Lady legislator lauds women's successes
By Venus H. Sarmiento
Dagupan City (24 March) -- Living up to the Women's Month celebration theme this year, Babae: Tagumpay ka ng Bayan, a city councilor lauds the successes earned by women.
City Councilor and lawyer Farah Marie Decano said women today are so successful, a far cry from the situation of women in earlier times. "Ang mga kababaihan kasi noon, hindi pinapayagang mag-aral sa kolehiyo kaya karamihan nasa bahay lang. But now, tignan natin maraming mga babae ang nakakapagtapos ng college at nagto-top sa mga board exams," Decano said.
Women then, she added, were not even allowed to vote and hold top positions in companies. Now, most firms, especially banks, have women as managers. "Even the city government employs more women than men," Decano said.
Decano lamented, however, that even if the country has very good gender equality programs, it is still far behind Sweden and Denmark when it comes to the implementation of gender equality.
"Hindi nahuhuli ang Pilipinas when it comes to policy- making, kailangan lang mag-improve sa implementation. But at least, we now have women and children's desks in all police stations. We also have women and children's crisis centers that provide livelihood training programs for women and men," she said.
She stressed the need for a support system for women whose rights have been violated because "women's right is a human right."
The lady lawyer who chairs the women and children family relations committee expounded on the four types of violence against women during the ‘Pantongtongan Tayo' radio program of the Philippine Information Agency Tuesday. It includes physical, sexual, emotional and financial violence.
Sexual violence, she said, not only includes rape but also sexual harassment and peeping.
She said that based on the study conducted by the Women's Legal Bureau, the rapist is known to the victim in 70 percent of rape cases. This includes date rape and marital rape. "Some say rape is a crime of passion, a crime of libido. But I don't believe in that. Because rape is something that you can control, so it is therefore a crime of power, because rapists use their authority, their power and strength to commit the crime," Decano explained.
She urged not only women but also men to report any form of violence against them. "Take advantage of the services offered by the government. We must make sure that the government works for us," she said. (PIA-Pangasinan) [top]