Over 10k Pinoys form women symbol at Luneta for Women´s Month
from March 8, 2014 05:00 pm to March 8, 2014 05:00 pm
(Update 3:40 p.m.) More than ten thousand Filipinos formed the "Women Symbol" at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta on Saturday, to kick off activities for the Women's Month.
In an interview with GMA News Online, Philippine Commission on Women executive director Emmeline Verzosa said the event is a "show of force" for women in the Philippines.
"Para mapakita rin natin na napakarami ang sumusuporta, show of force ito ng kababaihan," she said. "Lalo na dito sa Pilipinas, marami tayong nakitang hamon sa buhay, lalo na ang mga kababaihan, maraming mga kalamidad, disaster, marami silang nararanasan na karahasan at abuso."
"Gusto natin ipakita sa kababaihan na hindi sila kailangang magpaabuso; kailangang magpakatatag at alam nating marami namang ang matatag," she added.
She said violence against women is still a big problem in society.
"Karahasan sa kababaihan, marami pa rin tayong naririnig na may karanasan sa rape, binubogbog ng asawa o mahal sa buhay, naha-harass sa work place," she said.
"Sa kalusugan, access to reproductive health services, nakabinbin pa rin ang reproductive health law natin sa Korte. Kailangang may access sila para sila mismo ang nakakapagplano kung gusto nilang mag-anak," she added.
She also noted the recent disasters that hit the country and have affected many women.
"Unang-una, bago pa man maganap ang disaster, hinihikayat natin na makisama ang mga kababaihan sa disaster preparedness," she said.
Verzosa added that after a disaster hits, "bukod sa tubig at pagkain, dapat kasama rin ang special hygiene needs ng kababaihan, lalo na kung nasa reproductive age, they would need special hygiene products."
"In evacuation sites, we are also particular about in making sure there are no traffickers, or abusers, na nagsasamantala sa kanila. Mayroon kasing mga bali-balita na mayroong recruiter. At dahil mahirap ang kalagayan, kakapit sa kahit ano ang mga babaeng ito," she added.
Guinness World Record
Participants of the event, including several government employees and students, braved the early morning heat as they wait their turn to be placed in their formation.
It took more than an hour for the Armed Forces of the Philippines soldiers, who took charge in the formation plan, to situate everyone in the proper places.
By 8:33 a.m., the women gender symbol has taken shape, and organizers instructed everyone to stay still — under the heat of the sun — for at least 15 minutes as several cameras tried to capture the formation. This will be submitted to the Guinness World Record as the country's bid for the biggest human gender symbol.
"Layunin natin ngayon ay tipunin ang 12,000 kababaihan at kalalakihan para magbuo ng human gender symbol," Verzosa said.
As of posting time, it has yet to be determined if a new world record has been set, however, officials noted that more than 10,000 people have joined in the formation.
Verzosa said only 250 people are needed to set a new record as there are no other countries who attempted in forming the biggest human gender symbol. "Minimum lang ang 250 (people)."
Despite the uncomfortable heat, it was all smiles for the participants who cheered as it was announced that the record processing had finished.
While Elmundo Zurayah Grae, a student from the Philippine Normal University, admitted that attendance to the event was mandatory for class, she said the activty was very “fulfilling and nakaka-proud.”
"Gusto ko lang isulong ang women empowerment; nagsisimula siya sa sarili, kung ikaw na babae, mamahalin mo muna sarili mo, 'yon ang magiging unang hakbang mo para maipakita sa kanila na ang kakabaihan ay worthy rin sa pagmamahal at respect,” she added.
Meanwhile, an employee of the Security and Exchange Commission, Diana Cortes, said she joined the activty to show support to all the women in the country.
“Why are we here? We want to support women's causes and to show support where women are today from what they are years back,” she said. She also noted that women should have equal benefits as with men.
For her part, Department of Science and Technology's Ruby Padilla said she joined the event to call for domestic and sexual violence against women to be stopped.
Meanwhile, 13-year-old Kate Daphne Sta. Juan of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines said violence against women in the country should be given attention.
"Bilang girl scout, mahalaga ang pagiging babae, ang pag-empower natin ay nilalabas natin,” she said.
"Violence against women ang dapat bigyang pansin. Hindi dapat inaabuso ang mga babae, kun'di dapat minamahal at nirerespeto." — LBG/VC, GMA News