MALAYBALAY CITY (PIA)–Senator Cynthia Villar has left a lasting impression of inspiration as she spoke to thousands of women from various groups joining in the 18th Provincial Summit, March 9, in celebration of National Women’s Month with the theme ‘WE for Gender Equality and Inclusive Society.’
Villar, a staunch advocate of women’s rights and welfare, describes how hard work and perseverance, which are innate in every woman’s values, work.
“It is my privilege to be here and be allowed to speak to you, as I have always been a staunch advocate of women empowerment. It is also refreshing to see that your governor actively advances women’s causes, like gender equality, women empowerment, and the initiatives towards creating an inclusive society,” she said.
Villar cited and explained existing laws that promote the rights and welfare of women, including RA 11313 (Safe Spaces Act or Bawal Bastos Law); RA 9710 (Magna Carta of Women); RA 11210 (Expanded Maternity Leave Law); RA 6725 (Prohibition on Discrimination Against Women); RA 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004); and RA 7882 (Act Providing Assistance to Women in Micro and Cottage Business Enterprises).
In addition to these laws, Villar also mentioned RA 7877 (Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995), RA 8353 (Anti-Rape Law of 1997), RA 8505 (Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act of 1998), and RA 6949 (National Women’s Day Act), which designates March 8 of every year as a special working holiday.
Aside from the senator’s keynote speech, the event also featured several activities, such as a discussion on women’s role in community development and a showcase of local products made by women entrepreneurs.
The summit’s recognition of outstanding women in Bukidnon was one of the highlights. Women in business, agriculture, education, and public service were among those honored.
At the event, women from different fields got together to celebrate their successes and talk about how to deal with problems in their own communities. (BGE/PIA-10/Bukidnon)