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Women’s Empowerment and Economic Sustainability During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Davao Oriental, Southern Philippines

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The crisis during the pandemic restrained the livelihood of women and disrupted their economic opportunities. Specifically, during the height of the lockdown, when people were restricted from going out, the livelihood of women who sold and peddled seafood products was greatly affected. This paper unfolds women’s socio-demographic profile and knowledge regarding the laws for protecting women’s rights in the lexis of the Republic Act No. 9710, also known as the Magna Carta of Women, and their economic condition in the informal economy during the pandemic. This descriptive mixed method quantitatively surveyed 70 women and another 10 women for the Key Informant Interviews (KIIs). The findings have shown that women in the informal economy were predominantly in the middle and late adulthood stage, married, the majority had a low level of education (i.e., elementary & high school levels) and were the breadwinners in the family. Also, the average size of each family consisted of 7 members with an average family monthly income of 7,407 pesos. The themes unearthed that informants perceived the Magna Carta of Women as unfamiliar and vague concepts, inconsistent implementation, and responsive leadership. On the other note, informants highlighted that the imagery of women in society gained parity in gender roles. It was revealed that women struggled with delayed assistance, parental obligations, prejudice, and partial treatment.

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Social Sciences, Education, other