MIB: Banking on men
BUSINESS AFTER BUSINESS - Romelinda Garces (The Freeman) - December 6, 2017 - 4:00pm

Men in Business is a program started by the San Miguel Brewery Inc. in partnership with Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).  The program is designed to help interested men who are seeking entrepreneurial training to help them build their businesses into a more viable enterprise.

In today’s world where gender has become a global issue, more and more programs have been geared towards empowering women. Perhaps, until the early to late 80s that was a major concern. Women were so dependent on their men to the point of bondage. Women in some parts of the world, and in our country had no voice.

In rural areas women were not even allowed to attend community meetings that some non-government organizations had to come up with different approaches to show the men that they were simply training the women to help them in bettering their livelihood.

With the economic gain, where women brought in additional income, came the empowerment to speak their mind out, to declare, not matter how creatively, their concerns so that their man would listen to them.

But it is way past the earning and listening. Women used to be oppressed in at least five things. Work, and the type of job they can enter into. Their wages, well, logically because they cannot get into the high ranking jobs, or used not to, although in our own structure in our company which is mostly male-dominated, women have never been oppressed, in fact they hold key positions that are teeming with relevance, influence and power.

The other area where women came inferior was of course their physical structure. But inferiority here was limited to carrying heavy things. And not to childbirth or the sturdier stuff of a 24-hr duty a home. If quantified the woman’s contribution to the coffers by being at home would equate to a large sum. So our awareness now of our participation negates or at least should negate being inferior – physically or intellectually.

Rape was considered to be an area of weakness for women. But in today’s permissive and accepting state, rape can also happen to men. And sometimes, because the men are more suppressed, the repercussions are more devastating. Marital rape results from misunderstandings, and a deeper relationship problem, and though may skew the balance more to women-oppression, it may also hit the men in a deeper psychological way when there is deprivation.

The use of women as models or endorsers of products that show their bodies was also considered demeaning. Now it is a matter of viewpoint. Some women love what they do and enjoy flaunting their assets. As we have noted, baring is not in fact limited to ladies. So the exposure to me is a matter of choice unless they were forced into it.

 Now where does the Men In Business program figure in all these? Actually, as in many points of view, we have noticed most government interventions on gender are for woman. For gender-fairness, the program intends to look into men who are interested and willing to improve their business through better training.

Last year, the first Men In Business which is open to Mandauehanons brought in entrepreneurs from different barangays. The top three winners, Mario Areglo of Barangay Umapad, Rey Florido of Barangay Banilad and Edilberto Rosales of Barangay Cambaro have continued with their businesses, which they developed further during their participation in the first season of the MIB. The upcoming season will be launched early next year as the search for 2018 Men in Business in Mandaue City revs up.


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