Student councils and political parties train for human rights and anti-discrimination in schools

9 02 2012

Student councils and political parties train for human rights and anti-discrimination in schools

MANILA – FEBRUARY 2012

The Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, in partnership with Babaylanes Inc., reaffirmed its call towards gender equality and LGBT (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgendered) rights through a gender workshop entitled “Human Rights and SOGI in Universities” held at the College of Saint Benilde last February 4, 2012. Babaylanes, Inc. is the alumni association of Babaylan, the only progressive LGBT organization in the University of the Philippines.

“The training module is to protect LGBT rights and provide a social support system by fostering a sense of community among the youth”, Babaylanes, Inc. Executive Director Ramille Andag said.

Student leaders from the Ateneo de Manila University, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, University of the Philippines Diliman, University of the Philippines Manila, De La Salle University and College of Saint Benilde convened for the training. Sharlene Ku, Secretary-General of Bagong Benilde Party, said that progressive political parties should work in solidarity to answer society’s demands for genuine social change, especially in securing the rights and welfare of students, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Among the trainers were Ramille Andag and Akbayan LGBT Convenor Jonas Bagas. Commissioner-at-Large for the National Youth Commission and SCAP Founding Chairperson Percival Cerdana also facilitated an in-depth discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity.

SCAP recognizes the need to remedy discrimination against the LGBT community. SCAP National Secretariat Head Migs Angeles noted that discrimination and violence based on gender is a serious problem in schools in the Philippines.

“Because of the macho and conservative culture present in most schools, gender-based discrimination in various forms exists. This serves as a challenge for young progressive leaders to ensure equality in universities, especially in a society where anti-LGBT groups wield great influence in,” Angeles quipped.

In this light, SCAP has been pushing for the passage of the Students Rights and Welfare Bill (HB2190) and the Anti-Discrimination Bill (HB515), both filed by Akbayan Reps. Walden Bello and Kaka Bag-ao.

“As campus elections are being held, it is high time student political parties and student councils become more responsive towards securing a campus environment free from discrimination”, Ku concluded.  #

The gender workshop is a part of a series of events for SCAP’s STOP THE HATE campaign
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