We have seen throughout history the discrimination that women suffered all parts of the world. Women empowerment in America has come a long way now. However, in other parts of the world, there are still a disproportionate number of women living in poverty. In some countries, poverty has a feminine face.UNIFEM is the women's fund of the United Nations. It seeks to improve women empowerment and gender inequality in all countries by reducing feminized poverty, put an end to violence against women, reducing the spread of AIDS among women and to ensure gender equality in democratic governance.One of the core goals of UNIFEM is to end feminized poverty. To attain this, it has implemented strategies such as putting gender into trade and economic policies and expanding access to markets, goods and services. It also started to working with various countries such as Africa, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Ecuador and Brazil.In the Philippines, the bulk of UNIFEM's work is with migrant workers. They created savings and investment programs for those women returning from working abroad. There are also projects for home-based workers.This paper seeks to analyze how UNIFEM's strategies affect women in the Philippines. Will it work What could be made to improve the strategies Also, towards the end of the paper, I will discuss the impact of feminized poverty in the Philippines in my personal living in America and how it helped me become more aware of gender inequalities in the United States.Women shared an important role in the political history of the Philippines. They participated in the revolt against Spanish colonization in the 19th century. It was also a woman who led the fall of a dictatorship in the 1980's. And at present, the president of the country is a woman. It is safe to say that in the Philippines, woman are enjoy a greater equality with men as compared to its' neighboring countries. In fact, its' Constitution includes a clause imposing equal rights between men and women. And there is a number of anti-discrimination laws legislated.
Women's participation in the Philippine economy is also significant. However, they dominate only on the low level jobs like factory work and domestic help. On the contrary, men are still preferred for high position jobs. In a way, the glass ceiling still exists. And this is the reason why feminized poverty still exists in the Philippines.
Effect of Promotions for Women Migrant Workers
The Philippines have been progressive with respect to women's rights compared to its neighboring countries. As mentioned earlier, equality between men and women are already embodied in their Constitution. They have also adopted gender budgeting already.
As such, considering that a bulk of the migrant workers from the Philippines consists of women, the poverty reducing strategy that would have the most impact is the promotions for women migrant workers.
Even though Philippine laws already protect women's rights, when women go to another country, they don't enjoy the same privilege. The host country may have a culture of discrimination against women. Their laws may still offer no protection for women. As such, by going to such country, they open themselves to the discrimination and gender biases in the foreign country. And since they are foreigners, the host country owes them less protection compared to its citizens.
This is where the program of UNIFEM for migrant workers could be very helpful. UNIFEM could have an information dissemination campaign for women migrant workers so they would be more informed of their rights. If women are better informed of their rights, they would be less prone to abuses.
UNIFEM can also establish offices to aid and assist these women migrant workers. Because these women are not in their own country, they do not have their own support group to help them out. If they experience abuse from a citizen of the host country, it is but understandable that they are hesitant to seek help from