Government lauds Pinays on International Women’s Day

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

THE Philippines on Saturday joined global celebration of the International Women's Day recognizing the contribution of Filipino women to national progress.

“Ngayong taon, kinikilala natin ang kababaihang Pilipina na naging katalista ng pagbabago at nagpapakita ng kakaibang tapang, katatagan, kalinga at pagmamahal sa kani-kanilang pamilya at pamayanan sa gitna ng unos at trahedya na puminsala sa ating bansa noong nakaraang taon,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

“Sa pagbangon at pagbabagong-tatag ng mga lugar na sinalanta ng mga bagyo at lindol, muli silang mangunguna upang mapanumbalik ang sigla at liwanag sa mga komunidad at kanayunan. Patuloy ang pagtataguyod ng pamahalaan sa isang patas na lipunan at sa pag-angat sa antas ng mga kababaihan,” he added.

Government’s programs for the welfare of Filipino women have started to bear fruits, he said.

According to the World Economic Forum, Coloma said the Philippines is the fifth country spearheading and recognizing women’s rights and their contribution to society.

In the whole of Asia, the Philippines was the highest in the Global Gender Gap Index last year, he said, outperforming China, Japan, and India.

The WEF also reported that the participation of women in many areas is noteworthy, he said. Filipino women excelled in economic participation and opportunity, political empowerment, health and survival, educational attainment, political participation and economic equality.

In the same study, the Philippines ranked as the highest in the health and survival and educational attainment aspects, outpointing other neighboring countries.

The Philippines also ranked 10th in political empowerment and 16th in economic participation and opportunity, he added.

Data from the National Statistical Coordination Board also shows that Filipino women have higher employment rate at 93.3 percent compared to men with 92.7 percent.

The number of professional women is also increasing with 68.3 percent compared to men with 31.7 percent. Coloma also said that more than half or 52.1 percent of managers and executives in companies in the Philippines are women.

"Sa nalalabing dalawa pang taon sa termino ng Pangulo, batid niya na may mahalagang papel ang mga kababaihan sa patuloy nating pagsulong upang makamit ang malawakan at pangmatagalang kaunlaran para sa ating mga mamamayan," he noted.

This year's women's day celebration has for its theme: "Juana, ang Tatag Mo ay Tatag Natin sa Pagbangon at Pagsulong."

Meanwhile, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. lauded all the women in areas affected by super typhoons and earthquake for their contribution to help the country rise above the challenges brought about by a series of calamities last year.

On the occasion of the National Women's Month celebration, Ochoa expressed his admiration to these women who serve "as pillars of strength and solidarity in their respective families, communities, and our nation."

The Executive Secretary said the capacity of Filipino women to endure and prevail under demanding circumstances embodies women empowerment.

"Heroines all, women in affected areas, though victims themselves, have inspired us with their efforts to keep their families together, extending assistance to others as volunteers in rescue and rehabilitation efforts, and ably performing their duties as leaders in their respective communities," he said.

Ochoa also said the Philippines will begin this month the assessment of the progress of its commitments under the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA) of 1995 in preparation for the 20-year global review next year.

The BPfA is an international accord of women’s rights created during the Fourth World Conference on Women of the United Nation in Beijing in 1995, which has the backing of some 189 countries including the Philippines.

The BPfA includes key areas of concern needing action such as women and poverty, violence against women, and access to power and decision-making.

According to Ochoa, the Philippine report will be crafted by stakeholders in the government and non-government sectors and will be tackled during the Women’s Consultative Conference this month.

"The Philippine experience can very well be a major contribution to this review as the world looks at more opportunities for gender equality and empowerment, and for broadening advocacy in the promotion and protection of women’s rights after 2015," Ochoa said. (SDR/Sunnex)

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