Advocate pushes women’s economic independence
Among the many dimensions of women empowerment, a rights advocate here considers a woman’s gaining a economic independence gives the female the even chance of deciding what is best for her life.
At the Kapihan sa PIA commemorating Women’s Month, city councilor and women’s rights advocate Mariquit Oppus said many women remain passive victims of abuse because they could not practically survive apart from the financial security provided by their “aggressors”.
By aggressors, Oppus meant husbands or family members who have the means of supporting women in the home.
She said most women have fully devoted their lives to the home that they seldom have the opportunities for self-development and do not have the proper skills to earn a gainful living apart from home.
Oppus said she knows some women who have felt miserable in their homes but could not imagine how to survive outside of the home they have grown to stay.
It’s economic independence issue and if there are better options for these women, I would imagine them more empowered to take the decision for what’s right for them, Oppus shared.
Seeing this, Oppus hailed non-government organizations, which have been into opening of trainings to equip women with more skills to survive.
The general idea is to allow more women the capacity to willfully decide on which is right for them and that, which makes them happy in their lives.
A decade into legislation and a full time mother, Oppus admits that their group has noted a rising trend in reported abuses to women, but sees this as a positive response to an earlier advocacy to get the victims coming out.
“We notice that it is rising but we see this as positive side, it should be a result of strengthened advocacy,” she said.
“Women empowerment has many dimensions, and letting a woman do away with her insecurities is one beginning,” Oppus declared during a radio forum aired live over a local radio station.
“Provide the wider opportunities for women and then let then choose,” she urged.
“We have seen very promising signs that women are getting involved, but there is still much that needs to be done,” she agrees. (30)