Binay pushes for gender equality in Family Code

SENATOR Nancy Binay is pushing for amendments to the Family Code of the Philippines in order to achieve “gender equality” on marital consent of parents.

Binay said that the Family Code still has provision that unduly prejudices women despite reforms addressing gender equality.

These include a provision on giving marital consent of the father to the marriage of a child between ages 18 to 21.

Such provision, Binay said, clearly shows the preferred consent of the father to the marriage of a child over the consent of the mother.  Binay wants to include the mother in giving marital consent to children who are getting married.

“There is no rational explanation for the preference for paternal marital consent. The Family Code itself recognizes that, save for certain instances, men and women, as regards their children, are partners of equal status and thus exercise joint parental authority,” she said in seeking to amend Article 14 of Executive Order No. 209 through Senate Bill No. 1952 which is still pending before the Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality.

“This bill proposes to eliminate vestige of gender insensitive provisions of the Family Code and strengthen the equality of men and women, particularly in their family relations,” she added.

Under the existing Family Code, which came into effect on Aug. 3, 1988, women are supposed to be no longer subservient to men and are an equal partner in various family matters concerning, among others, the community property and parental authority.

The consent to the marriage of “either parent, the guardian or persons having legal charge” of either or both of the contracting parties who are between the ages of 18 and 21, should suffice in applying for a marriage license, Binay said in proposing the amendment.