Liza Soberano turned emotional as she called on women and influencers to use their voice and speak on issues involving women and children.
Speaking at a Gabriela Youth webinar titled Mga Tinig ni Nene: Reclaiming Our Voices on the International Day of the Girl Child on Tuesday, October 13, the actress shared how she was involved in an online campaign against child exploitation early this year.
“Change cannot just be the responsibility of the people who need it the most. They need the support of everyone most especially of those in the highest power if we are to see true change," she said.
"And as a woman, as a Filipino artist, I think that women and influencers alike should start speaking up. They can contribute not only awareness about these issues but also encouragement and confidence to our fellow women and children – that they need to stand up for themselves,” she said.
Soberano admitted that in the past, she was not vocal on issues because she was afraid she would divide her supporters.
But that changed when she filed a complaint against an online user for a rape joke against her last month. Soberano said she became emotional after receiving messages from her supporters, thanking her for fighting back.
“I know a lot of women in my life who had struggled with this and I find it so unfair we women have to go out everyday in fear of being catcalled and fear of dressing up in a certain way and getting called for the way we dress,” she said.
“I fear that my nieces and my future children won’t be able to go out in a safe environment. That’s why I find it so important to start spreading awareness to future generations as early as now so that we can create a better future for everyone.”
Soberano said speaking up about issues is easier said than done for some but she is encouraged to do more thanks to celebrities like Angel Locsin and Angelina Jolie, who are vocal about their causes.
“Whenever they speak up, it empowers me and gives me the courage to speak up about these issues too because they matter and we need to start seeing change in the world.”
You can watch Soberano's speech starting at 57:20 mark.