The Philippines has been noted as having one of the smallest gender disparities in the world. The gender gap has been closed in both health and education; the country has had two female presidents (Corazon Aquino from 1986-1992 and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from 2001-2010); and had its first woman Supreme Court justice (Cecilia Muñoz Palma in 1973) before the United States had one (Sandra Day O’Connor in 1981). These achievements reflect a long history of efforts by women to involve themselves equally in governance as well as in society.
I was expecting a little bit more from the post and was suprised a few of these Filipinas were left out:
Gabriela Silang a revolutionary – a representation of female bravery – who fought against Spanish colonialism in the 18th century. Silang was a contrast to the chaste and religiously devout image of the Filipino lady as portrayed by Jose Rizal through his Spanish-language novels, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.
Clemencia Lopez became the first Filipino to enter the White House and the first to testify before a U.S. Senate hearing as a representative of her subjugated people.
Sofia Reyes de Veyra an educator, social worker and first secretary and co-founder (with Mary E. Coleman) of Asociacion Feminista Filipina, the first women’s club in the Philippines. Its establishment in June 1905 marked the start of the Feminist Movement in the country. She also organized the Manila Women’s Club which later became the nucleus of the National Federation of Women’s Clubs. This federation was in the forefront of the campaign to give women the right to vote and other rights. The women of the Philippines won these rights in 1931.
Dr. Carol Pagaduan-Araullo anUP cum laude graduate, medical doctor, 2012 UP Distinguished Alumni awardee and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) chairperson. While Dr. Araullo was UP Student Council vice chairman and an activist imprisoned for opposing martial law.
Emma expressed how necessary it is for men to get involved in the fight for gender equality by launching the HeForShe campaign, “a solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other of humanity, for the entirety of humanity.” You can watch Emma’s full speech below: