Press Release
May 28, 2015

Poe Urges Greater Participation of Women in Governance

Sen. Grace Poe underscored the need for greater participation of women in governance and leadership in a speech delivered at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) attended mostly by female leaders and entrepreneurs.

"Effective leadership can be gleaned not just from the progress of a few but the advancement of the majority, especially of those who find themselves in the fringes," Poe said Thursday.

"It is important for women to have genuine meaningful participation in public affairs. Women leaders have an invaluable take on issues of public interest," the senator said before sales leaders of Avon, a company known for giving women opportunities for economic advancement and self fulfillment.

Poe noted that 48% of people in decision making positions in the country are women. There are six female legislators out of 24 senators, while 60 women representatives sit in the 16th Congress out of the 234.

"While the number of women in power have increased, we remain a minority," said Poe.

Citing a survey conducted among members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, an association of parliamentarians around the world, Poe noted that female legislators prioritize social issues such as child care, equal pay; physical concerns such as reproductive rights, physical safety and gender-based violence; and development matters such as poverty alleviation and service delivery.

Since assuming office in 2013, Poe has already filed a number of legislation for the benefit of women and children, including the Anti-Discrimination Act of 2014.

Under this bill, discriminatory acts, such as inflicting stigma; denying of education; denying political, civil, and cultural rights, including the right to organize; inflicting harm on health and well-being are strictly prohibited and will be meted with appropriate penalties. Discrimination under this bill refers to those made on the basis of race, ethnicity, and other status, including gender.

She also filed a bill called the First 1,000 Days which recognizes the need for adequate nutrition of mothers and children in their first one thousand days. The bill seeks to establish a mother and child health care program in every barangay and complements Poe's proposed Sustansya sa Batang Pilipino, which seeks to establish a school-based feeding program for children.

Poe has also called for an investigation into the proliferation of cybersex dens that prey on children and women and an inquiry on the condition of women detainees and prisoners.

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