Robredo, female bets reveal strategies for women empowerment
SOME Filipina leaders running in the 2016 elections revealed their advocacies and government platform that would support Filipino women empowerment should they be elected to office.
The Women’s Vote, a forum held at Dusit Thani, gathered on Wednesday vice presidential candidate and Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo; senatorial hopefuls Atty. Lorna Kapunan, Risa Hontiveros, Susan Ople , Jacel Kiram and Leila de Lima; and congressional candidate for the 4th district of the province of Iloilo Mitch Monfort-Bautista.
“Nobody has really captured or courted the women which comprise 50 percent of anything. We have 50 percent women voters. We’d like to keep this voter education ongoing,” said Chit Juan of Women’s Business Council.
Robredo, who once served as a local public lawyer, helped battered women fight for their rights, condemned violence in women. She helped set up some programs to help them learn new skills and have access to capital.
“Most of the women know sila pala ay biktima ng karahasan…bumabalik yung victim ng violence sa kanilang bahay kasi they are not economically empowered,” she said.
“They are forced to go back because they cannot fend for their children…they are financially dependent on their husbands,” she added.
Ople, meanwhile, pushed for the welfare of overseas Filipino workers.
“It’s hard to stay in the margins if you see stories of injustice unfold before your eyes. It’s hard to be silent, static,” she said.
She said she hoped to deal more with labor migration and the need to quality check foreign recruitment agencies.
“Why do we know OFWs were abused but the abusers we don’t know. That has to change,” she said.
She also criticized age discrimination of women in the workplace.
Ople, if elected, would also want a health care program for aging workers and a digital infrastructure that would allow campus wide internet.
Hontiveros, on the other hand, wants to have a universal healthcare for Filipinos.
“I envision a government that provides for workers, especially in terms of universal healthcare,” she said.
She also believed that Filipinos must close the gender gap.
Kapunan, vows to “fight for your rights” if elected as senator.
The lawyer believed that the biggest problem of the Philippines is poverty and hunger which is caused by unemployment. She promised to address issues of delivery of public services and corruption.
“We must have a legislation rationalizing our minimum wage law,” she said.
With women power and women vote, women leaders like them are challenged to break the state of learned helplessness, Kapunan said.
Meanwhile, Kiram wants to assert Sabah ownership when elected.
She said that these would be her “special contribution” to women empowerment but did not expound it.
Kiram said the Philippines is not lagging behind when it comes to women leaders.
“Many Filipinas have raised the country’s banner in many sectors,” she noted.
As a military wife, she said she would also look into the welfare of the women behind the soldiers — the wives, sisters and mothers.
In a video, as she could not participate in the program, De Lima said that powerless women, such as those in rural and urban poor community, must be independent and in control of their lives.
She said that the Magna Carta of Women should be subjected to a performance review.
Monfort-Bautista is advocating food security, education through information dissemination and improvement of hospitals.
She said the Philippine Information Agency needs to be strengthened which would allow active dialogue between citizens and the government.
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