Social injustices and gender roles on women have been a rather complex issue over the years. Also, whether women can discharge their responsibilities in their respective communities and industries has been a topical issue globally, especially in underdeveloped nations.
Sadly, women are usually perceived to be nurturing the family’s welfare and maintaining the household. But, as Zaytoen Domingo (2022) has put it, “Gender equality is important not only because it is a human right, but because it is essential for building peaceful and prosperous nations. Therefore, making sure women and girls have equal access to quality education, healthcare, work opportunities, political representation, and participation in economic decision-making is crucial to sustainable development and economic progress.”
Women have continuously fought for their position in society. But unfortunately, women who lack educational opportunities, economic resources, power, and influence are overburdened with undue threats to their lives. Said gender imbalance is especially true in nations where machismo is prevalent, thus, glorified.
Fortunately, here in the Philippines, we have many women recognized globally for their efforts to uphold their principles, passion, and social position. For instance, Maria Ressa (chief executive officer, Rappler) received in October 2021 the first-ever Nobel Peace Prize awarded to a Filipino. The Norwegian Nobel Committee recognized Ressa’s constant pursuit of freedom of expression.
Another woman in action is the Vice President of the Philippines–Maria Leonor Gerona Robredo. Robredo has anchored her office’s multi-sectoral programs on gender and development, medical, poverty, and others. Additionally, Robredo has been at the forefront of handling the Philippines’ health crisis (i.e., COVID-19). Remarkably, Robredo has been awarded the Special Award for Public Service at the People of the Year in 2021.
Among many other empowered Filipinas, Hidilyn Diaz is the first-ever Olympic gold medalist of the Philippines. Aside from being an athlete, Diaz is also a member of the Philippine Air Force. Moreover, Diaz uses her influence to educate the general public on political and social issues. Diaz’s principles are as substantial as the weights she lifts.
Women upholding their rights, values, and principles are remarkably emerging globally over the years. MacKenzie Scott, Kamala Harris and Christine Lagarde have successfully represented women across nations and industries. With this, more and more women are being inspired to do more, believing that they can, thinking that they should and will.
More women have found voices from those representing them, thereby allowing them to live comfortably and confidently. Gender equality programs to protect women’s rights are being pioneered by global institutions such as the United Nations Asia Foundation, among others. Said initiatives are aimed at improving and developing women in general.
Undeniably, as a woman myself, I also want to positively impact the industry I work for and the community I live in. I acknowledge that my name does not necessarily have to be as big as those personalities mentioned earlier to make a positive impact. But for it to be feasible, I have to work on nurturing my life’s purpose, vision and mission, be firm on my values and live a life centered on God.
With this, I hope many other girls find inspiration to live a purposeful and happy life in the future.
The author is an MBA student at the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business, DLSU. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty, and its administrators.