Press Release
November 9, 2018

Hontiveros represents the Philippines at a conference in the British House of Commons, speaks on empowerment for women

Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on Thursday, November 8, represented the Philippines and spoke at House of Commons at Westminster as part of the Women MPs of the World Conference. As part of a panel of discussants from different countries, Hontiveros spoke about initiatives to further women empowerment, in particular the Expanded Maternity Leave Bill and the Safe Streets, Public Spaces and Workplaces Bill.

"These measures are important, not only for the rights and protection of women, but for the better protection of people from all walks of life, because gender rights are human rights," Hontiveros said.

The one day conference marks the centenary of partial women's suffrage in the UK and the year in which women could stand as candidates for election as a Member of Parliament. Women's equality and empowerment is also one of the United Nation's 17 Development Goals.

Senator Hontiveros also spoke about the challenges of passing legislation for the protection of women and gender rights under the administration of President Duterte, known for his misogyny, and who is described as "bad for women."

 "The sisterhood of women tends to rise when under assault, and in the face of hostile challenges, the women's movement can only become stronger. These bills aren't just products of the legislative process, but of a whole community of gender justice advocates, trade union workers coming together to midwife this legislation into being. And in so doing, also midwife hope, solidarity, and possibility in these dark times," Hontiveros said.

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