By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Grace Poe has called on Filipina trailblazers to help create more opportunities for marginalized and struggling women.
In her speech at the Spark! Philippines’ Women 2020 Summit on Thursday, Poe said the presence of successful women in government and other industries is still not reflective of the “true state of the Filipina.”
The Philippines, according to Grant Thornton Internationals’ 2020 Women in Business Report, ranked No. 1 out of 32 countries in having the most number of women in top leadership roles, with 43 percent of Filipino women executives holding senior management posts.
Despite this, Poe said many more Filipino women are still forced to leave their families to find better paying jobs abroad, while others have no choice but to work in the country as vendors or household helpers without enough benefits or protection.
She also noted the increasing incidence of teenage pregnancies in the country due to the lack of access to reproductive health services.
Poe also cited the disparity in the treatment of women against men in terms of work and opportunities for success.
“It would not be accurate to cite the successes of women who have landed in Makati or in BGC (Bonifacio Global City)…The presence of poster girls in many industries, or in government or in sports is not reflective of the majority of women in our country,” Poe said.
“Because for every Pinay who has reached the summit, there are countless more struggling, stranded, or falling down the slope.
“It is incumbent on those of us who have succeeded in our careers to help pave the way for others to follow. We have to hang together or we hang separately, so let us help each other,” Poe appealed.
The event was organized in celebration of the national and international Women’s Month.