SOFT POWER OF FEMININITY NATION’S LAST CARD; PEOPLE’S LAST HOPE
ANNABELLE T. LAXAMANA
Sexual Harassments, video scandals, battering or rough treatment clearly violate R.A 9710 “Magna Carta of women” a legal framework in protecting women’s rights.
These heart piercing incidents that anyone can experience may stain innocence or character brought negative impact on her self-image that prevents from reaching her full potential and self realization. A struggling individual who has full of hopes and ambition to be somebody may hinder her promising future because of such terrible and horrifying experience.
For students, others may transfer in other school or worse will stop after her tearful and much publicized video or situation. One who will be put in such case is one among twenty-five women age 15-45 who had sex ever experienced first sexual intercourse, according to the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey.
Anchored on the Millennium Development Goals on its third thrust underscores the development of gender equality and women empowerment. Women represent half of the world’s population and therefore half of its potential.
According to the World Health Organization, in the Philippines, 13.6 percent of all 15-19 years old get pregnant and almost 4 in every 10 girls are already or soon will be mothers. Without enough education, their future can be trashed and they may never realize their full potential and self-worth.
A teenage girl is more likely to overcome hindrances that stands between her and a healthy, productive future if she has the authority, the means, and the information to make her own decision in life that will not only benefit herself but also her family and community.
Investing in teenage girls include their education, health and their sexual and reproductive health that will help them receive quality education and achieve economic opportunities including those for decent work.
Adolescent girls (10-19 years old) currently make up 10% of the Philippines’100 million population. They hold better opportunities to transform the future but this can only happen if it starts from grassroots to higher level.
Public secondary schools should intensify the gender and development programs first, by conducting symposium about gender sensitivity and Positive Youth Development.
Second, establish strong community-partnership from school to DSWD, DOH, LGU and other government agencies that will strengthen policies and programs which will empower and address health issues like HIV, AIDS and cervical cancer. Likewise, conducting counseling sessions, group dynamics and other literacy program will be of great help.
Lastly, build a family atmosphere in school and provide equal opportunities to improve women’s leadership initiatives in various school projects.
Together let us embrace the soft power of femininity. There is strength in being a girl. You save a girl and you save a generation.
— oOo— I at San Pablo 2nd National High School The author is Head Teacher