Around this time for the past decade, women from all sectors gather for a women’s summit to present what their sector has done for the past year and what they hope to achieve in the coming year, coming out with a powerful proposal for the city government to act on.
Like many events that have been shelved or canceled due to COVID-19, no summit or gathering will happen this year.
We take the liberty of printing excerpts of Councilor Pilar Braga’s Privilege Speech last year on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
“In solidarity with women all over the world, let us mark Women’s Month with the spirit of oneness and positive interaction, in the spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. We rejoice and celebrate women’s struggles and triumphs that have brought Filipino women to where they are today.
“Women have always played a vital role in our society. As wives, mothers, workers professionals, artists and advocates, women have been the champions of our deeply held spiritual, political and social values. Today, we are proud to find Filipino women in government – from its highest to its lowest levels – in the legislature, in the judiciary, and in the bureaucracy, and in local government units.
“In these positions, they have brought a unique perspective to the task of governance, ensuring that the government works more efficiently and more humanely for our people.
“Consider also the following information:
“About 85 percent of all teachers, whether in public or private schools, are women. Apart from the main task of educating, the female teacher often becomes surrogate mother and counselor to her students. Public school teachers are uniformly burdened with non-teaching tasks such as election duties and census-taking, which cut into their teaching hours. And many of them are multi-grade teachers, that is, teaching two or three separate grades in one classroom at the same time. Every activity of the community is placed on their shoulders, such as athletic meets, beautification program, tree planting, etc.
“Transmitting the best of our Filipino values to the next generation, our women are central to our spiritual and moral sustenance.”
In Davao City, mere ten years ago, the Women’s Development Code or Ordinance No. 5004, was crafted by women Councilors, the very first Women’s Code in the entire country – the Code has become the “bible” of Davao Women’s Network in its pursuit of women empowerment. We have broken the glass ceiling.