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Australia wants to level up women empowerment in PH


By Philippine News Agency

The Australian government vows to continue helping the Philippine government aiming to level up women empowerment in the Southeast Region.

For Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Australia wants to continue nurturing Philippine women who have been friends and close ally for the past seven decades.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (AP Photo/Aaron Favila / MANILA BULLETIN)

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop
(AP Photo/Aaron Favila / MANILA BULLETIN)

Australia is providing over AusD1 million (about P35 million) to support the business coalition component of the Investing in Women program, an initiative of the Australian government that commenced in April of 2016.

The program is to improve women’s economic participation, build markets for women and influence the private and public sector environment to promote women’s economic empowerment in the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia.

Part of the investment will go to EDGE certification for Philippine companies.

The EDGE tool is a global standard to assess businesses’ policies and practices against gender equality benchmarks and help companies take steps to create more equitable and profitable workplaces.

The Investing in Women program will support the Philippine Government’s efforts in promoting gender equality and economic parity.

A 2016 report by McKinsey & Company found that should the Philippines increase the workforce participation of women by just 1 percentage point each year, by 2025 it would add AusD40 billion to the Philippine’s gross domestic product (GDP), or a 9 percent increase.

Bishop, during her recent visit to the Philippines, pointed out that seven large corporations employing a total of 300,000 Filipinos had formed a new coalition to ensure gender equality within their businesses.

Bishop, who is also a member of the Parliament, led the launch of the Philippines Business Coalition for Women’s Empowerment (PBCWE) during her high profile visit to Manila on March 16.

The Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, Amanda Gorely, who welcomed the Minister, said, “We are very pleased that Minister Bishop was able to launch this key initiative during her visit to the Philippines. She is at the forefront of, and driving change, in Australia and the globe on empowering girls and women.”

The seven founding members of the PBCWE are Accenture, Ayala, Convergys, Magsaysay, Inc., Natasha, SyCip Gorres Velayo & Co., and Stores Specialists Inc. The Coalition is established in cooperation with the Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PhilWEN).

“This is a strong coalition, and impressive in the diverse sectors and industries that it covers,” said Gorely.

“Our hope is that through their leadership, other companies will join the coalition, and together we can change the future for women and girls, and let them achieve their full potential,” she explained.

PBCWE will lead business sector efforts to institutionalize gender equality in the workplace.

These large employers have committed to: close the gender pay gap; progress women into leadership and management positions; improve female workplace participation and working conditions; and develop leaders and managers who will drive the gender equality agenda in their operations.

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