The hand that rocks the cradle
If you are familiar with the works of Scottish-American poet William Ross Wallace, you’d recognize the column title as part of the most famous line in his poem “What Rules the World” which goes:
They say that man is mighty,
He governs land and sea,
He wields a mighty scepter
O’er lesser powers than he;
But mightier power and stronger
Man from his throne has hurled,
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
As March 8 is International Women’s Day, we’d like to pay tribute to the other half of the population without whose presence life on this planet would be totally uninteresting, dull and dreary.
For sure, women all over the world will be celebrating in various ways. Activists in some 30 countries including the US and the Philippines will hold a general strike called “A Day Without Woman.” American women say the strike is a statement that they decry the misogyny of Donald Trump and his administration. In the Philippines, Gabriela says the women’s strike is against imperialism, fascism and patriarchy, as well as a demand for land, work, decent wages, safe working conditions and the emancipation of women from oppression and exploitation.
So if you literally see red today, don’t be surprised because a lot of people will probably be wearing red as a show of solidarity. And since women are urged to take the day off from paid and unpaid labor,” there’s a chance a lot of offices and other places will be women-challenged, and many public schools in the US are actually closed for the day. (No such thing here, though, to the secret disappointment of many students.) In case you are wondering, hubbies are being encouraged to be supportive by staying at home to take care of the home and mind the children.
History buffs say it’s rather ironic that a great nation like the US has yet to see a female become president. The Philippines already had two (although opinion is still divided on whether such periods in our history were positive or otherwise), and recent developments also show that more and more women are breaking the proverbial glass ceiling in areas traditionally dominated by men.
A few days from now, the Philippine Military Academy’s Sanggalang ay Lakas at Buhay Para sa Kalayaan Ng Inang Bayan (Salaknib) Class of 2017 will be graduating with Rovi Mareil Martinez, a female cadet as top graduate. Out of the Top 10, eight are women—definitely a historic feat since the PMA started taking in females in 1993. Not that Martinez is the first female to top the PMA, though, because that honor belongs to Arlene dela Cruz of PMA Masikhay Class 1999. Unfortunately, Dela Cruz died in a mysterious car accident in Bataan in 2008. She was only 34 at the time, with the rank of Navy Lieutenant Senior Grade (Captain).
In 2011, the AFP had its first female general in the person of Brigadier General Ramona Palabrica Go. Just a clarification though because while there have been other “female” generals in the AFP, they are not regular officers like Go, who finished the Officer Candidate Course at the Women’s Royal Australian Army Corps School. (This Ulirang Ina Awardee successfully ran for mayor of San Enrique in Iloilo in 2013, but lost her re-election bid in May last year.)
Cheers! to Senators Risa Hontiveros and Sonny Angara for pushing the Expanded Maternity Leave Act that was recently approved on third and final reading by the Senate, 22-0. The proposed bill gives working moms (both single and married) an additional 60 days of paid maternity leave, bringing the total to 120 days. The bill also allows new mothers to extend their maternity leave to another 30 days (but unpaid, though). The bill also gives father 30 days of paid paternity leaves instead of the current seven
Kudos also to the co-authors and sponsors, namely Senators Loren Legarda, Nancy Binay, Sonny Trillanes, Kiko Pangilinan and Manny Pacquiao. If passed into law, the bill will allow moms to have more time to bond with their newborn and also give them enough time to look for suitable caregivers (or make alternative arrangements since it is rather difficult to look for trustworthy nannies or household helpers nowadays).
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