FOR the past few months, Senator Nancy Binay said the Philippines witnessed great developments nationwide as the country’s women answered President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for progressive change.
And during this transition phase, she said the women were at the forefront of what she called daunting challenge.
“To date, we have seen the election and appointment of extraordinary women in government—strong individuals who stand by their ideals and continually fight for gender equality and women’s rights,” said Binay.
For her part, Senator Loren Legarda said the Philippines could lead the global effort to achieve gender equality and women empowerment.
Legarda also hailed the Senate’s approval of the Expanded Maternity Leave Law, which she co-authored.
“The Senate’s approval of the Expanded Maternity Leave Law is timely as we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8 and National Women’s Month. This is a multi-pronged measure on improving maternal healthcare, reducing child mortality, and promoting breastfeeding,” she said.
Binay said: “As we celebrate the National Women’s Month, she said the Senate voted 22-0 for the approval of Senate Bill 1305 or the Expanded Maternity Leave Law of 2017.
“This legislation is truly a triumph for the working Filipina as mothers are empowered to spend more time to nurture their children and care for themselves after childbirth.”
She added: “We also have eight women leading the topnotchers of the Philippine Military Academy’s Class Salaknib of 2017. Aside from this feat, 63 female cadets of the batch graduated, the highest number of female graduates since PMA accepted women in 1994.”
“As we continue to see advancements in our society, may we remain steadfast against exploitation and discrimination of women. Let us work for proactive change that will empower and uphold all women.”
Legarda said: “This is an important women empowerment measure because when mothers are given enough time to recuperate from childbirth and care for their newborns, they feel more fulfilled as mothers, which will definitely affect their emotional well-being, give them more confidence, and allow them to be prepared again to embark on a more challenging role of being working mothers and equal partners of men in nation-building.”
Meanwhile, Legarda noted the country already had several laws on gender equality and women empowerment, and the implementation of these policies were improving through the years.
“We know that there are still challenges and there are many Filipino women who are still victims of abuse and discrimination. But we are doing well compared to other nations, thus, we must build on our gains and continue to provide equal support to men and women,” said Legarda.
The country has been consistently at the top tier in the World Economic Forum’s gender equality index. It ranks first in Asia and always at the top 10 countries globally in the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report.
“The Philippines can lead the global effort to achieve gender equality and women empowerment. We can share with other countries our best practices on women empowerment as well as our laws which can be used as guide by other nations in crafting policies on gender equality,” she explained.
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