Press Release
November 12, 2018


A labor delegation from Sweden visited the Senate of the Philippines on Monday and met Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros where they discussed women, human rights and democracy issues. The delegation is led by the Olof Palme International Center (OPIC), the umbrella organization of the broad Swedish labor movement that works for democracy, human rights and peace.

"I am delighted to welcome the Swedish labor delegates into our country. I am happy to discuss with them our important work here in the Senate, particularly our efforts to advance health and women's rights, and in defending human rights and democracy. I hope this exchange will promote greater solidarity and understanding between our countries," Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros, Chair of the Senate Committee on Women, presented some of the legislative achievements posted by the Senate on health and women rights. She highlighted the passage of the Expanded Maternity Leave Law, the Strengthened Anti-Hospital Deposit Law, the Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act, the Children in Situation of Armed Conflict Law and the First 1000 days or the Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay, as some examples.

Inspired by Sweden

"I take pride in the fact that a revolutionary provision in our Expanded Maternity Leave Law, which allows working mothers to transfer some of their leave credits to their husbands and partners was inspired by Sweden's "father qouta" which reserves a part of maternity leave periods for fathers," Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros, who is sponsor of the law, explained that the measure's "daddy quota" provision allows the allocation of 7 maternity leave days to fathers, thereby increasing the paternity leave days of working men to 14 days from the current 7 days.

Hontiveros nominated to the Silver Rose Awards

Meanwhile, the OPIC has nominated Hontiveros for the prestigious Silver Rose Awards next year for her remarkable work on social justice. The Silver Rose Awards is a prestigious European award-giving body in the European parliament that celebrates civil society organisations and individuals whose extraordinary struggles contribute greatly to social justice and solidarity throughout the world. It is organized by SOLIDAR, a European netowork of civil society groups working for social justice.

Former winners of the SOLIDAR Silver Rose Awards include; Juan Somavia (2005), the former General Director of the International Labor Organization, the Sudan Organisation Against Torture (2006), Aminatou Haidar(2007), Western Sahara human rights defender, Plataforma de Mujeres Aristas contra la Violencia de Genero (2007), Spanish group of musicians, the Columbian Trade Union Federations (2010), Gunter Wallraff (2015), German author and undercover journalist, and many more.

"I am humbled by this nomination. I strongly believe that democracy is a universal value. Our continuing journey toward a more participatory and pluralist society is the best guarantee that we can create a nation that will truly protect and realize all our human rights and aspirations," Hontiveros said.

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