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House pays tribute to former Sen. Leticia Ramos-Shahani for greatly contributing to women’s global agenda & empowerment

MANILA, June 23 — The House of Representatives, before going on sine die adjournment, paid tribute to former senator, career diplomat and educator Dr. Leticia Ramos-Shahani for her invaluable contributions in shaping the women’s global agenda and pioneering initiatives for women empowerment.

The tribute was based on House Resolution 2007, which was adopted by the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality chaired by Rep. Linabelle Ruth R. Villarica (4th District, Bulacan), also the principal author of the measure, and subsequently adopted in plenary by the House members.

“In championing women’s agenda, Dr. Leticia Ramos-Shahani continues to inspire women to become agents of change towards the creation of a gender-fair society,” the resolution said.

The resolution is co-authored by Reps. Luzviminda C. Ilagan and Emmi A. de Jesus (Party-list, Gabriela), Leni Gerona-Robredo (3rd District, Camarines Sur), Kaka J. Bag-ao (Lone District, Dinagat Islands) and Josephine Veronique R. Lacson-Noel (Lone District, Malabon City).

Following the plenary adoption of HR 2007, House members led by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. honored Shahani with a Certificate of Recognition. Accompanying Shahani were her brother, former President Fidel V. Ramos, children Ranjit, Lila and Chanda Shahani, and other family members.

The resolution cited that Ramos-Shahani, a distinguished career diplomat, educator and former senator played an instrumental role in shaping the global women’s agenda by being one of the prime movers for the national and international recognition, protection and promotion of the rights and empowerment of women.

Moreover, it said Ramos-Shahani contributed in making Filipino women’s voices heard at the international political arena by being part of the Philippine diplomatic corps and serving in leadership and decision-making positions at the United Nations (UN), notable of which are being: the Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Status of Women; the Secretary-General of both the UN Third World Conference on Women and the Seventh UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Treatment of Offenders; and the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs, the highest rank a Filipino woman has held in the UN.

It was also Ramos-Shahani who wrote and presented the first working draft, then known as the “Philippine-Soviet Draft,” of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), introducing the first steps that would bring about positive change for women all over the world, the resolution said.

“She successfully shepherded, despite the acute differences in position among member-states, the unanimous adoption of the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, which served as a blueprint of action for promoting the role of women in peace and development, and laid the foundation for gender mainstreaming, among nation-states,” the resolution said.

Whereas, as a member of the Philippine Senate, the resolution said Ramos-Shahani championed the promotion and protection of the rights of Filipino women by: authoring Republic Act No. 6752, amending the Labor Code to provide equal pay for work of equal value, and R.A. 8353, the Anti-Rape Law of 1997, to make rape a public rather than a private crime; initiating the inclusion of the gender and development provision in the General Appropriations Act in 1997; firmly supporting legislative measures concerning women’s rights; and ensuring the gender-responsiveness of landmark laws in the areas of culture, education, agriculture and foreign service. (PNA)


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