Regard for women
ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - March 9, 2016 - 9:00am

Women are being portrayed as a weaker gender, taking a passive role. As if like second class citizens, they are being regarded as lesser mortals. There are still prevailing labels and perceptions that are supposed to be part of history. This is despite the fact that they have already proven their worth in a male-dominated world.

But the past continues to haunt us as manifestations persist even up to the present. Even cause-oriented groups that defend their rights are calling for equality yet the revealing truth recurrently asks us whether there is really equality among men and women.

Allow me to cite why we need to create a world that looks at women in a different view. It is a world that regards them with utmost respect and with dignity. For one, women population constitutes around 50 percent of the world population but a large number of them around the world are unemployed. The world economy suffers a lot because of the unequal opportunity for women at workplaces. Opportunities should be provided regardless of gender. Creating an avenue that opens doors to maximize their potentials is tantamount to recognizing their power to develop and evolve.

Women should be regarded as equally competent and intelligent individuals as nowadays they are even ahead of men in many socio-economic activities. They are as talented as men. Previously, women were not allowed higher education like men and hence their talents were wasted. But nowadays, they are also allowed to go for higher studies and it encourages women to show their talents which will not only benefit individually but the whole world at large.

In the overall development of society, women play a great part. The money that they earn does not only help them and their family, but it also helps develop the society. Women empowerment also leads to more economic benefits not to the individuals but to the society as well. Unlike earlier days when they stayed at home only and do only kitchen stuffs. Now, they engage in productive undertakings and also earn money. Women empowerment helps them stand on their own, become independent and also to earn for their family which grows country's economy.

It is my fervent hope that women empowerment would result to decrease in domestic violence. Uneducated women are at higher risk for domestic violence than educated women.

Women empowerment is also advantageous in case of corruption. It helps women to get educated and know their rights and duties and hence can stop corruption. It reduces poverty since oftentimes the money earned by the male member of the family is not sufficient to meet the demands of the family. The added earnings of women help the family to come out of poverty trap.

Women are increasingly participating in the national development process. They are making the nation proud by their outstanding performances almost every sphere including medical science, social service, engineering, etcetera. They are considered irreplaceable for certain jobs.

More than anything else, women are used to hardships. They have high threshold of tolerance and perseverance. A strenuous day would not dampen their spirits but rather look at the following day with so much hope and vitality. There is always a positive tomorrow for women.

I am privileged to have worked with women who are survivor through the late women advocate Ms. Portia Dacalos. I have given them theater workshops where they performed in communities showcasing their plight as battered women, their coping experiences as they fought for their rights.

Their voices are now heard. Men's regard for them has changed. Society regards them as potent agents for change. They have dramatically maximized their capabilities. They are empowered because they help themselves. And society has changed its regard for them.

ligayarabago@yahoo.com.

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