June 17, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

HREP, GDFPS launch gender- fair language guidebook

TO highlight the institution’s commitment to equity, justice, and inclusivity, the House of Representatives, through its Gender and Development Focal Point System (GDFPS), on Wednesday launched the “Inclusive Voices: A Gender-Fair Language Guidebook for Legislators, Legislative Staff, and the Public.” 

Through this 42-page guidebook on how to practice gender-fair language in written and spoken communication, the GDFPS aims to eliminate any bias or exclusion based on gender within the institution. 

The GDFPS emphasized that the use of gender-fair language is a powerful tool in promoting respect, acknowledging diversity, and ensuring that everyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and for one to feel valued and represented.

Committee on accounts chairperson and Tingog Party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez congratulated the GDFPS headed by Secretary General Reginald Velasco and co-chaired by Deputy Secretary General for Legal Affairs Department Atty. Annalou Nachura, as well as all the members of the Editorial Board, the contributors, and the layout, design, and printing team. 

She said the guidebook publication marks a turning point that demonstrates the HRep and GAD FPS’ commitment to meaningful progress.

“I have always believed that language is powerful in many ways. In a society with various persuasions, language has the power to unite. It reflects our shared identity by facilitating communication and fostering understanding. Language is also the vessel that carries our ideals and aspirations as a nation. As reflected in no less than the Constitution, it provides, in no uncertain language, that the Filipino nation wants to build a ‘just and humane society’ under the ‘rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace.’ I am sure you all agree with me when I say that those are not empty words. That as a nation, we live by those values and we commit to promote them for the benefit of everyone. It is in that context by which this guidebook is created,” Romualdez said.

She expressed hope that through the use of gender-fair language, diversity is recognized, respect and fairness are observed, and inclusion is promoted. 

“When we use gender-fair language, we break outdated stereotypes, eliminate discriminatory references, and we broaden expressions. Moreover, we empower sectors and contribute to the realization of the fundamental equality of all sexes and genders. “May the guidebook bring light to all these unseen barriers and guide us in ensuring that the language of our laws, official communications, and even the language of our dialogues and conversations, would reflect gender fairness. More importantly, may it drive us forward with renewed passion as we continue this path to a society of inclusive voices,” she added.

Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, committee on women and gender equality chairperson, said the HRep, through this initiative, sets a gold standard for gender inclusivity. 

“We are not just lawmakers, we are culture-shapers and role models. By adopting gender-fair language, we are sending a clear message that every person, regardless of their gender identity or expression, deserves to be acknowledged and respected. We are not just setting the gold standard, we are redefining that gold standard,” Roman said.

She also stressed that the guidebook is a tool that empowers everyone to break down the barriers of discrimination and bias. 

“It reminds us to be mindful of our words, to speak with empathy, and to promote a culture of equality. Let this guidebook serve as a reminder that in our pursuit of gender equality, every word counts,” she added.  

The Gender and Development Technical Working Group also helped the GDFPS in the publication of the guidebook.