One great thing about being Filipina is that our society is relatively progressive when it comes to gender equality. Recently, we even beat the US in the World Economic Forum’s list of countries for having one of the smallest gender gaps for women. We are the only Asian country in the top ten list and praised for our “drive for smaller gender gaps in labor force participation and wages.”
But that doesn’t mean sexism no longer happens. Far from it. If you’re a woman, you need to have balls to push the envelope and earn people’s respect—the kind that has everyone either quaking or cheering in your presence. Spot.PH lists 10 women who dared to challenge the so-called norms and shake up the powers-that-be. They’re Pinays with balls…really huge ones. Though we may not agree with them all the time, we can’t deny the fact that they make things happen.
1. ESPERANZA CABRAL
Feisty move: Despite the forceful opposition of the Catholic Church, this feisty Department of Health Secretary is standing her ground on the issue of condoms, reproductive health, and sex education. Her resolve and her pragmatic stance has earned her many supporters.
Fighting words: In the wake of her smackdown with the Church, she told ANC’s Dateline Philippines, “Of course, I am afraid of the Church. They are very powerful and they can sometimes be very vicious. I’m not exactly one who likes to live dangerously, but I’d rather live dangerously than do nothing.”
Fierce fashion: Her upswept hairdo symbolizes her unflappability. You’d want her with you if religious organizations get on your case.