Women have come a long way in their fight for equality and recognition. It is only fitting to honor them, our mothers, daughters and female friends, especially on Women’s Month.
In ancient times, women did not have the right to own property, were not allowed to vote, get an education or pick their own life partners. They were relegated to the kitchen and household chores. In times of war, when kings fought each other over land, territories or to settle disputes, they gave their daughters in marriage as part of the “prize” to the victors of war or to strengthen political alliances.
Over the years, women had to fight for recognition and gender equality. The movement has since caught on and become global. In the Philippines, Manila ranked 8th in this year’s Global Gender Gap Report, higher by two notches from last year’s ranking, according to the World Economic Forum. According to ABS CBN News, “the country is one of the world’s most gender equal countries worldwide with equal opportunities on political and economic leadership for men and women.”
The fight for gender equality is far from over. There are still milestones to reach such as closing the wage gaps among males and females in executive positions who handle the same work or responsibilities.
Yet the fight for equality must not be seen in an adversarial way. Although women are capable of doing work that has been traditionally done by men such as truck drivers, welders or soldiers, their role in life is not militant but complementary with the role of men. Men and women are both capable of successfully building their own careers or establishing and expanding their business enterprises. In temperament, disposition, in the way they rear children, they can be partners and not competitors.
After all, women hold half the sky. Happy Women’s Month to all women out there!