Utzurrum: Passage of ‘Sogie: Anti-Discriminatory Bill’

·2 min read

THE upliftment of the status of women is the lofty and relevant mission of Zonta International Clubs worldwide. Zontians also aim to foster and accomplish together the pursuit of equality and growth, empowering women to bring harmony and peace globally.

Zontians are a dynamic and dedicated group, composed of professionals, executives as well as businesswomen who jointly sustain the noble objectives of the Club’s various projects: Women’s advocacy, livelihood, scholarships and presently, the immediate concern for Gender Identity and Expression.

In celebration of Women’s Month this year, the Zonta Club of Cebu 2 (PH) hosted the “Sogie 101”- Understanding Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression” webinar to call an end to gender-based discrimination and uphold the basic human rights of people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identity and expression.

March, being Women’s Month, the webinar was set on the 12th, and aimed to increase awareness on the dimensions of human sexuality to prevent acts of discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, reinforcing the message of inclusivity in their communities.

Esteemed speakers were former National Youth Commission and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) advocate Percival Cendana, who expounded on constructs of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Cendana also introduced basic terminology related to each construct and discussed the implications for establishing affirming, safe-space environments for people of all identities.

In the next part of the webinar, lawyer Jazz Tamayo led a discussion on the salient points of Senate Bill No. 1934 or the Anti-Discrimination Based on Sogie Law. The bill is the longest-running under the Senate interpellation period in Philippine history, mired in the legislative body for more than 20 years. Both Sen. Risa Hontiveros and Rep. Geraldine Roman, principal authors of the bill, expressed messages of support. They declared that the proposed law would ensure that all people, regardless of their Sogie, could exercise their rights to life, education, employment and expression without fear of reprisal or discrimination.

The webinar counted with more than 600 participants, among them students, lawyers, Zontians, mental health and community service-focused organizations LGBTQ advocate groups, the police, social welfare government units and other equal rights duty bearers.

Were you one of them?

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