Women continue to grow more empowered - DSWD PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2014 11:15

Women, now empowered more than ever, have taken on roles and jobs trainings that are in the past, predominantly “just for men”.

In a media forum initiated by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) here, Social Welfare Officer Agapita Bendoy of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-9 shared that women have grown out of their shells in the past years as merely perceived as housewives, and now fulfill a variety of roles that were before seen as “manly”.

There is no doubt that the woman of today is very empowered to do even the jobs that were once thought of only for men,” said Bendoy.

According to her, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has very illustrative statistics in this regard. “We have noted an increase in the enrollment by women to TESDA trainings such as welding and electricity, and this is an indicator that our women are fulfilling greater roles for the family and society,” she added.

However, although women empowerment has been catching on as the years pass, still, abuses and violence against women exist, particularly within the very basic unit of society – the family.

“There are still some women who are abused by dominant husbands, and we are looking into a variety of root causes, which include poverty,” Bendoy explained.

“But the DSWD has several programs such as counseling, and interventions to promote for their livelihood.”

The law provides for the protection of women through Republic Act 9710, or the Magna Carta of Women, outlining specific women’s rights, and defines several forms of discrimination. “The magna carta emphasizes the equality of men and women,” said Bendoy.

The DSWD, she added, has already been engaging the communities and municipalities in the region through forums to discuss the magna carta and other laws on the protection of women, as well as other issues concerning them.

Before the end of the forum, Bendoy commended the local media for being gender-sensitive. “We really appreciate the media for their sensitive reporting, especially on women’s issues, and for continuously promoting women’s rights. Because of their sensitivity, they are in their own way, empowering women, highlighting their very important role in society,” she said.

Meanwhile, City Councilor Myra Paz V. Abubakar who is the vice chair on Gender and Development (GAD) encouraged women to still aim to achieve more. “We, as women can be more active in society, and can still achieve more. Let us continue to participate in the various programs intended for women empowerment,” Councilor Abubakar said. She added that the city government has already lined up several GAD programs for implementation, and a chunk of these is on information-dissemination and advocacy.

Last March was celebrated as women’s month with the theme “Juana, ang Tatag Mo ay Tatag Natin sa Pagbangon at Pagsulong.” In Zamboanga City, several activities were done, one of which is the annual “Marcha delas Mujeres,” a parade of men and women advocating for the awareness on women’s rights and issues. It is also a fund-raising activity where proceeds will be divided among local charities.