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Ms. Noralyn Jubaira Baja is the first female Ambassador of the Philippines to South Africa. She is a career diplomat who rose from the ranks. Prior to her latest appointment, she was the Assistant Secretary of the Office of United Nations and International Organizations at the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs. She served in the Philippine diplomatic missions in Geneva, Berlin and Athens.

 

“The Philippine Embassy wishes to greet all South African women a Happy Women’s Month. Just like South Africa, the Philippines attaches great importance to promoting and protecting the rights of women and girls. The Philippines has consistently put gender equality issues at the forefront of national and international discourse. In 1973, two (2) Filipino female diplomats, Leticia Ramos-Shahani and Minerva Falcon initiated the drafting and negotiation of a landmark treaty on women empowerment – the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). In 2009, the country passed into law the Magna Carta of Filipino Women which is the country’s domestic translation of its commitments under CEDAW. Aside from CEDAW, the country also signed and/or ratified international instruments on the rights of women such as the Equal Remuneration Convention and  Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). The Philippines is one of the countries that adopted the Beijing Platform for Action which flagged key areas where urgent action was needed to ensure greater equality and opportunities for women and men, girls and boys by laying out concrete ways for countries to bring about change. At the regional front, the Philippines actively participates in the following platforms under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), namely, the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Women (AMMW), ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW) and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC). The Philippines is also a strong advocate of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda as it recognizes the vital role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and peacebuilding. The country adopted its first National Action Plan for the implementation of the WPS in 2010. I continue to be inspired by women trailblazers in the Philippine foreign service, and their contribution to address national and global challenges of our times.” – Noralyn Jubaira Baja