Tuesday, March 8, 2011

100 Years of Empowering Women and Promoting Gender Equality

It's been 100 years since UNIFEM or now known as UN Women is promoting women empowerment, rights and gender equality. But beyond that 100 years are still cases of violence and discriminations among women in the society. With state conflicts in several countries like in the Middle East, women and children are primary victims.

For countries that has problem in food security women are considered front liners of hunger. They need to sacrifice their meals in order to provide for the children and siblings. Some like in Sudan and some countries in Africa they need to walk under the scourging heat of the sun to get firewoods in order to cook their food. Half of those women became victims of violence and rape in those kind of areas and they couldn't protect themselves.

For others, women are week, but for those who calls for gender equality and women's right, they are the strongest and most passionate in terms of their belief and principles. With the UN Women theme for the 100 Years of International Women's Day which is “Equal Access to Education, Training and Science and Technology: Pathway to Decent Work for Women. Spearheaded by Michelle Bachelet of UN Women, she challenges everyone to step up for gender equality and empowering women in their rights as equal to men.

Here's the message of Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women

In the United Nation Millennium Development Goals, the call for Gender Equality falls on the MDG # 3. In most countries in the third world country especially to rural areas and places that is under extreme poverty. Women are usual victims of illiteracy where they were forced to stay home and assist their mothers with house chores and taking care of her siblings. In the end instead of going to school she needs to drop in order to fulfill her responsibility at home.In the Philippines, the Commission for Women used the there: "Magna Carta of Women, Philippine CEDAW: In support of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)." This is to center of the rights of women under Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women that will give them equal rights to education, work, assembly and voicing their opinion in their respective homes and community without any form of discrimination.

Domestic violence, this is the usual idea of my Women's Day campaign. Is to give awareness among women and men that one of the existing and obvious problem in the lives of women is domestic violence. Women hit by her husband in front of her child is very traumatic for the mother and her child. Sadly during my conversation with the wife of the late Senator Raul Roco, Sonia Roco explained that there existing laws about domestic violence but the problem it was not properly executed by the law enforcers. The reason is that women failed to recognized her rights and defend herself against violence. In regards with domestic violence it was considered as a simple family problem or quarrels between husband and wife. The law that Mrs. Roco mentioned also falls in Republic Act 9710 , which it the Magna Carta of Women spells out the right of every women to be protected from all forms of violence, security from disaster and equal treatment before the law.

Women should also have her own choice in terms of family development and reproductive rights. Five out of ten pregnant mothers died from child bearing. Because of lacking of medical support and early or unprepared pregnancy. Sadly, in the case of reproductive rights women are mostly discriminated or doesn't have a choice because there is no law that will protect them. With the chance of Reproductive Health Bill to be passed in the government, it will help mothers to plan their child birth, for young it will avoid early pregnancy and for others it will prevent the spread of sexual transmitted infections which leads to HIV/AIDS. Reproductive Health Bill is not about liberation which others sees it, but its a matter of taking care their health, upholding their reproductive rights especially for women and being responsible.

Let me end the blog entry by telling, Women's Rights is a Human Rights, for women who were mostly mothers, teachers and sisters, they are the primary source of nurturing their children and preparing them in the future. If a child witnessed his/her mother, sister and teacher wounded and discriminated and it will affect much to the way they think. Happy 100 Years of Women Empowerment and Upholding Gender Equality and let's celebrate it not just on March 8 or in March but everyday!

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