Women are one of the most cherished resources of the BJMP. Many of the significant positions and roles in our organization are held and made impactful by women officers and personnel. Not only that. Many of the bureau’s milestones in the various areas of jail administration, human resource development, logistics, operations, and other major fields we owe to the women of the BJMP. And for many of them who have had the privilege to directly interact, manage, and contribute in the transformation of persons deprived of liberty, these women's hands and hearts were able to change futures of PDL and their families. Always for the better.
The launch of the BJMP Gender and Development website is a declaration of how the BJMP values gender equality and how it provides a work environment free of gender discrimination and bias. It speaks of the BJMP’s all-out support for women jail officers, of our appreciation of their contributions to PDL and personnel welfare, and of our respect for them and the role they always take to heart. The BJMP would not be as far ahead as it is now if it were not for them. This website is our tribute to the women power of the bureau and our efforts at sustaining an organization where both sexes thrive and are empowered personally and professionally.
Our establishment of a website for gender issues is also one of the bureau’s responses to the call of the United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs for sustainable development where gender equality is one of “The 17 Goals.”
As you visit our site, be immersed in the inspiring pursuits and chronicles of BJMP women working for change.
Gender equality is when people of all genders have equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities. We found it timely to reassert our commitment for gender equality and solidify the GAD programs of the BJMP to fully contribute to the national goals.
In the past decades, the agency has ensured the promotion and protection of female employees and PDL in its operations through the establishment of internal support systems which will enable them to fully achieve their potentials. In 2019, we have strengthened our commitment through the adoption of Equal Employment Opportunity for all the core human resource systems of the agency. Various policies for Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL) were also adopted by the agency to harmonize our jail processes and practices with gender-sensitive principles, laws and practices to be at par with international standards. Last January 2021, the Jail Bureau has integrated GAD as one of the nine (9) key priority areas in human resource management as reflected in the BJMP 5-Year Human Resource Strategic Plan 2021-2025. The plan provides a roadmap for turning gender equality promises into action. Part of the action plan are capacity building initiatives for the GAD Focal Point System leaders in the National Headquarters, Regional Offices and Jail units and all jail officers in the coutry. The establishment of the GAD website is one of the many initiatives programmed by the agency in the next five (5) yetars. This will be one of our modes in carrying out the mandate of GAD through an effective information dissemination platform.
We must be able to highlight gender equality and women’s empowerment as one of the cornerstones of our policy and program work. As much as possible, we must strive to ensure that gender is an essential component in our activities, deliberately design and carefully integrate it at every stage of our work. On matters relating to women empowerment, they must be given full opportunities in work and must be equal partners in the agency. Simply because if they are given opportunities, their respective families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well. Further, we need to understand that there is no one formula for how women should lead our lives. That is why, as men, it is very important that we respect the choices that each woman in this agency makes for herself and family.
As of February 2021, we have around 12, 892 PDL who are women, under our care while we have 4, 420 female employees in our ranks. GAD is a serious work before all of us who have a vision of the future we want to see for the younger generation of leaders. In a male dominated agency like the BJMP, with more reason that we as men, ensure that gender forms part of the agenda and ensure that women maximize their potentials. We must look at it in a spectrum rather than two opposing ideals as to which gender is stronger than the other. We must refrain from defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are. We must move beyond recognition of problems to working together for us to have common understanding in building that common ground for gender equality.
Let us celebrate the progress we have made for GAD but let us also not lose sight of the work still to be done. All of us play a vital part in addressing gender issues. Let us leverage the power of collaboration and partnership with women and people of all genders so to ensure that our journey towards equality is successful and irreversible. Thank you.
The Philippines has made significant progress in promoting women empowerment and gender equality in the country as evidenced by positive scores on global gender equality indicators. The country is one among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of gender equality.
In August 2009, the nation took a big step forward with the passage of Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women (MCW), a comprehensive women’s human rights law. The law seeks to eliminate discrimination against women by recognizing, protecting, fulfilling, and promoting the fundamental rights of Filipino women as expounded by the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
To implement the law, a mechanism was created in all agencies– the GAD Focal Point System. Under all government agencies, GFPS functions to ensure the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of government agencies GAD policies, programs, projects and other GAD related activities. The BJMP GFPS ensures the effective implementation of GAD mandates in the agency.
As a young officer then, I can still vividly recall those years when we only had a few number of female employees working in the various offices of the agency mostly, as administrative officers. But when the Jail Bureau had opened its gates for equality and equity for women, we became more active partners of men in various fields, including the safekeeping and development of Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL) in jail facilities. Likewise, the number of women officers had increased dramatically and so were the number of leadership positions for women in the placement system of the organization. Today, the Jail Bureau has accomplished a lot in the area of Gender and Development. However, much more advocacies are needed to be done to fully achieve the goals of GAD. In a male-dominated agency, the challenge is to ensure that women empowerment and gender responsive policies are effectively implemented and sustained.
For 2021, we have highlighted the importance of GAD through the various programs and activities which serve as a call for action for all women and genders in the country. Part of the initiatives this year is the launching of our GAD website which serves as a platform for effective communication between and among our human resources in the National Headquarters, Regional Offices and Jail units and making GAD resources accessible to all. This will also enable other agencies and our stakeholders to learn the various policies and programs being adopted and implemented by the agency as our contribution to gender equality.
For this Women’s Month celebration, I am encouraging all GAD advocates in the National Headquarters and Regional Offices to continue advancing our strategies to enhance gender responsiveness by developing tools and further conducting capacity building initiatives to fully mainstream GAD in the agency. Let us continuously be attentive of the need to improve the effectiveness of our responses to emerging and existing challenges on gender. And let us ensure that our actions not only address the most pressing concerns of women in BJMP but also reach out to our male colleagues. Let us make change work for every Juana and Juan in the BJMP!