“Poor rural women work 10 to 12 hours daily, with very little or no pay, to help their families cope with poverty. It is time to honor them by sharing in their burdens— helping in housework, for example—and by recognizing that their status is equal to men, “ said Marie Grace Madamba-Nuñez, spokesperson of Oxfam in the Philippines , which produced the commercial "Palibhasa Babae" that stars veteran actress Cherie Pie Picache. The ad was launched on March 4.
“Although women face the same problems of poverty and political neglect, they experience these problems differently, because of their lesser status in society. For example, men have the last say when it comes to family decisions because they are the “padre de familia,” the ruler of the house. While women have to do most of the housework because their social role is to take care of the family—even if this means they won’t have time for themselves,” said Madamba-Nuñez.
Maricel Pangilinan of Harrison Communications, Inc., which created the commercial says, “But there’s something people can do. As a son or daughter, for example, you can give your mother a day-off each week and do her housework. Or, as a husband, you can make it a point to make decisions together with your wife,” “Palibhasa Babae leads viewers to websites where they can find out more about what they can do for rural women,” said Pangilinan.
“We hope the elections will usher in leaders, especially women leaders, who are willing to fight for the reproductive health bill and increased government spending for small women farmers and fishers,” said farming women leader Trinidad “Ka Trining” Domingo, head of the Pambansang Koalisyon ng mga Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK).
“The Reproductive Health Bill offers poor women a menu of services that will help them make informed choices about raising their families. Government monies can go a long way in putting in place sustainable livelihood options for poor families and, in turn, promoting food security,” said Domingo.
At the launch of the ad, Domingo led in quizzing women election candidates Risa Hontiveros, Yasmin Lao, and Sonia Roco on their platform for rural women should they win in May’s election derby. “Don’t forget us after you win in the elections. Please make sure that gender and women’s concerns are integrated in your proposed bills and programs,” said Domingo.
Domingo also asked the candidates to push for: setting up of a referral system for victims of violence against women and children (VAWC); localizing the Magna Carta of Women; making school curricula gender-sensitive; and recognizing outstanding women in various fields.