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The Power of Women to Change their World

There is hope that women and children victims of violence and sexual abuse can change their world by fighting back for justice. The #MeToo movement gave a greater chance for women and children to fight back by bringing their abusers to justice.


he UN research says that 736 million women “have been subjected to physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both at least once in their life (30 % of women aged 15 and older).” That figure, like the sexual abuse of children, shows that one in every three are victims of abuse.

We have to ask, why are so many males in the human species filled with anger and hatred of others that they turn to violence against women and children? Some psychologists say that males who inflict extreme violence on women were likely abused in their childhood, perhaps denied love by their mother, or beaten or sexually abused by their father or relatives. It is high time to educate youth, teachers, and parents on the values of loving kindness and respect for everyone and end verbal and psychological abuse and humiliation of youth.

Male dominance and the striving for total control over women is seen in some societies like Afghanistan, where women are violently controlled and strongly discriminated against and cannot study, hold many jobs, or even go to a playground with their children. However, in many other societies, especially in Asia, female success and empowerment, and greater equality are prevalent. In the Philippines, for example, women have risen to leadership roles although there is much yet to be achieved to get equality.

In the Philippine congress since 2012, the percentage of seats held by women was 22.89 %. However, in 2013, this had risen to 27.32 %. That has slightly increased to 27.96 % by 2021. The women in congress have been strong advocates of women’s and children’s rights and successful in passing legislation protecting women and children against violence. In the Philippines, women have greater control over their lives than ever before.

Dozens of laws protect their rights and children’s rights although not all are properly implemented. Two presidents and two vice presidents have been women. The vice president, who is also the secretary of education, today is a woman. Last November 29, 2022, the Philippine congress passed yet another bill protecting women in the workplace.  House Bill No. 4470, also known as the Anti-Discrimination of Women in their Workplaces Bill, was approved with votes of 248 members of the House of Representatives.

While violence against women is on the increase worldwide, so is the pushback. There are greater efforts to promote, protect, and empower more women and children to stand and fight back against violence and abuse and assert their dignity.

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