Strengthening Capacities and Linkages of Civil Society Groups and Academic Institutions to Promote Gender-Sensitive and Rights-Based Perspectives through Citizens’ Electoral Participation

    Principal researcher: Sylvia Estrada Claudio

      Co-researcher: Ibarra Gutierrez


      The Filipino research explores the role of digital media in empowering young people through health information. It is based on a citizens’ journalism project which involves youth groups making use of digital technologies. The team collaborates with an NGO working on sexual and reproductive rights in ten slums, six of which are in metro Manila. They will create an online platform that will serve as a space for the experiences, needs and desires of marginalised women, men and youth in order to influence law-makers into passing a reproductive health law. After having launched the website and an online newspaper, the team has trained community-based activists on basic computer skills: news and feature writing, blogging/internet journalism, basic photography, newspaper and website management. The activists will generate stories grounded in everyday realities of their communities, more specifically about the need of marginalised women, men and youth for reproductive health services. The project is related to capacity building and linking of civil society organisations in the context of greater gender-sensitivity and rights-based perspectives.


      Sylvia Estrada-Claudio is a doctor of medicine who also holds a PhD in Psychology. She is Director of the University of the Philippines Center for Women’s Studies and Professor of the Department of Women and Development Studies, College of Social Work and Community Development, University of the Philippines. She is the author of the book, “Rape, Love and Sexuality: The Construction of Woman in Discourse” (UP Press, 2002). She is co-founder, and now Chair of the Board of Directors of Likhaan, which is a non-governmental organisation working on a broad spectrum of social issues. She is a member of the Executive Committee of Akbayan, a political party that upholds socialist feminist ideals and aims to break away from Philippine politics. She is also Chair of the Board of the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights. Sylvia has also been involved at the national level in monitoring the implementation of the CEDAW, ICPD and the Beijing Platform on Women.


      Ibarra M. Gutierrez III is an Assistant Professor at the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law, teaching courses on Human Rights, Criminal Law, Local Governments, Public Officers and Election Law, and Property Law. Concurrently, he also holds the position of Director of the Institute of Human Rights at the UP Law Center since 2001. As a student, he was the Editor of the Philippine Collegian, the student paper of the University of the Philippines (UP) and Chairperson of the popularly elected UP University Student Council. As a lawyer, he worked with Alternative Legal Assistance Center (ALAC), a NGO engaged in providing legal education and assistance to the underprivileged. He has also served in government as Chief Legal Counsel for the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), and acted as a technical consultant and adviser on numerous initiatives undertaken by government agencies and legislative offices, principally in relation to human rights concerns.