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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Empowering women to break free from societal norms

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There are many societal expectations rooted in cultural stereotypes that women come to face on a day-to-day basis. Despite how damaging it can be for women to be limited to what society deems they should be, this practice has become normalized to the point that even women themselves put other women into the same box.

In honor of Women’s Month, customer experience and business process solutions provider TELUS International Philippines (TIP) has conducted the event “Tama na, 2024 na!” which aimed to empower women to break away from the expectations of society and tread a path of their own that resonates with who they really are.

During the event, TELUS International Senior Manager for Brand and Communications for Asia Pacific Pia Gajasan presented a survey that was conducted among TIP’s team members regarding their experiences with gender-based biases.

The survey found that women typically received questions about their physical appearance, relationship status, and personal life choices with such remarks being a reflection of the societal pressures placed on women. More than half of the women who said that they received such questions or comments have admitted to having their self-esteem negatively impacted by such remarks while some said these had influenced how they interacted with others.

Despite this, around 74 percent of the female respondents had admitted to also making these remarks to other women.

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“So as we can see, medyo cyclical siya, right? A lot of us receive these comments, these questions but [at] the same time… there’s a relatively large number of us also who give out these questions to others,” said Gajasan.

The event also featured a panel discussion with content creators Mia Franz-Gelicka and Tita G along with TELUS International Philippines Director for Financial Planning and Analysis Ria Lopez and Country Vice-President Anne Muñoz where they talked about their own experiences about the stereotypical expectations that women have to face every day.

“Growing up, I would always get asked these questions… my reaction was to isolate myself because whenever I met up with these relatives or with these friends, I felt like I had to defend myself, like my life choices,” said Mia.

The panelists pointed out the importance of standing up against such expectations and living out one’s life in the way that rings true to them.

“We all have our own path and we all have our own time so just respect your own timing, respect where you’re going, acknowledge that we all do not have the same timeline… you don’t have to conform to what the society is telling you and you [don’t have to] conform to the version of success that they believe in because we all have our own version of success,” said Tita G.

The “Tama na, 2024 na!” event was held at the Market, Market Mall in Taguig on March 5.

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