07 March 2012

Women of the Philippines ... Celebrate!


Today, March 8, we celebrate National Women's Day (Republic Act No. 6949) signed on April 10, 1990.   The month of March was also proclaimed as Women's Role in History Month (Proclamation No. 227)

With the recently experienced disasters and calamities by the country and the impact of climate change on a global scale, the theme for this year's National Women's Month Celebration is "Women Weathering Climate Change: Governance and Accountability, Everyone's Responsibility."  The theme not only focuses on the role of women as agents of change in relation to disaster risk reduction but also tells us that disaster risk reduction is everyone's responsibility. 

Not too long ago, I have had the chance of attending the Women's Month Celebration held at Bonifacio Global City.  Women from different sectors met not for a run but for a walk rejoicing the role of women for the past years.  One of the highlights of that meeting was the Magna Carta of Women, which was passed into law known as Republic Act 9710.  With the continuing efforts done both at the local and national levels, the implementation of Magna Carta of Women has finally started last year.   Though the Magna Carta of Women includes every woman's rights, allow me to focus on two important rights which I believe have direct relation to running as a sport and health in general:

Equal participation in sports.  This includes measures to ensure that gender-based discrimination in competitive and non-competitive sports is removed so that women and girls can benefit from sports development.

Leave benefits of two months with full pay based on gross monthly compensation, for women employees who undergo surgery caused by gynecological disorders, provided that they have rendered continuous aggregate employment service of at least six months for the last twelve months. 

More of Magna Carta of Women here.

Another reason why women here should celebrate is that in Asia, Philippines is the best place to be a woman.  According to a report published by international publication Newsweek magazine, the country ranked 17th overall in their "The Best and Worst Places for Women," which analyzed 165 countries. The report studied five areas that affect women’s lives — treatment under the law, political power, workforce participation, access to education, and access to health care. The Philippines garnered an overall score of 86.3 out of 100, and is the only Asian country to be included in the Top 20.

Newsweek named Iceland as the best place in the world for women with an overall score of 100, followed by Sweden, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Norway, United States, Australia and Netherlands.

The worst place in the world to be a woman, according to the report, is Chad in Central Africa with an overall score of zero, followed by Afghanistan, Yemen, Congo, Mali, Solomon Islands, Niger, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Sudan and Guinea.

On the Other Side of the Fence ...

The month of March is usually jam-packed with performances since I used to sing with a chorale group four years ago.  Just missing them. 

Anyway, a resounding hurrah to all lady runners out there!

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