Challenge accepted? Arroyo dares Pinays to 'work hard, break myths, band together'

House Senior Deputy Speaker and Pampanga 2nd district Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has issued an important challenge to her fellow Filipino women on the occasion of Women’s Day on Wednesday, March 8.

House Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Arroyo, a former Philippine president, called on all Filipino women to “work harder to break the remaining myths that relegate our women to being second-class individuals”.

She also asked them to “band together to push for women’s economic empowerment,  particularly for those from the rural and urban poor sectors".

In her message for Women’s Day 2023, the former chief executive recalled that Filipino women have been enjoying rights such as the right to equal education opportunities; suffrage and the right to own property long before women’s empowerment was recognized as a global issue.

She said local women’s rights were firmed up by the passage of the Women in Development and Nation Building Act and further reinforced by Republic Act (RA) No.9710, or the Magna Carta for Women, which she signed into law in August, 2009 at the tail end of her presidency.

The implementation of these two landmark laws resulted in the country’s having achieved 6th place in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap annual ranking for the years 2006 to 2008.

The Magna Carta for Women created the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), which was mandated to review and coordinate all measures for women empowerment at all levels.

This magna carta bill had waited 10 years for congressional action before it was passed in August2009, with some push from the Arroyo administration.

During the Arroyo presidency, several other laws to protect women’s rights were passed, such as  the one defining violence against women and children and the anti-trafficking of women and children law.