The Commission on Human Rights, as Gender and Development Ombud under the Magna
Carta of Women undertakes regular monitoring of women’s human rights, especially women in
the marginalized sectors. One of the key sectors identified by the Magna Carta of Women are
women fisherfolks. As such, in its mission to ensure that no one is left behind, conducted a twoday focus group discussion in Region VII specifically in the city of Talisay, Province of Cebu.
Held last October 16, 2020 for government service providers and civil society organizations took
part as stakeholders.
While the women fisherfolks are amongst the most vulnerable, the Commission has not
had the occasion of focusing on their specific issues and situation. It has been emphasized that the
Philippines, being an archipelago, has for its key industries, the fisheries – and yet despite this,
fisherfolks, and most especially women fisherfolks are among the poorest. With the COVID-19
pandemic with its vast economic impact, fisherfolks are among those affected, and yet, as always
often invisible in the public discourse. With this, the Commission on Human Rights, with its 16
regional offices, which serve as Gender Ombud in their areas of jurisdiction, will be undertaking
sectoral monitoring focused on women fisherfolks, including women and girls at risk of trafficking
in areas considered as fishing communities.
Through this sectoral monitoring, the Commission, as Gender Ombud contributes in
ensuring that no one is left behind. We will render the voices and experiences of women fisherfolks
visible, we will make visible their many roles as fisherfolks, we will inquire into their participation
and inclusion in government programming, particularly covering this period of pandemic. Through
recommendations from the women fisherfolks themselves we will work towards a better new
normal.

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