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Poe appeals to Filipinas to open opportunities for fellow women

Successful Filipinas should create opportunities in their respective fields to lift other women from the marginalized sectors in the country, Senator Grace Poe said on Friday as the International Women's Day nears.

“It is incumbent on those of us who have succeeded in our careers, to help pave the way for others to follow. We have to hang together or we hang separately so let us help each other,” Poe said during a summit for women empowerment.

Sharing her own experience in public service, Poe lamented that double standards against women in leadership position are still existing.

“Women’s roles in nation-building still appear restrictive. Being a woman in a leadership position has always been a challenge. When a man is tough, people will say he’s a good boss or a good leader. But if it’s a woman who is tough or strict, she’s called [another thing]…it also begins with a ‘B’ but derogatory,” she said.

The senator also underscored that women representation in the government and other sectors does not really reflect the state of the sector's emancipation from other inequalities and struggles.

Poor labor conditions and teenage pregnancies were among the issues she mentioned.

"The presence of poster girls in many industries, or in government or in sports is not reflective of the majority of women in our country,” she said.

"For every Pinay who has reached the summit, there are countless more struggling, stranded, or falling down the slope... Let us remember that we are only as strong as our weakest link,” she added.

She further said women must be given tools that will help them adapt, innovate, and compete in the new decade. “We must do our best to enable all women to participate meaningfully in development.” 

National Women's Month is observed in the Philippines every March, aligned with the celebration of International Women's Day on March 8.