Legarda underlines digital revolution’s impact on gender equality and climate crisis
MANILA, Philippines — As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda underscored the impact of digital innovation in promoting gender equality and women empowerment, as she also recognizes the women’s role in the global fight against the climate crisis.
“This year, the UN (United Nations) decided that the theme will be something rather fresh: ‘DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality was chosen for 2023.’ I believe it will be women, whose shackles have been cut, that will innovate to carry us through the climate crisis. They will be the ones inventing the mechanisms and the means to keep the homes humming in the midst of the calamities and challenges and they will find a way,” she stated.
As an advocate of innovation, Legarda urged technology in better policymaking to address various global issues, acknowledging how it has increased connectivity among people in many ways possible. However, she pointed out that the world has changed so much that solutions that worked just a few years ago might no longer be on point.
“The lesson to be learned here is from Albert Einstein — ‘We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.’ Climate change and the pandemic have afforded us the opportunity to look for new solutions, innovate, frame our issues differently and perhaps find the tipping point where we have not been looking before,” Legarda said.
Legarda, a long-time advocate of women empowerment, has likewise emphasized giving value to the hard work of unpaid and underpaid women – the mothers and grandmothers who nobly raised their children and grandchildren – and urged valuing unpaid work and giving voice to the sector.
“It is difficult to imagine the true monetary value of the hands that patted your bottom as a child to put you to sleep, the ones that scoured gardens and markets for what to put on the table, the feet that trudged kilometers to fetch water, the grandmother that raised her grandkids. I suppose monetizing this has not been foremost on the agenda, partly because it is priceless,” Legarda remarked.
She said such labor must be recognized and helped by making the work easier, redistributing the burden, rewarding such work, and finally representing the sector and giving them a voice.
“Simple lang po ang ibig sabihin niyan. Ang mga hamon ng ating panahon ay dugtong-dugtong at ang paglampas natin dito ay nangangailangan ng lakas ng lahat ng bisig, at ng kolektibang kaisipan. Kapag naiwan ang kababaihan sa tahaking ito ay hindi tayo makakarating sa kabila [The meaning of that is simple. Challenges in our lives are connected, and hurdling them needs the strength of linked arms and collected minds. If women are left behind in this issue, we will never get to the other side],” said Legarda.