We Make Change Work for Women:
Agenda ng Kababaihan Tungo sa Kaunlaran
Robby Bucoy Echavez, MAEd, RPm, RPsy, MAGC
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for their health and
the well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing
and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in
the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or
other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All
children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social
protection (Universal Declaration of Human Rights [UDHR)], Article 25). The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) has kept to its theme of
making change work for women for several years now, with the observance of
National Women’s Month this 2022 focuses on putting the weight of the nation on women’s agenda for inclusive growth. This country-wide challenge is an echo of the UDHR’s elevation of the right of all, especially mothers, girls, widows, poor ales, sick manangs, old nanays, and vulnerable ates, to a quality of life that provides for
not only a minimum food and home security but also one that promotes wellbeing and special care and assistance. As a duty bearer, particularly as a psychologist, building the nation on the
fundamental right of women and girls, especially those who are in the borderlands of
economic development and the peripheries of social living, will mean increasing
social capital by empowering half of the population towards a bayanihan with
people’s organizations, civic groups, non-government organizations, cooperatives and similar initiatives. Giving mothers, ates, and the girl child the quality of life they are entitled to will involve a special focus on their unique reproductive functions and
support for the challenges that these engender. In a face-to-face workshop with the young peer facilitators of the FranciscanSisters Pro Infante et Familia, women’s issues were given central attention (AppendixB). Utilizing Bacchi’s (2009) What Problem is Represented (WPR) approach, the
young people provided thoughts concerning problems that often beset women. In our
move to advance ourselves and society, who have we left behind? In our initiatives to grow as a community, what things have we done right and therefore need to continue doing or improve? What are false starts and hopes that we should revisit, reevaluate, and reengineer in order to make a successful implementation happen? What are
programs, agendas, and activities that we need to push utilizing a whole-of-nation
These problematizations will reveal one face, sadly despairing and
oppressively suffering– the face of the Filipina. Problems burdening Maria have a
global reach. Researching women in welfare across the United States, Hays’
(2003) analysis reveals the heart-wrenching and worldwide truth of more and more
women falling flat-broke with their children (especially girl children), consuming all
of their time on Earth cycling through generational poverty and disenfranchisement. Her research has revealed that one key out of these problems, also highlighted in the FSPIF PF March 20, 2022 seminar-workshop (Appendix C), is translating collective concern for the reproductive roles and functions of women into public support. In other words, it is throwing the support of all of society to women, making it easier for
them, through inclusive participation and the provision of comprehensive support
packages in child care, education, health care, and home economics, to mention a few. The intertwining and interdependence of social resources and every Juana’s
central and unique roles were considered by Annemarie Gerzer-Sass and Rudolf
Pettinger (Cannan & Warren, 2003) in their thesis concerning the importance of new social networks in the lives of families, women, and children in Germany. That is, in order to advocate for Article 25 of the UDHR, as duty bearers it is important to
emphasize and integrate state help, the caring logic, the renewal of the mother role, and the reliance on neighborhood centers into the “normal biography” (p. 129) of
every woman and man. These general directions go beyond social justice as fairness
(Rawls, 1971); as giving just what is due to women. It espouses a preferential option to increase flexibility, involvement, creativity, motivation, opportunities, care
arrangements, housing, environmental planning, and other agenda for women. This is
how we can make change work for women and in so doing, bring everyone tungosakaunlaran.
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Cannan, C., & Warren, C. (Eds.). (2003). Social action with children and families. Routledge.
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