Makati City, 18 June 2018 – There has been a wave of sexual harassment stories that sparked conversations and movements worldwide. With this as backdrop, the Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (PBCWE), a coalition of 7 large companies committed to pursue workplace gender equality, organized through the partnership between the Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PhilWEN) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Investing in Women Initiative, has teamed up with SPARK! (Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran, Inc), a women’s organization focused on women’s empowerment, to create a training manual and toolkit on the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace. The toolkit will provide private sector companies with concrete ways of addressing this issue.
Ma. Aurora “Boots” D. Geotina-Garcia, who is both the Chairperson of the Philippine Women’s Economic Network and Co-Chair of the Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment noted that: “Sexual harassment in the workplace creates a negative impact on efforts to increase the number of women in the workforce and women leaders in business. We talk a lot about empowering women, but we should also take the practical steps to protect them in their place of work.”
The training tools will be used by human resource practitioners in the private sector and will serve as a guide to both employers and workers on the practical actions to take in case they are confronted with the reality of sexual harassment in the workplace. “Through this partnership, we hope to do our part in putting an end to the culture where forms of sexual harassment are ignored, not recognized, tolerated or hidden under the rug, so to speak. When we create a safer workplace for women, one free of possible sexual harassment, we hope to witness the release of the full potential of women in their careers and at work,” said SPARK! President Imelda “Mely” Nicolas.
Upon the completion of the project, both PBCWE and SPARK would provide these modules to PBCWE member companies, and other interested companies nationwide.