Pinay Advocates in Action
by Gretzel H. Lantican
“A woman should be two things: who she wants and what she needs.” It’s a powerful line from one of the world’s most iconic fashion designers and businesswomen, Coco Chanel. Her statement is also used in the slogan “Every Girl Can” by She Talks Asia and Mano Amiga to empower every woman in the country.
Advocacies of Inspiring Pinays
When it comes to women empowerment, there’s no need to look further than inside the country for inspirational stories. The Philippines already has its successors, Pinays who have contributed and impacted society in ways that have changed countless lives. They’re role models who advocate for fellow citizens in need and inspire more Filipinos to do the same.
2017 Statistics of Mental Health in the Philippines
There’s a reason to fight for mental health. The country has a large number of people suffering from mental health issues: 3.3 M for depressive disorders, 3.1 M for anxiety disorders, and 2.9 suicides. This is an alarming yet unacknowledged issue in Philippine society.
Since it’s an occurring condition that needs more awareness, Senator Risa Hontiveros implemented the Senate Bill (SB) No. 1354: The Philippine Mental Act of 2017. This act aims to give Filipinos affordable and accessible mental health care, since mental illnesses can be assessed, medicated or even cured with the help of an institution.
The Senate bill is part of an advocacy supported by three personalities; namely, actress Antoinette Taus, ‘Be Healed Foundation’ and ‘Ilaw Foundation’ Director Jerika Ejercito, and Miss International 2016 Kylie Versoza. These women slay the modern day as advocates of mental health.
Jean Enriquez, Executive Director of CATW-AP
In the country, the prevailing causes of human trafficking is poverty, oppression, and lack of human rights. Within the country’s 10.9 Filipino families, 10 million are living in marginalized sectors (based on reports from Social Weather Stations), and most of them are women who are victims of human trafficking ( based on PCIJ).
That’s why NGOs like the Coalition against Trafficking in Women—Asia Pacific exist (CATW-AP). Executive Director Jean Enriquez believes that through proper education and alternative livelihood, the CATW-AP would help victims of human trafficking build a new and better life.
Senator Pia Cayetano
Advocating for women’s rights is the leftist Filipino organization, Gabriela. It addresses the country’s societal issues—poverty, sex trafficking, and violence. Actress Angel Locsin advocates for it.
Senator Pia Cayetano also fights for women’s right. She may be the youngest woman elected in the history of the Philippine Senate, but she proved to everyone that she has what it takes to have her seat.
As another advocate of women’s rights, Senator Cayetano wants the best for every Pinay. She succeeded and passed the following bills: Reproductive Health Law (RA 10354), Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act (RA 10028), and Magna Carta of Women (RA 9710).
Miss Saigon Lea Salonga
Education is a basic right of all children, but it isn’t the case in developing nations like Philippines. The country has 3.8 million out-of-school children and youth from 6 to 24 years old (based on 2016 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey).
To help alleviate the problem, the country’s Miss Saigon Lea Salonga finds time to advocate education by sponsoring children living in marginalized sectors, because they’re the future of the next generation.
Arts and Culture
Tres amigas of Art Fair Philippines
Another significant part in a Filipino culture is art. It plays an important role in their life for it inspires their thinking and perception in life. We owe our thanks to the Tres Marias, Trickie Lopa, Dindin Araneta, and Lisa Periquet of Art Fair Philippines. They annually hold the premier showcase of modern and contemporary art from international and local scene.
Some people say women can’t have it all, but these Pinays have proven that wrong time and time again. From mental health to human trafficking to cultural progress, they sure know how to fight for a better future. They’re truly inspirational figures who empower women in all aspects of life.
Our Pinay advocates are being heard and felt with their moving campaigns for the country, so now’s your turn. Fight what’s right for the people of the country. Be an inspiration like our Pinay advocates.
Image sources:ABS CBN