VP Leni challenges PSUians: Create more spaces for women
“DO WHAT CAN BE DONE, here and now. Be brave in speaking up and standing up for others. Create more spaces for other women with voices firm and hearts open,” Vice President Leni Robredo said.
As Pangasinan State University Lingayen Campus (PSU-LC) commemorates National Women’s Month, VP Leni on a webinar entitled “Claiming Women Spaces in Leadership” urged PSUians to find courage in resolving and facing the challenges head on, not letting any constraints of the society, the unfreedoms and insecurities, hinder on becoming their best selves.
“We must transform the narrative and keep repeating this truth- that women can achieve whatever we set our minds to, that women can rise above defeats and challenges,” the speaker expressed in front of over thousands of views on the monitor.
Organized by the Gender and Development Unit thru Dr. Presley V. de Vera, GAD Coordinator, the webinar was held on March 22 (Monday) aired via Zoom Platform and lived at the Official Facebook page of the unit.
The speech of the second-highest ranking official of the country outlined the very purpose of the said event which is to gain understanding on how women are able to claim spaces in leadership and decision-making- making her as a good model of a strong leader.
Taking her experiences as an example, the Vice President shared that for someone who has become used to quietly doing work for so long, mostly behind the scenes as human rights lawyer, her plight as leader is not an easy battle.
It can be recalled that VP Leni first came to public attention after the death of her husband, the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, in a crash off in the coast of Masbate Island.
After this, she ran and won as Representative of Camarines Sur’s Third District for the 16th Congress and then, inaugurated as Vice President last 2016 National Election.
“Being a woman has paved the way for a lot of vicious and malicious attacks. Some said I was better off at home because I was a woman. Other said I was incapable of the job at hand, because I was just my husband’s widow,” she said.
But thru her journey, she learned to be brave, not letting ‘whispers’ put her back. By then, she inspired everyone to be passionate about serving people, “We cannot allow our tractors to discourage us from doing our share and the enormous task to nation-building.”
The Vice President added, “We are meant to survive even during the most difficult time. Kaya sige lang, tuloy lang, laban lang. Continue challenging the way things are. Huwag matakot.”
Throughout her speech, she cited what should it means to be a strong leader- redefining traditional standards of leaders ‘with brashness and aggression’.
“Being a strong leader means nurturing and empowering others to become the best version of themselves. It means channeling strength without blaster in a manner that is firm yet dignified, compassionate and empathic and thrives quietly yet decisively amidst adversity,” she expounded.
Moreover, various notable persons who are GAD advocates delivered messages to participants to scrutinize the purpose of the celebration. These were Ms. Maybelyn DC. Fernandez, Chair of the Board of Directors, Philippine Red Cross- Pangasinan Chapter; Dr. Angelo O. Tubac, an alumnus of University of the Philippines Open University; Ms. Jo Enrica C. Enriquez, a member of National Gender and Development Resource Pool, Philippine Commission on Women; Ms. Sandra Sanchez-Montano, Chair of Philippine Commission on Women; and Ms. Jill C. Javiniar, Head of Angat Buhay Program of the Office of the Vice-President of the Republic of the Philippines. /mmpd