further, the council pointed out that Article 15, Section 3 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution ensures the right of children to assistance and protection from neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation and other conditions prejudicial of the development of the child.
According to the proposal, Article 13, Section 14 of the same provides that the State shall protect working women by providing safety and healthful working conditions, taking into account their maternal functions, and such facilities and opportunities that will enhance their welfare and enable them to realize their full potential in the service of the nation.
The council added that to protect the rights of women and children, it is imperative for the government, and even more especially, for schools and the educational system to provide vital information and knowledge of women’s and children’s rights, by infusing within the school curricula, advocacy activities related to the said rights and the laws that govern them.
While advocacy activities may simply include teaching the laws that promote women’s and children’s rights as a lecture in related subjects or giving students assignments, seat works or research papers to accomplish on the subject are said to be sufficient, the body asserted that other advocacy activities may also include, but are not limited to, essay and theme writing, poster-making, logo-slogan making, dramatizations and skits, oratorical or extemporaneous speeches, and other creative approaches that exemplify their rights and the laws that promulgate them may also be used.
The aforesaid proposal was referred to the concerned committee for study and recommendation whether or not the same will be passed on second and third readings by the local legislative body in future sessions that will undertake to deliberate on the same. By Dexter A. See