Secretary Sonny Coloma of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) convened for the first time the Gender Equality Committee on Friday, October 1, to implement the relevant provisions of the Magna Carta of Women dealing with the portrayal of women in media and film.
The meeting, held at the conference room of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), was attended by representatives from the various agencies and NGOs which compose the GEC according to the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Magna Carta of Women.
Aside from the PCOO and PCW, the other attached agencies include the National Telecommunications Commission, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, the Film Academy of the Philippines, the Film Development Council of the Philippines, the Optical Media Board, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
Section 16 of the Magna Carta of Women specifically mandates the State to convene a Gender Equality Committee that will promote gender mainstreaming as a framework and affirmative action as a strategy and monitor and evaluate the implementation of gender equality guidelines.
Representatives of the PCOO’s bureau of broadcast services and bureau of communications services also attended the meeting, as well as those from the Kapisanan ng Brodkaster ng Pilipinas, the Philippine Information Agency, the Women’s Media Circle and the PANA.
Officers of the Malacanang Press Corps who are eighty percent media or newspaperwomen were also present.
PCW Executive Director Emmeline L. Verzosa opened the meeting with an audio-visual presentation on the Magna Carta of Women. Secretary Coloma followed with his own presentation on gender issues in media.
Sec. Coloma focused on Section 19 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Magna Carta of Women which is titled Non-discrimi-natory and Non-derogatory Portrayal of Women in Media and Film.
Provision A of the IRR states: The dignity of women and their roles and contributions in all spheres of private and public life shall be promoted. The portrayal of women in a discriminatory, demeaning and/or derogatory manner in advertisements, shows and programs is not allowed. It shall not induce, encourage and/or condone violence against women in any form and/or the violation of their human rights.
Provision C of the IRR states: The NTC, MTRCB, FAP, FDCP, OMB, NCCA shall ensure that the media and film industries comply with the Act and these Rules and Regulations, including:
1. Formulation of policies and programs to raise consciousness of the general public in recognizing th dignity of women and the role and contribution of women in all spheres of private and public life;
2. Allocation of space, airtime and resources for the airing of advertisements that promote women’s human rights;
3. Enhancement of programming, production and image-making that present women’s needs, issues and concerns;
4. Ensuring that, in cooperation with all schools of journalism, information and communication, and national media federations and associations, regular trainings on gender equality and gender-based discrimination are integrated in the human resource development components of media organizations and corporations.
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