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The Labor Department’s research arm Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) has partnered with UN Women Philippines for the 4th Strategic Conversations series held on February 14-15, 2012 at the Bayleaf Hotel, Intramuros, Manila.

With the theme, “Promoting Inclusive Growth for All through Gender Equality, Migrant Rights and Decent Work,” the ILS’ annual research conference brought together a diverse group of its constituents and stakeholders. The business community, workers’ organizations, community groups, international development partners, the academe, DOLE bureaus, attached agencies and regional offices nationwide and other government agencies that promote decent work validated or critiqued key researches on the theme.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, delivered the keynote address by identifying the gains of the department in promoting gender equality and migrants’ rights. In her speech, Secretary Baldoz highlighted Department initiatives on gender, including its own DOLE Internal Participatory Gender Audit to determine how gender-sensitive DOLE’s offices, policies and programs are.

“We at DOLE are very much committed in realizing gender equality and women empowerment. We believe that promoting inclusive growth, which is the marching order of President Aquino, is inextricably linked with gender equality. Addressing biases based on gender predispositions can provide the enabling environment where both women and men can contribute and benefit from development,” said Baldoz.

Giving the message of support to the Conference was Bangkok-based Ms. Deepa Bharati, Program Manager for Gender and Migration of UN Women In Asia, an organization under the United Nations family.

A Unique Opportunity

“This is a unique opportunity for DOLE policy analysts and programs leaders and its development partners to contribute in the strategic conversations on decent work, particularly on its implications on gender and migrant workers’ rights,” said Executive Director Cynthia Cruz of the ILS.

UN Women is an international organization, committed to promoting women’s rights and achieving gender equality. It advocates for the fundamental right of women to live lives free from discrimination and violence, and for gender equality in achieving development and building just societies.

“We are happy to be part of this year’s ILS research conference, particularly with this focus on gender and migration. We hope that through this collaborative conference, we can integrate the gender dimension in policy research and advocacy,” said UN Women Philippines National Coordinator Aida Jean Manipon.

“Consistent with the Labor and Employment Plan 2011-2016, we are constantly searching for the policy options that will enable inclusive growth through gender equality, decent and productive work. Our researches show that this can be done in the areas of employment, workers’ rights, social protection and social dialogue,” said Cruz.

The two-day Strategic Conversations were organized into sessions covering the four thematic areas on Expanding Partnerships and Improving Systems for Social Dialogue; Improving Social Protection; Improving Employment Outcomes thru Adaptation Initiatives and Increasing Mobility; and, Promoting Workers’ Rights.

The ILS was created in July 1987 by virtue of Executive Order No. 257. Since its creation the Institute has always been at the forefront of labor and employment policy research and advocacy providing strategic policy research for the Department of Labor and Employment.

(For more information on this press release please contact Ms. LINARTES M. VILORIA, Chief Labor & Employment Officer, Advocacy & Publications Division, Institute for Labor Studies, Telephone Nos.: 5273490 / 5273447)

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