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Legarda Joins Celebration of Int’l Women’s Day, Calls for Stronger Economic Empowerment for Women

March 8, 2021

In celebration of the International Women’s Day, three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker, Loren Legarda underscored the need to invest in economic empowerment that would allow women to play a more active role in an inclusive and equitable growth and recovery amid the pandemic.

Legarda said that, while the Philippines was recognized by the World Economic Forum as the best performing country in Asia in terms of closing gender gaps, she hopes to see a country that does not only empower women’s rights but also provides easy access to economic opportunities.

“As we continue to promote gender equality and alleviate gender-based violence and discrimination, let us also recognize the important role that our women play in pursuing economic development. We have already enacted laws against various forms of violence, discrimination and abuse. We must give equal importance in providing women better access and control over resources that they need to be empowered economically,” Legarda said.

“Many women still suffer from abuse or violence because they themselves rely on the financial support of their husbands, partners, parents or other relatives. It is time for us to give them the financial independence and confidence to generate their own income. Let us empower our women to make use of their skills and talents by providing them viable income alternatives, trainings, and opportunities for start-ups for those who want to be entrepreneurs,” Legarda added.

Moreover, the three-term Senator also encouraged more women to help preserve our culture and tradition by engaging in culture-based livelihoods which she has long supported such as weaving and crafts-making using resources that are abundant in their respective areas such as bamboo, abaca, coconut, buri, shells and other raw materials.

Legarda, who authored livelihood assistance measures such as the Magna Carta for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises and the Barangay Kabuhayan and Skills Training Act, also encouraged Filipino women to avail of other programs such as the DTI Shared Service Facilities (SSF) program, DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), as well as DOST Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CEST), DOLE Pangkabuhayan, among others, to assist their needs towards financial independence.

The three-term Senator and the UN Women WeEmpower Asia Philippines, headed by Ms. Rosalyn Mesina, conducted a dialogue today with different women organizations to provide a venue for them to share their respective dynamics, programs and challenges. Through this dialogue, Legarda aimed to understand their concerns and find out how to provide support and assistance to the women organizations in order for them to flourish and thrive even more.

The dialogue was participated in by eight women’s organization, namely Alyansa ng Nakatatanda sa Komunidad (ANAK) represented by their president, Cherry Barnuevo; Capas Organic Farmer’s Cooperative represented by their general manager, Monina Geaga; Development Action for Women Network (DAWN) represented by Executive Director Carmelita Nuqui; Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP) represented by their chairperson, Beth Angsioco; Homenet Producers Cooperative represented by their chairperson, Zone Narito; Farola Compound Repair Yard represented by their treasurer, Patricia Herrera; Nagsakka Women represented by their chairperson Mylen Fortunado; and  Pambansang Kalipunan ng mga Manggagawang Impormal sa Pilipinas (PATAMABA) represented by their president, Primar Jardeleza.  Ms Karen Davila, fellow advocate for women economic empowerment, also joined the dialogue and gave a message of support.

“Women are naturally resilient, persistent, resourceful, and creative, and investing in these inherent characteristics of women will significantly contribute in the economic development of their respective communities and the country as well. Let us provide our women long-term solutions to alleviate their poverty while giving them the opportunity to maximize their capabilities and achieve their full potential,” Legarda concluded.***