Women’s human rights are increasingly becoming a major concern in the 21st Century, especially with rapid advancements in information and communications technology.  New ICTs have in fact brought about new forms of oppressions for women.

This was one of the key messages during the Women and Gender Institute’s (WAGI) Summer Course on International Women’s Human Rights held last April 8-13. ““ICT is not gender neutral; it can in fact enable new forms of discrimination, violence and exclusion,” said Chat Ramilo, one of the speakers at the said seminar course.

IWHR is a six-day intensive seminar providing lectures and case studies that cover various women’s right which are aimed at providing participants theoretical and practical handles in analyzing these from a gender perspective.  Lectures cover issues such as family law, violence against women, reproductive health and rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, trafficking, economic participation and empowerment, peace and security, religion and culture, governance and political participation, among others.  

This year, IWHR was attended by 26 participants from government agencies, graduate students of Miriam College, and funding institutions like UN Women.  Participants from government agencies were also present such as the Commission on Human Rights, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Office of the Solicitor General, Philippine Army, Philippine National Police, and the Presidential Management Staff.

The training team, led by WAGI Executive Director Professor Aurora de Dios, includes Atty. Albert Muyot, DepEd undersecretary for Legal Affairs; Amina Rasul of the Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy; Dr. Veneracion Rallonza of Ateneo de Manila University; Dr. Socorro Reyes of UN Women; Dr. Marina Durano of UP Economics; Atty. Claire Luczon of DAWN and WomenLead; Dr. Junice Melgar of Likhaan; Amara Quesada of ACHIEVE; Chat Ramilo of Association for Progressive Communications; and Jean Enriquez of the Coalition Against Trafficking of Women-Asia Pacific.

Now on its 15th year, the IWHR is one of the longest running and most comprehensive course on women’s rights in the country pioneered by WAGI. It has reached more than 500 individuals from various sectors, both locally and internationally.