When I first received the letter of “Furious Teacher” in my e-mail (published Aug. 14), what I wanted was to help a single, unwed, pregnant woman who I felt was being given a raw deal by her unenlightened superior.
I just knew that it didn’t take rocket science for the school principal to understand what “Furious Teacher” was going through—that it was basic human kindness to help and do what was right—and that was to allow this woman take a leave and be hospitalized, married or not.
In the days that followed the letter’s publication, I received quite a volume of letters from other women who wanted their stories known because they, too, suffered the same fate as “Furious Teacher”—all victimized by employers and their ignorance of the law.
Little did I know there’d also be a slew of support from indignant readers, both local and foreign, men and women alike, who all e-mailed portions of Republic Act No. 9710, also known as the The Magna Carta of Women. They asked me that I share the law with readers who may be uninformed as well.
The following are the salient points of the law women—both married and single—should take note of.
Chapter IV of the Magna Carta of Women on Rights and Empowerment; Section 13 on Equal Access and Elimination of Discrimination in Education, Scholarships and Training.
“Expulsion and non-readmission of women faculty due to pregnancy outside of marriage shall be outlawed.”
“(c) Expulsion and non-readmission of women faculty due to pregnancy outside of marriage shall be outlawed. No school shall turn out or refuse admission of a female student solely on the account of her having contracted pregnancy outside of marriage during her term in school.”
The Implementing Rules and Regulations of said law further states that the DepEd, CHED and TESDA shall monitor and ensure compliance of educational institutions to the following:
1. “Women faculty who become pregnant outside of marriage shall not be discriminated by reason thereof. They shall not be dismissed, separated from work, forced to go on leave, reassigned or transferred. They shall have access to work already held with no diminution in rank, pay or status and shall be entitled to all benefits accorded by law and by the concerned learning institutions;”
Section 8. Human Rights of Women.—All rights in the Constitution and those rights recognized under international instruments duly signed and ratified by the Philippines, in consonance with Philippine law, shall be rights of women under this Act to be enjoyed without discrimination.”
Section 16 (C) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9710, “Women faculty who become pregnant outside of marriage shall not be discriminated by reason thereof. They shall not be dismissed, separated from work, forced to go on leave, reassigned or transferred.”
When needed, an unwed pregnant faculty member shall be accorded with a special leave of absence from school upon advice of the attending physician.
Section 18. Special Leave Benefits for Women.—A woman employee having rendered continuous aggregate employment service of at least six months for the last twelve months shall be entitled to a special leave benefit of two months with full pay based on her gross monthly compensation following surgery caused by gynecological disorders.
Section 35. Discrimination Against Women is Prohibited. Public and private entities and individuals found to have committed discrimination against women shall be subject to the sanctions provided in Section 41 hereof. Violations of other rights of women shall be subject to sanctions under pertinent laws and regulations.
Many, many thanks to the very concerned readers, here and abroad, who took time from their busy schedules to make known their indignation at the prevailing ignorance on what is already supposed to be common knowledge, and for furnishing me passages from the Magna Carta for Women.
Your generosity and compassion will help illuminate the very dark path still followed by many companies and people in positions of power.