Gender and Development Resource Center Director, Dr. Susan G. Tan, and In-Charge for Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation, Ms. Raecel A. Estebat served as resource speakers during the 2022 Employee’s Orientation Cum Capability Enhancement for Teachers on 20-21 September at the International Convention Center.

In her discussion of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 (RA 7877), Dr. Tan emphasized that the victim’s perception of the situation as ‘wanted’ or ‘unwanted’ will determine whether it is a form of sexual harassment or not.

Dr. Tan also said that the all employees, applicants or candidates for employment, students, and those who are undergoing training or education (trainees) are all covered by the said law. She enumerated that the possible offenders under the law can be a teacher, instructor, professor, coach, or trainer in school; employer, manager, a supervisor in the workplace; or any other person who has authority, influence, or moral ascendancy over another in either venue.

In addition, Dr. Tan discussed the salient features of the Safe Spaces Act (RA 11313). She explained the difference between the Safe Spaces Act and the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act to avoid confusion and added that the former is directly addressed to avoid gender-based harassment. Meanwhile, she also stated that under RA 7877, an offender must have authority, influence, or moral ascendancy over the victim of sexual harassment while RA 11313 dispenses with this requirement.

Meanwhile, Ms. Estebat discussed the importance of using gender-fair language to avoid discrimination against women or men when discussing a topic that applies to both sexes and the legal mandates relating to the said matter.

Ms. Estebat also gave suggestions on how to use non-sexist language and samples of discrimination using graphics/photos in instructional and other reading materials and discussed the sensitive language when talking to, referring to, or working with the community of persons with disability (PWD) and the importance of respectful disability language. (MCPSioco)