Recognizing Women’s Resilience and Addressing Gender Inequality

WOMEN CAN Women enrolled at the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) Regional Training Center in Taguig City are seen in these photos taken on Friday, March 8, 2024, performing tasks commonly associated with maledominated courses like Welding and Photovoltaic Systems Installation, to name a few. PHOTOS BY J. GERARD SEGUIA
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PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Friday hailed the resilience of women that helped shape the country’s development and, at the same time, highlighted the need to address lingering gender disparities.

“In an age marked by rapid growth and transformation, it is imperative for the global community to honor the incalculable worth of women’s contributions across all facets of society and sustain the gains that have emerged from their countless struggles and sacrifices,” Marcos said in his message on International Women’s Day.

“Yet, within our relentless pursuit of progress, we must confront the inequalities and disparities that still persist. By ending gender-based violence, discrimination, and biases that cast shadows over the realization of women’s dreams, we actively engage in a mission that nurtures equity, inclusion, and empowerment,” he said.

The President urged Filipinos to help create a more inclusive society.

“Through our collective efforts, have faith that we will bring about a kind of change that stands the test of time, resonates across borders, and reverberates in the core of our societies,” he said.

International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8, commemorates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

This year’s theme is “Inspire Inclusion.”

In her own message, Vice President Sara Duterte called for more opportunities for women, while condemning the atrocities of the New People’s Army against women.

“For us, women should be given the space, the opportunity and the freedom to decide and show their skills,” Duterte said.

She said violence against women is among the reasons why they die and live in poverty.

Duterte named government physician Sharmaine Baroquillo and lawyer-turned-NPA combatant Hannah Jay Cesista, who was killed after a clash in Bohol, who she described as “the one who fought a rotten ideology of terrorism and plans to overthrow a government.”

“There are also the mothers of youths who were armed and became victims of deception by the NPA who, until now, are still missing or have not gone home. Let us also not forget the mothers, wives, and sisters of police officers and soldiers who died to ensure our own and the country’s safety,” she said.

On Friday, the Gabriela Women’s Party joined other militant women groups in a march to Mendiola, Manila, to protest charter change.

“We are one with the wider groups of women who are against the proposal to change the current Constitution to introduce our economy to foreigners,” House Assistant Minority Leader and Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas said.

Brosas called for higher wages, the revitalization of the country’s agriculture industry and increased access of the poor to the country’s education system instead of pushing for charter change.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), meanwhile, called for gender equality and more investments for women.

UNFPA Philippines country representative Dr. Leila Joudane said the agency is alarmed by the rising number of cases of gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls.

Citing data from the 2022 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Joudane said that 18 percent of Filipino women who had a husband or an intimate partner reported having experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence by their partner.

Two out of every five victims did not seek help.

The same report showed that 286,000 or 5.6 percent of Filipino girls ages 15 to 19 are currently married or in union.

The practice of child marriage, or marrying under the age of 18, is the fifth most cited reason for youths ages 12 to 17 years old for not attending school, according to the 2019 Functional Literacy, Education, and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS) conducted by the PSA.

International Women’s Day serves as a reminder of the achievements, progress, and challenges faced by women around the world. It is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political contributions of women, while also acknowledging the work that still needs to be done to achieve gender equality.

In his message on International Women’s Day, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. emphasized the resilience and invaluable contributions of women to society. He called for the global community to recognize and sustain the progress that has been made through the struggles and sacrifices of women. However, he also highlighted the need to address the existing gender disparities and inequalities that continue to persist.

The President urged Filipinos to actively engage in a mission that promotes equity, inclusion, and empowerment. By ending gender-based violence, discrimination, and biases, he believes that a more inclusive society can be created. He emphasized the importance of collective efforts in bringing about lasting change that transcends borders and resonates at the core of societies.

Vice President Sara Duterte echoed the need for more opportunities for women and condemned the atrocities committed by the New People’s Army against women. She emphasized that violence against women contributes to their suffering and perpetuates the cycle of poverty. Duterte highlighted the stories of individuals who have fought against terrorism and those who have been affected by the deception of armed groups.

On International Women’s Day, various women’s groups, including the Gabriela Women’s Party, marched to Mendiola, Manila, to protest charter change. They expressed their opposition to the proposal of changing the current Constitution to introduce foreign involvement in the economy. Instead, they called for higher wages, the revitalization of the agriculture industry, and improved access to education for the poor.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) also emphasized the importance of gender equality and increased investments in women. The agency expressed concern over the rising number of cases of gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls. Data from the National Demographic and Health Survey revealed alarming statistics, including the prevalence of violence against women and the practice of child marriage.

International Women’s Day serves as a reminder of the progress made by women and the challenges that still need to be addressed. It is a call to action for individuals, communities, and governments to work towards a more inclusive and equal society. By recognizing and honoring the contributions of women, while actively addressing gender disparities, we can create a world where every individual has the opportunity to thrive and fulfill their potential.

Source: The Manila Times

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