Gender issues gaining ground

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By Ging-ging Avellanosa Valle

Bahin sang Bubay

Saturday, January 11, 2014


WOMEN'S historical development the world over has pointed to a consistently growing awareness among the so-called second choice in whatever undertaking.

It has been written in historical accounts that prior to the coming of the Spanish conquest earlier in the 17th century, our sisters were in command, were leaders in the community and were playing crucial roles in governance.

Such powers, however, had been stripped away from us when the dark forces brought about by foreign "male chauvinism" in the form of patriarchy forcibly grabbed the leadership and literally threw away what had been the women's legacy for centuries.

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Such barbaric display of brute power had temporarily stalled the women's progress but not for long, as our own ancestors (according to stories passed down from generations by word of mouth) would attest.

That is why efforts among policy makers of today to adopt measures that would ensure women's participation in whatever endeavor, albeit lamely it may seem, might be considered as just another case of waxing for good appearance.

This even if it is good to also recognize the genuine efforts of like-minded individuals who are sincerely doing something for women and have utilized the inherent wisdom women possess.

Moreover, even among multilateral funding donors and humanitarian organizations, there is now a growing consciousness and efforts towards the inclusion of gender issues into their so-called development strategies and approaches.

It has come to a point that some organizations have consciously adapted a new tack after realizing the futility of development interventions that have failed in the past because of narrow perspectives that did not consider the importance of women's role in whatever efforts.

Do we now see an end in sight for the patriarchal system?

Perhaps, many among the religious organizations and private institutions, including business interests that have continued to cling on the belief in patriarchy, are being threatened by the seemingly growing women power wherever it is in the world.

It might also be said that the forces of the current socio-political changes are bringing about openness even among "conservatives" who grudgingly submit to the inevitability of women's exercise of power.

Or am I just being hopeful?

Nowadays, especially in our city, we can say that indeed, women are slowly taking back their legacy as leaders and more. Even the new generation has acknowledged the inherent but quiet assertion on the nation’s consciousness. --From Sun.Star Davao

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 12, 2014.

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