Women’s Month and some Disturbing Facts

I gave a talk on March 6, 2015 and this is my speech.

The PNP has a total of 149, 333 police officers as of December 2014 and 21, 175 or 14% are female. In the policy making or third level police officers, we have a total of 724 and only 13 are women, less than 2%, making us marginalized, without significant representation, participation or voice. We also have approximately 10,000 personnel who are not police officers.

I came here tonight not wearing the uniform which I am very proud of, because I want to show that aside from being a police officer, I am my own person, a mother, a sister, a friend and a citizen of this country who wants to create a ripple that would hopefully make a little change in the small circle around me and contribute a bit to change for a better Philippines.

Gender discriminations happen everywhere not only among Filipinos. Gender issues are almost the same everywhere, where women are expected to be simply mother and wife that will take care of all the needs of her children. That has been dictated by culture, something learned that can be unlearned.

Nancy Patricia D’Alessandro Pelosi is the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives and served as the 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011. She said, “When I first run into public office.. Although my son was a senior in high school, the question I most frequently asked (her FAQ) was,” Who’s going to be taking care of your children?” and of course, it’s one of the questions that I don’t think a man has EVER been asked when he has run for public office.

Nancy Pelosi also said, “Being the first woman speaker and breaking the marble ceiling is pretty important. Now it’s time to move on.” Men, forgive me for saying, sometimes cannot move on, their titles and jobs are more often what identifies them as a person. This is how men and women differ.

Yousafzai Malala when she received the Nobel Peace Prize said, I am very thankful that my father for not clipping my wings, for letting me fly. She was born on July 12, 1997, in Mingora, Pakistan. As a child, she became an advocate for girls’ education, which resulted in the Taliban issuing a death threat against her. On October 9, 2012, a gunman shot Malala when she was traveling home from school. She survived, and has continued to speak out on the importance of education. She was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2013. In  2014,  she was nominated again and won, becoming the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

It is imperative that parents let their children reach their full potential not under a narrow definition of male or female and let them choose their careers and express themselves as human beings. LGBTs included, we are all human with human rights. Women’s rights are human rights.

In the Philippines we have the glass ceiling and glass walls. A glass ceiling is a political term used to describe “the seen, yet unreachable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements (from wikipedia) this results to low numbers of women and minorities in executive positions. Glass walls and “glass elevators” refer to institutional barriers that isolate some employees — traditionally women and minorities — into jobs that don’t lead to executive advancement.

The limited numbers of women police officers were further confined to jobs which the men do not prefer. An example is a police officer who has surpassed the accomplishments of most policemen with her qualifications, aptitude and skills required for higher executive positions. She is the only one to reach the rank of two stars general but she could have achieved more such as being given the position of a Regional Director before making her a member of Directorial Staff.

What are the benefits of engaging more women and giving them executive positions?

Here are proven benefits of inclusion:

  1. Large, diverse teams with a history of working together make the most successful decisions –Small Business Economics 2013
  2. Mixed gender teams make better decisions than all-male teams –Management Science 2013
  3. Participative strategy-making unleashes the power of diversity for agile (responsive) decision-making – International Journal of Human Resource Management (2013)

When we left out the women, we exclude half the talent, half the resources and half the potentials of the populations.

Philippine Commission on Women Chairperson Remmy Rikken said, we do not like the argument, “Let’s choose women because they are more honest and not corrupt.”  That would be putting men down!  The best argument is one of representation, we are 50% of the population and should be 50% of the leadership.

Women and men think differently, so both of them should be in all the different levels of leadership whether in civil society, academe, bureaucracy or electoral politics. The world would be a better place when both of them can speak and are heard, recognized and appreciated. #JuanaSays (PCW fb post)

On February 14,  1995, then President Fidel V Ramos signed RA 7877, the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act  as a Valentine’s gift to Filipino woman who were harassed and some do not even know what it is called. They are just vexed or annoyed and felt victimized but the crime has no name. Chancing lang, ang arte mo naman, or nagsusuot ka kasi ng sexy kaya ka binabastos. It was always the victim who were blamed not the offender.

The law required all public and private entities to create the Committee on Decorum and Investigation (CODI) and twenty years after, the PNP do not have CODI in place to prevent and investigate cases of sexual harassments. In 2014, we evaluated the implementation of the Magna Carta of Women RA 9710 (2009), after 5 years we are still very very far behind and there are many victims of sexual harassments who were not able to file cases, and who continues to be victimized.

My thesis on Officer Senior Executive Course is about the implementation of Civil Service Commission Resolution No. 01-0940, Administrative Disciplinary Rules on Sexual Harassment Cases which include peers and subordinates among the offenders not only superiors on the basis of moral ascendancy.

My thesis was renamed in the list and can no longer be found. The only copy I got was also lost (inadvertently?) when it was asked from me as reference while I am a member of the TWG reviewing the reason for non-implementation of the Circular for the CSC rules implementation. I suggested including the training of CODI members to ensure implementation. The Circular was signed without the training and it was not circularized or disseminated.

Laws were created and yet few were able to feel its implementation. Policies which are biased, discriminating and oppressing to women still abounds. As a consequence, the subordination and marginalization permeate our society and abuses against women and children continue.

It pains me to know that the likes of Peter Scully, the Australian who abused even an infant and killed children after raping them, would thrive in our country. What have we done to prevent this from happening, how were we raised? I no longer know what questions to ask, are we in the Imperial Manila immune from this scourge? Of course not, we have heard of a 11-month old kidnapped and raped then killed in the streets of Manila. Why is there violence against women and children?

This is what I want to ask, how are we all going to answer those questions and how can we help in preventing violence against women and children?



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