Press Release
November 15, 2019


Sen. Grace Poe rallied Filipino women to be relentless in cheering each other's achievements, saying this would lift them up in exercising their rights and roles in society.

Speaking at the "Women Today: Innovators and Agents of Future" forum, Poe said women can accomplish more if they would be given the opportunity to realize their full potentials.

"Ang ibig ko lang pong sabihin, higit pa ang ating magagawa kung bibigyan tayo ng oportunidad para tumulong sa pagpapaunlad at pagsasaayos ng ating bayan at lipunan," she said.

Poe stressed the country is not wanting in its share of inspiring stories that show the Filipinas "have both brains and brawns."

She cited Olympic silver medalist weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and Girls Will Code founder Isabel Sieh. Diaz will represent the country anew in the Southeast Asian Games to be hosted by the Philippines this November.

"Sino ang ating champion na weightlifter? Hindi lalaki, kundi babae. Si Hidilyn Diaz, when she started, she didn't have any support. She just used whatever she had around the house, cans and cement, and that's what she used to train herself to become a weightlifter," Poe said.

"It was a hard climb...but she made it. She won as the first Filipino woman to win an Olympic medal of any color," she added.

Sieh has proven that age is nothing but a number, learning computer languages at a very young age of 10.

"She learned computer languages such as HTML and JavaScript by taking online classes...Her passion for coding led her to start Girls Will Code. Their mission is to provide activities that close the gender gap in tech, by encouraging young girls to develop better technological skills and solutions," Poe said.

Sieh eventually got her partnerships with big companies such as Google and Accenture which helped her grow Girls Will Code. Now, she's around 17 or 18 years old.

"Behind every successful man is a woman. Narinig na ninyo 'yan. But behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women. You know this first hand, when you have your friends cheering you on. Let us help each other," Poe said.

Poe said women face challenges in asserting their leadership roles in society.

"To bring on change, we need inspiring individuals, but we also need a grassroots movement. To eliminate discrimination, efforts must be exerted by government, non-government organizations, the private sector, so that it is a whole-of-society approach," she said.

"Tayong mga kababaihan should ensure that our organizations and workplaces are safe and empowering for women," Poe added.

Poe said she has filed Senate Bill No. 315 or the Anti-Discrimination bill, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, race, religion or belief, sex or gender or sexual orientation, language, disability, or educational attainment in schools and in places of work.

She also co-authored the Safe Spaces Act or what is called, "Bawal ang Bastos."

Women should also be empowered economically and should have access to education and capital, so that they could have decent means to fend for themselves and their families.

"Without the financial means to receive proper education, generations after generations would be prevented from achieving social mobility and attaining equal opportunities. This, in turn, prevents them from earning higher wages, entrenching them farther into poverty," Poe said.

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