Thursday, July 10, 2008

Filipino Women Today: How are They?

I find it really an interesting issue to discuss about Filipino women today. Almost two decades ago in one of my English class requirements, I tackled on the issues of Filipino women comparing them from the women of past generation and the generation of women at the time I made that paper. Way back then, internet was still a year way to its operation in the world. Mobile phones and text messages were not yet available. And in the university where I was schooled, at MSU-IIT in Iligan City, in Mindanao, the past time of the students were just the chances of meeting each other in personal social gatherings. Students used to connect to each other in a personal manner. It was also at that time when changes of women's perspective have changed and how Filipino men viewed them.

At that time, I thought I already made a significant impression of the differences in women as I compared them to the past generation, how they behave, how they interact with the opposite sex, how they handle courtships, how they view family and how they value the essence of being a woman. Little did I know that there would be a huge differences in all aspects when the age of internet arrived, a year after I made my paper on Filipino women.

History tells us that women as far as how they are viewed by society varies from culture to culture, from generation to generation, but here in the Philippines, women have relatively evolved depending upon the people that colonizes her country. As stated by most history book writers, before the Spanish Era, Filipino women were made equal to that of men, as maternal and paternal lineage were recognized at that time.And because of this bilateral kinship system, women were given great power in their own clan.

But with the Spaniards' arrival bringing the Catholic faith and introduced them to the Filipinos, it has made women on secondary position. And so women were left mostly in the house, taking care of the household and played no relevant decision in the unfolding of the society.

With the arrival of Americans, doctrines of self-improvement and empowerment have been upheld and that paved a way of making women professionals in various fields acquiring esteem in their own right.

Consequently, it is clear that there is truly an evolution of Filipino women nowadays, especially with the advent of latest technology and gadgets. It changed people's lives, it changed many systems and it also changes some basic psyche of Filipino women.

Nowadays, Filipino women are more exposed to variety of options, whether she lives in rural or urban areas, it doesnt really matter; the technology has gotten into her.

And now you can see Filipino women attaining respect and created niche in various fields. You can see them in the fields of law, medicine, politics (although at a limited extent), business sector,technological advancements, scientific contribution and some helped in the building of communities whether in social service or in their own church's service and there are also women working abroad employed as nurses, doctors, engineers, skilled workers, domestic helpers and some in the field of entertainment in almost all part of the world.

Due to this changes, Filipino women nowadays are generally regarded highly by society caused by the important contribution and impact they have made in their respective families, which up to this day remains the main and basic value of a Filipino women.

Nonetheless, I am also alarmed by the fact that just as women have significantly changed over the years, it has somehow created confusion in the psyche of their male counterpart. They seem at lost on how to treat women and how do they place themselves in the significant Filipino women in their lives.

Just as I value women being given equal dignity in all aspects of life, I am also concerned about the well-being and ability of men to develop their own sense of pride, a natural gift entrusted to them by God as men and I cannot afford seeing them helpless and unable to function in decision- making and I would really like them to keep the dignity they have always carried attributed to their natural ability and talents.

Although I have met many of men I highly admired and regarded with respect, I also found a growing number of men who are utterly confused and who are already comfortable seeing significant women in their lives run things for them.

It would be more pleasing to see women attaining a good sense of dignity and pride for their own gifts and virtues and value but nothing is more pleasing if along this change, men also attain greater pride for having women like them and not to fail in seeing their own contribution too.

At any rate, this is a stage of adjustment to both of them and I am seeing signs that Filipino men can greatly improve in this respect. I am positive, awareness of possibility greatly aids in improvement.

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