Tingog Sinirangan Party-list, a regional political party contending in the upcoming elections, calls for inclusion of women in the government’s development agenda.
Sharilee Gaspay-Mauro, third nominee of Tingog Sinirangan Party-list, addressed hundreds of women community and barangay leaders. Gaspay-Mauro gave a talk on the theme of the National Women’s Month: “Kapakanan ni Juana, Isama sa Agenda!” or “Katungdanan ni Juana, Ig-upod ha Adyenda.”
In her talk, she explained the call for inclusion of women’s concerns in leadership platforms and the government’s development agenda. She enumerated women issues that should be given attention and focus by the next administration.
Social development of women was the first on the list. Access to women’s health care and services coupled with appropriate sex and gender education in school are deemed necessary for women.
“Reproductive health is a basic right of every Filipina. Lack of access to these services has implications on maternal mortality rate, infant and child health, and sexually transmitted infections. Reproductive health is the basis for having healthy children and happy families” she said.
Further, she suggested that an age-appropriate sex education will help curb the increasing teenage fertility in the country and in the region.
“Today, our youth engage in sex at a young age and a research conducted on the risk behaviour of teenagers in Eastern Visayas reported that only seven in 100 youth have discussed the topic of sex at home while growing up. So, half of the youth reported that they can find help in school regarding sex-related problems, with their classmates as the leading source of such support,” she explained.
She also touched on the economic empowerment of women. “Education is the key to empowering women. An educated woman can do great things. We need more jobs for women, more women cooperatives and associations. If we do this, women will be the drivers of economy” she explained.
Last on her list was climate change and disaster risk reduction. Gaspay-Mauro, a former NGO worker who partnered with UNFPA and DSWD in conducting psychological debriefing on women and children in coastal areas after Typhoon “Yolanda,” moved for the role of women in times of calamity and disaster.
“Women can help build resilient communities. So we must educate and raise awareness to improve women’s participation in times of disaster. This is possible if we have develop a disaster risk reduction and management that is gender-responsive,” she said.
“Also, we must institutionalize women and child-friendly spaces in evacuation centers. We know by experience that in times of disasters and calamities, women and children are the most vulnerable,” she added.