|Head||Atty. Clara Rita A. Padilla|
|Address||88-A Calumpit St., Veterans Village, Proj. 7, 1105 Quezon City, Philippines|
|Tel. No.||(632) 376-2578|
|Fax No.||(632) 376-2578|
EnGendeRights, Inc. is a non-government organization that advances women's rights through domestic and international legal and policy advocacy, research, training, and impact litigation.
It was founded in December 2003 by Clara Rita A. Padilla, a widely published feminist lawyer and women’s rights activist. It was created to advocate for women’s free exercise of their sexuality and their right to reproductive self-determination free of discrimination, coercion and violence including women’s access to the full range of contraceptives, emergency contraceptives, and to safe and legal abortion, and equality of lesbians, women bisexuals and transgenders and their freedom from discrimination.
It promotes a human rights-based approach to sexual and reproductive health in Philippine laws and policies and in East and Southeast Asia as well as find ways to empower women and achieve equality for them. Additionally, the organization believes that making abortion safe and legal saves women’s lives and that being able to decide if and when to bear children enables women to lead the quality of life she wants for herself and for her living children.
Its immediate goal is to create a working group of mostly women legal advocates promoting sexual and reproductive rights by applying international human rights standards in domestic laws and policies and promoting advances in international and domestic jurisprudence in Philippine jurisprudence. This working group of legal advocates will become pioneers in the area of advocating for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in the legal arena championing the important causes and issues that are critical for the achievement of women’s equality and empowerment.
Moreover, it seeks to spread the advantages of emergency contraception (EC), post exposure prophylaxis (PEPs) and lesbian rights through fora, media, internet and other forms of information, educational and communication materials.
International and Domestic Policy Advocacy
EnGendeRights has been active in its international and domestic policy advocacy by demanding the Philippine government to comply to international human rights standards on sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United Nations, New York. It played an important role in spearheading the drafting of the shadow report on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and in advocating for strong language on SRHR in the 36th Session CEDAW Committee Concluding Comments. It also provided information and tools to capacitate advocates to engage international human rights institutions and claim this international space and process as part of their rights exercise and over-all political work.
The workshop entitled National Workshop on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for Legal Advocates, was successfully conducted on December 10-14, 2005, at Sulo Hotel, Philippines. This workshop familiarized the participants with international human rights standards and national and international jurisprudence on SRHR including international advocacy strategies and jurisprudence from the United Nations Human Rights Treaty Monitoring Bodies.
There were also trainings during conventions of the Philippine bar before an audience of about 1200 lawyers, prosecutors and judges during the 11th IBP National Convention of Lawyers on March 31, 2007 and more than 700 lawyers and judges on the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Act (Republic Act 9262) and Gender Issues in Legal Ethics at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Eastern Visayas Convention on April 27-28, 2006.
A training on Strengthening Capacities of Local Advocates for Gender and Rights-based Approach to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Violence Against Women and Children with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) was also conducted.
Other than the advocacy and information trainings there were also paralegal trainings conducted in Visayas and in the ARMM which enable the participants to create a better referral system for violence against women (VAW) cases and to make them adept at providing effective policies and programs that will address, prevent, and raise awareness of VAWC in their respective municipalities. The training also helped the participants realize the strategic value of working with the different stakeholders such as the law enforcement officers, the prosecutors and lawyers, the judges, the social workers and case managers, the medico-legal, and the psychologists in order to ensure the proper management of VAWC cases.
It has undergone presentation of researches on June 6-7 2006. It presented its trailblazing researches entitled “Progressive Legislations and Policies Upholding Women’s Rights in predominantly Muslim Countries: A Continuing Challenge” and “Advancing Muslim Women's Rights through UN Jurisprudence”.
On September 18-21, 2006, EnGendeRights and 3RG-Phils, conducted a provincial dialogue titled “Treading the Islamic Path to Gender Equality: ARMM Provincial Dialogue on Gender Issues in Islam” which aimed to surface manifestations of gender bias among Muslims and address VAW, abortion, marriage including issues on polygamy, early/arranged/forced marriage, and political participation of Muslim women.
Aside from all these, the organization was also invited to give various trainings on a rights-based approach to gender issues, violence against women (VAW), sexual harassment, laws related to VAW including the Anti-Rape Law, paralegal workshops to effectively address VAW, the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act (Anti-VAWC or RA9262), legal protection of health service providers addressing women victims of VAW, how to use CEDAW on VAW issues, rights of lesbians against discrimination in international law, the mandate and views of the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, among others.
There were letters and press releases which have reached domestic and international recognition and impact. The letters have been posted in the websites of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), among others. Moreover, it, through its Executive Director Clara Rita Padilla appeared on several television, radio and print interviews, particularly “Salamat Doc” (March 18, 2007, December 12, 2006), GMA News (November 28, 2006), Radyo ng Bayan (November 28, 2006), DZRM (October 27, 2006 and November 3, 2006), XYZone (Angel Radyo, DZAR 1026 AM, November 13, 2004), Dong Puno Live (August 5, 2004), Workingmom (July 2004), and “Kay Susan Tayo" (May 2004).
Book launch of the Center for Reproductive Rights' “Women of the World: Laws and Policies Affecting Their Reproductive Lives - East and Southeast Asia” publication was likewise, successfully conducted.
- EnGendeRights, Inc. Official Website (accessed on February 21, 2008)
- Directory of Non-Government Organizations Working on Women. Publication of the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women; Copyright 2007.