Thousands march on global day for women

A SEA of purple and pink marched yesterday to mark the International Women’s Day, which caused a little inconvenience to motorists who had to navigate around roads closed off to traffic.

The City Traffic and Transport Management Office earlier banned the entry of vehicles on Roxas Avenue and the streets of Bonifacio, Ponciano, Legaspi, Bolton and San Pedro–the routes of the women’s march—from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

No entry signs were posted at entry points of the closed roads. Traffic enforcers also advised motorists where to go.

Nevertheless, motorists did not complain upon being informed of the reason for the closures.

The main focus of yesterday’s celebration was women empowerment, particularly on their role as catalyst for change in the digital age.

However, Lorna Mandin, OIC of the Integrated Gender Development Division, said women still continue to face oppression in a patriarchal society. She said they estimated the turnout of yesterday’s parade to reach around 4,500. (Police estimates place the number at around 5,000.)

“The focus of the women now is more on economic rights,” she said. “Hopefully, the women and their families can rise from the hardships brought about by poverty.”

Susana Blase, chair of Barangay New San Isidro of Buhangin, said women should not take a backseat in terms of opportunities.

“Women can perform (any task that) men can do. The only difference is gender,” she said. “But there should be understanding and respect of both sides.”

Meanwhile, the IGDD and Philippines Commission on Women are preparing for the upcoming forum entitled “Women Empowering Women” on March 15 from 1-5 p.m. at CAP auditorium, Anda Street.

Around 400 women are expected to participate in the event. Expected speakers from different sectors are Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial to talk about women’s health and the role of DOH on livelihood; an IP representative who will share their culture and tradition about women in the community; and somebody from the academe who will discuss the importance of gender perspective in the society.

Barangay adopts

Women’s Code

Meanwhile, Barangay Mahayag has adopted the Women’s Development Code of Davao City in its first resolution for the calendar year.

The document pushes for the rights of women and outlines the development agenda for the vulnerable sector to empower them from economic and physical abuse.

Among the barangay-level policies include the application of gender-responsive indicators and guidelines, as well as the review of policies.

Lady councilors here celebrated women’s month in various ways, with the committee on women among others adopting the resolutions gathered from last week’s women’s summit held in the city.

Councilor Leah Librado, for one, celebrated the “victory” at the Senate, which voted unanimously last Monday to pass a bill extending the maternity leave to 120 days.

“We all know how difficult it is to be a mother,” Librado said. “Especially for those who are breastfeeding. The first months are crucial, and this will give us more time to bond with our children.”

Librado added that the measure was originally for only 100 days, which the Senate extended.

Senator Riza Hontiveros, who formerly held the chair of the health committee, said in a statement that the measure was passed unanimously.

The measure, Senate Bill 215, or the 120-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Bill passed third reading at the plenary of the Senate.

“After 25 years, this is a very good gift to all women for the women’s month!” Hontiveros said.

This is the first landmark bill passed in third reading in the Senate for 2017, she added.

Meanwhile, committee on women chair Avegayle L’Dalodo Ortiz proposed a measure for the city council to adopt the suggestions of various women’s groups and stakeholders on first reading.

The suggestions include those involving employment and measures against discrimination, among others.

Councilor Pilar Braga, during the privilege hour, meanwhile lauded the strong participation of women in the affairs of the city.  Braga also gave away flowers for the women in attendance during the session.

Posted in under_HEADLINES1