“oh! what he did was so unfair, that was very unjust” we often hear other people say this line whenever their rights are being trampled or infringed. We read this daily on the news paper, hear news on the television regarding thereto, activists screams about it saying, “ipaglaban ang ating pagkakapantay-pantay”, an accused invoking it before the judge notwithstanding the gravity of his offense for him to be rescued from the wrath of law. In other words, they are asserting their right to equality. Equality is indeed a right primordial to man, inherent ever since the inception of his existence. A universal right deemed to be inviolable. A right once deprived from man can cause his humanity to be terminated. Equality is not a privilege, it is a right therefore, everyone is entitled to the exercise and satisfaction thereof. Article III, sec. 1 of the 1987 Constitution states that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of laws. Take note the phrase “equal protection of laws” the constitution affirmed that “all persons are subject to legislation should be treated alike, under any circumstances and conditions both in the privileges conferred and liabilities imposed” this is in consonance with what Thomas Paine said” what is my right ought to be a right of others.” However, how important is equality to the so-called protected groups most especially in terms of employmeent? Let us first identify who are the protected groups. First women, society considers man as the superior sex and confers upon the former the stereotype that they are of inferior sex and being so they are only expected to be staying at home, doing household chores, taking after the kids while the husband is out hunting for food. This the traditional or conventional concept before, now everything has changed, “tempura mutamur nos et mutantur”- the times are changing and we are changing with them. For this very reason, the legislators passed series of laws to protect the women from discrimination, unjust labor employment and to walk abreast with the pace of modernity. An example thereof is the “Magna Cara for Women’s Rights”. This seeks to empower women, breach and debunk the misconception of society. Article V of the aforementioned law provides, The State, as the primary duty-bearer, shall:
(a) Refrain from discriminating against women and violating their rights; (b) Protect women against discrimination and from violation of their rights by private corporations, entities, and individuals; and (c) Promote and fulfill the rights of women in all spheres, including their rights to substantive equality and non-discrimination. The State shall fulfill these duties through law, policy, regulatory instruments, administrative guidelines, and other appropriate measures, including temporary special measures. Recognizing the interrelation of the human rights of women, the State shall take measures and establish mechanisms to promote the coherent and integrated implementation, and enforcement of this Act and related laws, policies, or other measures to effectively stop discrimination against and advance the rights of women. The State shall keep abreast with and be guided by progressive developments in human rights of women under international law and design of policies, laws, and other measures to promote the objectives of this Act. Employment is not anchored on gender but to the capability of a person vying for the job thus we hear women say what man can do, we (women) can likewise do. In effect, gender is an immaterial or irrelevant basis for an employee to exclude a woman to be hired for it will not contribute to the acquisition and accumulation of profit to any business or government establishment. Furthermore, the Labor Code expressly provides in article 135 to wit; It shall be unlawful for any employer to discriminate against any woman employee with respect to terms and...
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