MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) lauds Procter & Gamble Philippines on their commitment to promote Equality and Inclusion inside and outside the workplace with their new Share the Care program.
In a virtual engagement, PCW and P&G discuss how Share the Care aligns with PCW’s priority initiatives and commitment to ‘Recognize, Reduce, and Redistribute’ domestic obligations to both partners, especially on child-rearing. Even before the pandemic, women, and girls globally have already been bearing the greater burden of unpaid care and domestic work. In the Philippines, females spend a disproportionate amount of time on child care, elderly care, and housework, while males spend about twice as much time on paid market work. This advocacy is even more important in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has provided both an added burden and a unique opportunity. The Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) estimates that [women’s] unpaid work in the care economy is worth at least 40 USD billion, roughly 20% of the country’s GDP.
While gone unmeasured in national statistics, PCW says that the unequal distribution of domestic work affects women’s and girls’ rights to education, economic participation, as well as rest and leisure activities. It reduces their productivity and increases the likelihood of employment in low-paid, part-time, and informal work.
P&G’s Share the Care program, a new industry-leading paid parental leave program, helps address the redistribution issue of unpaid care by providing 8 weeks of fully paid parental leave for fathers. The groundbreaking paid parental leave program actually applies to all P&G parents who are welcoming new children to their families, regardless of gender or marital status. This offers all parents – biological, adopting, domestic partners, LGBTQ+, men and women – the equal opportunity to share the care of and bond with biological or adopted children new to their family. Birthing mothers continue to receive the 105 days of fully paid maternity leave to allow for recovery, a practice in place within the company even before the Expanded Maternity Leave Law.
“Our Share the Care program removes the gender-bias and outdated stereotypes of child-care. Employers have a critical role to play in fostering equality and inclusion. We are committed to champion and set higher standards for the industry hoping it will spark positive change and action in the industry, in the country, in communities, and among families.” says Raffy Fajardo, P&G President, and General Manager.
PCW aims to raise more awareness in this sector by reinforcing several laws that focus on redistributing unpaid care and domestic work such as ‘The Family Code’ that affirms ‘spouses are jointly responsible for the support of the family,’ the Magna Carta of Women, where parents and government workers have 3-7 days of special leaves to attend to family matters such as birthdays, graduations, or attend to funerals, and Senate Bill Nos. 963, 1063 and 1209, all of which seek to increase paternity leaves to 30 working days.
“PCW, along with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), aims to develop plans to strengthen the recognition and promotion of the redistribution of the unpaid care work in the Philippines. P&G’s Share the Care program is a good step towards making that into a reality as it shows the kind of positive support, action, and collaboration we hope to receive from stakeholders,” said Atty. Kristine Yuzon-Chaves, PCW Executive Director.
On top of Share the Care, Flex leaves, another progressive P&G policy, provides employees with paid leave to attend to their personal needs spanning emergencies to special moments such as milestone birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, or graduation, on top of the standard vacation leaves.
Equality and inclusion are at the heart of the company’s culture. The Share the Care program is part of a global integrated campaign called, “We See Equal” which aspires to create a company and a world where equality and inclusion are achievable for all. Beyond launching Share the Care, P&G has recently committed to advance Gender Equality in the Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa region by educating 30 million adolescent girls on puberty and hygiene through its Always and Whisper ‘Keeping Girls in School’ program over the next three years, spending a cumulative total of $200 million US dollars for women-owned businesses by 2025 and achieving a 50-50 gender balance across its management workforce. In the Philippines, the current P&G workforce has already achieved more than 50% gender balance, having 54% of the female employees working at the top management level.