Manifestation of Senator Pia S. Cayetano
146th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly, Manama, Bahrain
Good morning, everyone. My name is Pia Cayetano. I am a senator from the Philippines.
I fully support the initiative to discuss ways on how we can have women representation in the United Nations General Assembly. Women are decision-makers. But we need more of them in decision-making bodies.
I’d like to speak a little bit about the dual role of women in society. One in the home, and one in the workplace. Even when we look at some developed countries, who may be considered to be at the frontline of empowering women and addressing obstacles that women are confronted with, many of them still struggle to provide the kind of support that will allow women to embrace their full potential.
Many women who have children are forced to leave their jobs, in order to provide full care for their children. Or they decide to embrace their work, which is of course a choice they can make, but forgo their opportunity to have a family.
In the Philippines, many women take jobs in other countries, raising other people’s children. This is a sacrifice they make in their desire to address their families’ economic needs. But these children will grow up barely seeing their mothers.
This illustrates the need for us to continue examining our policies and programs, because we can do better to ensure that children can grow up with their mothers, and their mothers could still pursue careers.
We should push that more women are at the forefront creating these opportunities because these are the women who have experienced these kinds of situations. As we speak, I would assume that many other women like me have not seen their children for a few days because we are here. So, what are the situations that we can create to allow us to have and perform our best as mothers, as daughters, as caregivers to the families we love, and still pursue our career?
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and dear colleagues. #