Press Release
March 30, 2006

To commemorate March 8 as Women's Day

In an increasing number of countries, a special day for women is part of the national calendar. Thus, Senator Manny Villar, Chairman of the Nacionalista Party, deemed it proper to file Senate Bill 2237 declaring March 8 of every year as a special working holiday to be known as Women's Day.

"International Women's Day (March 8) is an occasion marked by women's groups around the world. This date is also commemorated at the United Nations (UN) and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. To make formal our tribute to Filipino women, I decided to file a bill to make our national women's day as a special working holiday," says Villar.

In 1975, during the International Women's Year, the UN began celebrating March 8 as International Women's Day. In December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a UN Day for Women's Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by member states, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.

Villar cites on his bill, "The Filipina has always been a key figure in our country's history and in the building of our nation's identity, our revolutionary stories are not without female figures. Our modern-day heroes, the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are also mostly women, mothers' in particular who have to leave their families to earn a living abroad."

Villar adds, "The best way to recognize women as an indispensable sector of our society is to designate a day to honor them." Under Villar's bill: "All employers, in the government and private sectors, shall encourage and afford sufficient time and opportunities for their employees to engage and participate in any activity to celebrate Women's Day."

The UN General Assembly, in adopting its resolution on the observance of Women's Day, cited two reasons: to recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality and development of women; and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security.

"Through the years, women has proven their worth and indispensable role in the family, community and nation. The least we can do is to extol their importance and invaluable contributions to the society, whether by celebrating Mother's Day or Women's Day," cites Villar.

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