Monday, May 20, 2024

SM advocates for women’s rights and creates safe spaces for women stakeholders in their malls

SM advocates for women’s rights and creates safe spaces for women stakeholders in their malls

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SM Supermalls, the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) recently held the very first Nationwide Orientation on the Safe Spaces Act last Tuesday, October 3, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena Annex (MAAX) Building, with other attendees joining via online platforms.

Gender-based sexual harassment in public, private, and even online areas is illegal under the Safe Spaces Act, also known as the Bawal Bastos Law. SM organized the nationwide seminar as a continuation of the MOA that was signed with the PCW last August during the GADTimpala Awards, with the goal of educating its Mall Managers, Mall Operations and Customer Relations Services teams and janitorial and security personnel on how to create safe spaces for women both within and outside SM malls.

SM Supermalls Senior Vice President for Mall Operations, Engr. Bien C. Mateo; Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Undersecretary for Workers’ Welfare and Protection Cluster, Atty. Benjo Santos M. Benavidez; Philippine Commission on Women Executive Director and Officer-in-Charge, Atty. Kristine Rosary E. Yuzon-Chaves; Philippine Commission on Women Deputy Executive Director for Management Services, Atty. Khay Ann Magundayao-Borlado; SM Corporate Compliance Group Assistant Vice President Atty. Pearly Joan J. Turley and Vice President Engr. Liza B. Silerio were all present at the orientation.

7,614 attendees from SM malls nationwide participated in learning more about making sure SM malls are a safe and inclusive space.

“SM has a long-standing commitment to ensuring that women feel supported, safe, and empowered, not just within SM premises but in every other aspect of their lives,” said SM Supermalls Senior Vice President Engr. Bien C. Mateo. “We are hoping that this orientation will encourage cultivating an environment where women are free and safe to be themselves.”

SM shows its support for its female stakeholders through various programs, such as the establishment of 80 breastfeeding stations throughout its malls through SM Supermalls, promoting breast cancer awareness and recognizing women by sponsoring the Women’s International Network for Disaster Risk Reduction Leadership Awards in the Asia Pacific region. Additionally, the orientation supports the SM Cares Advocacy for Women, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly “SDG 5: Gender Equality”, and is part of SM Supermalls’ compliance with the law.