UP IHR explores the ‘Vernacularization’ Phenomenon of International Women’s Rights Standards and Norms
The UP Law Center Institute of Human Rights (UP IHR) organized a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) on 15 November 2023 as part of its research project titled “‘Vernacularization’ Phenomenon of International Women’s Rights Standards and Norms in the Philippines.” The FGD took off with the attendance of international and local NGO members, government officials, and members of the academe. Notably, participants hailed from esteemed institutions including Likhaan Center for Women’s Health, Department of Women and Development Studies, UP Diliman College of Social Work and Community Development, UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, Lilak Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights, CHR Center for Gender Equality and Women’s Human Rights, UP Diliman Gender Office, Asia Foundation and Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women.
Professor Elizabeth Aguiling-Pangalangan delivered the opening remarks, highlighting the importance of ensuring that women in our country, regardless of their background, have access to their fundamental rights. She also emphasized the goal of the project which is to shape the trajectory of international Women’s rights norms as practiced in our country. Meanwhile, UP IHR’s University Researcher Atty. James Gregory A. Villasis gave a brief overview of the project, delving into the concept of “vernacularization” ─ a practice where women’s rights are adapted to local language and cultural contexts to make complex concepts more relatable to the general public.
Atty. Villasis, the Lead Researcher of the Vernacularization project encouraged the participants to share their strategies, challenges, and experiences in the process of vernacularizing women’s rights in the Philippines. Each institution expounded on its own projects and the international women’s rights issue that set these projects in motion. The FGD ended on a positive note as participants imparted their success stories and their contributions to the pursuit of vernacularizing international women’s rights standards and norms. Atty. Daniel D. Lising, M.D., UP IHR’s Officer-In-Charge and Senior Law Reform Specialist, closed the event by underscoring that intersectionality and inclusivity are indispensable in any form of vernacularization. He emphasized that to better incorporate intersectionality the voices and experiences of women from various backgrounds are indispensable. UP IHR’s Research Assistants, Mr. Aerol Nebril and Ms. Yumi Paras emceed the forum.