Press Release
March 8, 2020


Today, we celebrate International Women's Day to recognize the strides we have made towards gender equality, as well as mark the 25 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action ensured progressive commitments for advancing women's rights.

With this year's theme, "I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women's Rights", we must realize that the requirements for equality, now more than ever, are within our grasp.

As Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, I have filed bills and resolutions on protecting women in state custody, increasing age of sexual consent, ending child and forced marriage, increasing the number of women in the police force, and calling for an investigation into child cybersex crimes and rise in teenage pregnancies.

I also laud the passage into law of an expanded maternity leave from 60 days to 105 days, as well as penalties for gender-based harassment in public places, including online spaces.

Despite the positive steps we have made in empowering women's rights, a call for justice remains for all those who have been, and continue to be harassed, abused and vilified for being women of courage, conviction, and compassion.

I have been unjustly detained for 1,109 days now. All over the world, many women human rights defenders like me continue to be oppressed and politically imprisoned for speaking truth to power. An increasing number of women parliamentarians like me are being subjected to misogynistic attacks by men in power.

Let us express our outrage against authoritarian world leaders who wield gender-based violence to persecute critics and normalize misogyny and rape culture with their sexist slurs and harassment.

We must work together with full resolve to make gender equality beneficial not just to women and girls, but for all humankind. Our generation has the power to make this universal aspiration a reality.


PNP Custodial Center, Camp Crame

8 March 2020

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