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Saturday, April 20, 2019
CAGAYAN DE ORO

National Women’s Month: Celebrations and reflections

HEY beautiful ladies, it is our moment to shine! March is National Women’s Month. It is a month dedicated to recognize women’s social, economic, and political achievements and to call for gender equality. We celebrate the women that came before us, the women of today, and the future of women everywhere!

This month calls for purple Fridays - encouraging women and men advocates to wear any shade of purple every Friday of March to show support. This is to remind everyone of the following goals: advance women’s rights and gender equality, break gender stereotypes, and stop gender-based violence and discrimination against women. Internationally, purple is a color for symbolizing women. Likewise, purple signifies justice and dignity.

As it happens, I was privileged to emcee my friend’s 50th birthday party over the weekend. Happy birthday, golden girl, Noemi Soriano Rivera Orbegoso. Fortuitously, her theme happened to be all shades of purple.

And it was well-attended by her Vista Verde Village family, which shows how vital it is to be in good terms with our neighbors. As Christ said, love thy neighbors.

On top of that, her Zumba sisters and Victory Group sisters came in full force. It was a wonderful night filled with strong women, coming from various fields and backgrounds. We all gathered together to celebrate Noemi’s very beautiful life. She hails from humble beginnings working her way up from a Shoemart (SM) sales lady and now to a lady boss, who helps in managing their family business.

Her party served to remind us all that - we are all fearfully and wonderfully made. We are capable, powerful, beautiful, and worth it. And if we want to, we can achieve anything no matter our gender, as long as we have the grit, tenacity, perseverance, and determination to turn our goals into reality.

Indeed, we all have the power in our hands to create a better future for ourselves and those that we care about. A child is, after all, born from a woman. Values are first inculcated in the heart of the home. Future generations, in part, hinge on the kind of mothering these little children receive. It is high time to remember that we must all raise gentlemen and we must teach our daughters to expect nothing less from the men who will enter their lives.

Surrounded by loving and supportive women, Noemi blew her birthday candles. That image reinforced that no man or woman is an island. Indeed, when we move together, we are more powerful. We can only rise up with dignity by lifting others up. Empowered women truly empower others!

And a part Noemi’s message is something that all girls ought to hear and is in line with the tenets of National Women’s Month: “I am not an object that can be controlled. I want someone who will watch me do my thing and proudly declare, that’s my girl!”

The National Women’s Month Celebration every March is part of the worldwide observance of the International Women’s Day. Presidential Proclamation No.227 Series of 1988 declares the observance of the Month of March as Women’s Role in History Month; and Republic Act No. 6949 Series of 1990 declares March 8 of every year as National Women’s Day, which aims to give recognition to the contributions of Filipino women in our society.

In 2017, the PCW (Philippine Commission on Women) Board Members identified the National Women’s Month theme as “We Make Change Work for Women”. This theme shall be used from 2017-2022. It highlights the empowerment of women as active contributors to and claimholders of development. This pursuit of development is also anchored on the commitment of “Malasakit at Pagbabago” or True Compassion and Real Change.

Women have faced many challenges throughout history, and the list is long of those who overcame adversity and became influential, inspirational figures. Where is a women’s place? Definitely not just in the kitchen. It is everywhere she wants to be.


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