Opposition Senator Leila de Lima has commended women around the world for their resiliency and ability to stand as the backbone of recovery for every community amid the current COVID-19 pandemic that put people’s life on a grinding halt.

While the pandemic has disproportionally affected women around the world, De Lima said that women continue to serve as a sterling example who inspire the public to innovate their way through challenging times.

“Ang pagbulusok ng ating ekonomiya dala ng pandemya ay higit na nagpapahirap sa ating mga kababaihan na makamit ang mga batayang pangangailangan katulad ng sapat na pagkain, disenteng trabaho, at nakabubuhay na sahod. Sa gitna ng pandemya, lalo tayong nagiging bulnerable sa mga pang-aabuso sa ating mga tahanan at pagawaan,” the legislator said.

“Women are also the backbone of recovery for our communities.”

“But even amidst it all, the resilience of women always shined through. We rose to the occasion. Even as we bear the brunt of the pandemic, women are also the backbone of recovery for our communities,” the lawmaker added.

The lady senator’s message was delivered during the recent online event dubbed as “Women Shining Through the Storm Blossoming Amidst Adversity” organized by the Commission on Human Rights.

Citing effects of past outbreaks, she said that the social and economic impacts of pandemics fall harder on women who bear the brunt of the added responsibility of remaining the light of the home even amidst family members falling susceptible to illnesses, and loss of income and livelihood, among others.

“News reports contained realities that humanity was forced, without warning nor an ample period to adapt, to endure and survive. What the narrative has inadequately reflected, as it most often fails to do, is how the pandemic has disproportionally affected women around the world,” de Lima said.

“They continue to keep the home intact even when their own sanity is challenged by school closures, livelihood and employment changes and the added protocols that life in the new normal entailed,” she added.

De Lima likewise expressed her appreciation for the “new normal heroes” women who sacrifice to allow people around them to continue to live their lives even with just a semblance of normalcy.

“We salute your bravery, and express our deepest gratitude for all your sacrifices.”

“We salute your bravery, and express our deepest gratitude for all your sacrifices. Women healthcare workers who continuously showed up garbed in sweat-soaked PPEs manning tents and facilities even when the risks to themselves continued to mount, women frontline service providers who continued to clock in so that life could somehow keep going for all of us,” she said.

“Mga kababaihan mula sa mga maralitang komunidad na nangunguna sa mga relief operations at information drive sa kabila ng mga sarili nilang pasanin sa buhay. Pambihirang sakripisyo at pagkabayani ang ipinamalas ninyo sa kabila ng inyo ring sariling mga pangamba. Kulang ang pagsaludo at pasasalamat namin sa inyo sa lahat ng ginagawa ninyo para sabayan,” de Lima added.

She said the sacrifices women have endured to support the people around them will never go unappreciated.

“Taliwas sa pahayag ng iba na “maliit na bagay” lamang ang ating pinagdaraanan, kailanma’y hindi namin mamaliitin ang lahat ng serbisyong patuloy ninyong inaalay. The things you have already done and still continue to do for the nation is a sterling example that inspire us,” de Lima said.

As a staunch human rights and women’s rights champion, she has filed several bills seeking to improve the plight of women, such as Senate Bill (SB) No. 378 protecting women in state custody, SB No. 622 increasing the age of consent to 18 to protect minors against rape and other forms of sexual exploitation, and SB No. 1926 to protect women and their newborns in detention and prison facilities, among others, this 18th Congress.

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