By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo urged various women’s rights groups and other advocates to take concrete action in the fight for gender equality.
While calling for women across the country to stand up for their rights, Robredo said they should exert efforts against abuses and discrimination.
“Ine-encourage natin iyong lahat na mga advocates na hindi enough iyong sisigaw ka lang ng, ‘Gender equality!’ Hindi enough na sisigaw ka lang ng, ‘Women empowerment!’” she said.
(We encourage all advocates that it is not enough to just shout, Gender equality! It’s not enough to just loudly say, Women empowerment.)
“Pero gumawa tayo ng mga hakbang para nasisiguro natin na binibigyan natin ng lakas iyong bawat babae,” Robredo, an advocate of women empowerment, stressed.
(But let us take steps to ensure women are empowered.)
Robredo said it is important to empower women by giving them opportunities to become economically independent because this is a first step in achieving real empowerment.
“Matagal akong nag-abogado para sa mga abused women, kahit anong turo sa kanila na, ‘Mali ito, mali iyan,’ kapag hindi sila economically independent, karamihan willing na mag-stay sa environment na may abuse na nangyayari,” she said.
(I had been a longtime lawyer for abused women, but even when they’re taught about what’s wrong, if they were not economically independent, most of them were willing to stay in an environment where abuses occur.)
March is celebrated as National Women’s Month in the Philippines.
This month aims to recognize the achievements of women in various fields and their contributions in society.
Robredo has long been an advocate of women’s rights, even before she entered politics.
The Vice President said her office has been pushing for women empowerment as part of Angat Buhay, her flagship anti-poverty program.
This links women across the nation with private companies, which then provide them with livelihood opportunities.