MANILA, Philippines — Ang ilaw ng tahanan.
They are our mothers, our women. But it’s about time for us to challenge the moniker. Today, Filipinas aren’t just staying put at home; they’re also the brains and the brawn of society, thriving in leadership positions as well as in jobs traditionally delegated to men like welding and farming. They don’t just make up about half of the population. Women are also major economic contributors, game changers if you will, and often dictate the trends we all soon follow.
A modern-day heroine
Heroine /ˈherōən/: A woman admired or idealized for her courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
What defines the modern-day Filipina heroine?
Her courage is a given. When she speaks up during a meeting or stays calm in trying situations, these are acts of bravery themselves. Noble qualities, like compassion, love, and patience, are certainly also some of the best attributes of women today. Achievements, however, are a little more difficult to gauge.
Job titles, awards, and milestones aside, how can you say that one accomplishment is above another? If classic myths and stories of martyrdom are any indication, you’d know that when it comes to heroism, the real achievement is measured by the perseverance one shows to attain it. Working mothers come to mind: those who wake up each morning to prepare food for the family, work hard at their jobs, and make it home in time to bond with their children, and think nothing of it.
Simply put, the modern Filipina is someone who doesn’t let anything hold her back.
Acknowledging women’s contributions
Heroines as they are, women today have not been getting the recognition that is due them. A study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) revealed that 94% of women contribute to the growth of the Philippine economy. And yet on a separate study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), we see that on average, women only earn about half the amount that men receive.
Closing this income gap won’t come easy but it can be done by empowering women and letting them know of their strengths, accomplishments, and opportunities. Filipinas need to learn that they don’t need to underplay their success and that there is merit in pushing themselves to do even better.
We need more Filipinas who can dream, who are ambitious, and who don’t accept things as they are. Because the success of women is the success of all.
They are not only the light of the home, but the light of the world. – Rappler.com
Ariel supports the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) in its efforts to uplift, empower, and inspire women by raising gender equality awareness. As a laundry brand, Ariel is the progressive woman’s perfect partner that ensures tough stains and piles of laundry don’t hold her back from pursuing other passions and dreams. For more information, visit the Ariel Philippines Facebook page.