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Igniting Change through Legal Feminism in Philippine Jurisprudence

By Ma. Kristine Buenafe



As the world observes the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25 -  launching 18 days of activism that culminate on December 10, commemorating International Human Rights Day. 


This period stands as a collective call to action, shedding light on the pervasive issue of violence against women and underscoring the global commitment to fostering a safer, more equitable world for all.


In honor of this International Day, the European Union’s Governance in Justice (GOJUST) Programme in partnership with the Philippine Supreme Court  and the University of the Philippines College of Law Gender and Law Policy Program, today, 24 November 2023, the presented  the Study in Legal Feminism in Philippine Gender Jurisprudence at the Malcolm Theater at the University of the Philippines College of Law. 


Drawing an audience of over 250 participants, the event became a focal point for delving deeper into the intricacies of Philippine gender jurisprudence. The gathering sought to foster a more detailed understanding and deeper reflection on how these insights can contribute to equitable and inclusive adjudications.


The Programme Event featured the presentation of the results of the European Union-funded Legal Feminism in Philippine Gender Jurisprudence Study by Supreme Court Justice Maria Filomena D. Singh. This study delves into the judiciary's interpretation of gender-responsive laws, evaluating its ability to identify gender-informed remedies. 


It also scrutinizes the awareness of gender biases, inequalities, and discrimination evident in decisions, including stereotyping and gender-based violence. The study seeks to articulate corrective measures to address these biases and guide the Judiciary toward future actions for effective gender mainstreaming.


“It’s with great pride that we have seen the overwhelming reception of the study and the

impact it has already had and the manner in which the Supreme Court has adopted the

recommendations and published the findings even outside the Philippines such as when

Justice Singh presented the study at the International Association of Women Judges

conference in Morocco in May 2023,” said Christian Eldon, Team Leader of the European Union’s Governance in Justice (GOJUST) Project. 


“On behalf of the European Union’s GOJUST II Programme, I am pleased and

honoured to have been part of this novel research, the Legal Feminism in Philippine

Gender Jurisprudence, aimed at strengthening the judiciary’s gender justice efforts,” he added. 


Joining the event to turn over the Feminism Study from the Supreme Court are Jhosep Y. Lopez, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, and from the University of the Philippines, Professor E. Leo D. Battad, Program Director of the UP Gender Law Policy Program.



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