Legarda Discusses Women Empowerment Issues with Japan PM Abe

September 13, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda stressed the role of women in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and raised the issue of economic empowerment of the female population during a group meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo, Japan.


Legarda, the only Philippine participant in the high level symposium, along with six other participants from Asia, had a meeting with Prime Minister Abe following the opening program of the assembly on September 12, 2014.


During his opening speech at the assembly, Prime Minister Abe said: “We must bring about a world in which all people, both women and men, shine. Japan will continue its support towards the resolution of issues involving women.”


Noting the Prime Minister’s statement, Legarda stressed the need to address the vulnerability of women to disasters during the group meeting, “We must address the vulnerability of women by empowering them and engaging them in disaster risk reduction and management, an area where Japan can help the Philippines.”


Legarda said that Japan has been a venue for important global DRR initiatives. In 2005, the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), a 10-year plan aimed at making the world safer from natural hazards through five priority actions, was adopted during the World Conference on Disaster Reduction held in Kobe, Japan.


In 2015, the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will be held in Sendai, Japan, where there will be an assessment and review of the implementation of the HFA and nations will adopt a post-2015 framework for DRR.


“These conventions provide a venue where Japan can share its best practices and know-how in the area of disaster resilience and work in collaboration with other nations, including the Philippines, while recognizing the important role of women in the process,” said Legarda.


The Senator also called for greater support for women, especially housewives, who want to explore opportunities for additional income for their families.


“Women should have access to capital for micro enterprises for economic empowerment. We need to provide viable income alternatives to women and allow them to participate in livelihood and other economic activities,” said Legarda as she thanked the Prime Minister for Japan’s continuous development aid to the Philippines.


Japan is the Philippines largest source of official development assistance (ODA). Promoting women’s welfare is a top priority of Japan in extending development aid to developing nations.