Noting how women are outnumbered in the task force against COVID-19, Senator Imelda “Imee” Marcos on Sunday urged the government to consider appointing a mother to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
Marcos explained that women, especially mothers, are the ones struggling at the center of the COVID-19 crisis particularly in the matter of blended education, which is now a challenge to both the country’s school system and families.
“We need simple, commonsensical ways for mothers to cope. A lending program for tablets, or one that supports purchases by installment, would be in place if a mom was sitting in the IATF,” she asserted.
Marcos said a working mother would already have set up community-based tutoring pools that handle small groups of kids, or opened streets and auditoriums, and more hand-washing facilities for family use.
“Instead, we are arresting people for quarantine violations. Where are they to isolate in our crowded, depressed areas?” she lamented.
Marcos pointed out the pandemic has amplified the hidden discrimination against women and the lack of policies that benefit them.
“The toll on health workers, 70 percent of whom are female, has been immeasurable,” she said.
Marcos also noted that women have even taken on the role of being “default caregivers who are usually uncompensated” when a family member becomes disabled or seriously ill.
She also said that a mother in the IATF would be more critical of official reports concerning her fellow women and that setting up a special committee led by a woman would also assess the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on women and children.
“Domestic violence is likely unreported,” Marcos pointed out, adding that the Philippines has yet to shake off its reputation in the United Nations as the global epicenter of child pornography online.
“Women are outnumbered in the IATF. Poor Secretary (Leonor) Briones is overwhelmed by the demands of new learning modes, Secretary Berna (Bernadette Romulo Puyat) is struggling with her tourism sector. We need a commonsensical but compassionate homemaker in policy making,” she reiterated.