Press Release
March 8, 2021

Villanueva: Women are key to success against the pandemic

Senator Joel Villanueva today stressed the key role that women play in defeating the pandemic, saying that female leadership would make it impossible not to emerge victorious against the most serious health crisis gripping the Philippines and the rest of the world.

In a speech sponsoring Senate Resolution No. 673 commemorating International Women's Day, Villanueva said women now have decisive roles in determining the fate of the country and it was time to acknowledge that.

"If women are with us every step of the way, we cannot lose our way," Villanueva said in his sponsorship speech.

"If the status of women in society continues to rise, our country will, too," he said. "And as long as there are women who continue to lead the fight against the pandemic, it is impossible for the people not to be victorious," Villanueva added.

To illustrate the barriers that had been breached by women empowerment, Villanueva recalled his days at the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) as the agency's head.

"I can say that in various trades dominated by highly-skilled male workers, women are successfully breaking the barriers," Villanueva said.

"In fact, more than 50 percent of technical-vocational graduates are women and they have proven that by taking courses more popular among men, they can also excel in them," said Villanueva, who chairs the Senate committee on labor.

"Many Filipino women are now making a decent and stable living as welders, drivers, automotive mechanics," he said.

But equality between men and women is not just a recent phenomenon, Villanueva said.

He said even God, during the Creation, created men and women as equal beings.

"Mankind would not be complete if there were only women or if there were only men," Villanueva said. "Mankind is women and men. Equal and the same, neither is ahead," he said.

Villanueva said he takes pride in helping craft key legislation for women, among them the groundbreaking Magna Carta for Women and the Work-From-Home Act, which allows women to perform their dual tasks as a pillar of the home and as a worker. The law would eventually play a big role in guiding arrangements for remote work during the pandemic.

Noting that this year's celebration of International Women's Day has the theme "Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World", Villanueva said it celebrates the "tremendous efforts by women around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic."

"We believe that we need to always involve views and opinions of women in crafting our laws and their implementation in all aspects at every step of our pandemic response and recovery," Villanueva said.

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