Hontiveros: More to do for women’s rights

By Morexette B. Erram |January 11,2018 - 10:28 PM

The fight for women’s rights is not yet over even in today’s modern setting.

According to Senator Risa Hontiveros that among other things, there is still a need to provide more benefits for working women.

“We, women, still need to face quite a few challenges despite achieving significant progress for the past 83 years since some remarkable events on women rights marked history,” said Hontiveros in a speech, Thursday, during the 2018 Cebu Women’s Forum held at the Capitol Social Hall.

The forum titled “Inspire, Inform, and Empower the Cebuana” was organized by various women and gender groups both from the public and private sectors. Hontiveros vowed to prioritize measures ensuring the enactment of the Expanded Maternity Leave Bill which was approved by the Senate on its third and final reading last March 2017.

The bill, authored by Hontiveros, seeks to extend the current 60-day maternity leave of female workers to 120 days or 4 months with pay.

Once enacted, violators will be penalized with a fine ranging from P5,000 to P20,000 and imprisonment of six to 12 years. She also urged different sectors in Cebu to be more aware of crimes perpetrated through the internet including sexual harassment. According to Hontiveros, based on statistics, 160 cases of online violence were recorded during the period of 2012 to 2016.

“Sixty percent of the victims received threats to hack or compromise their social media accounts, with some women still afraid to speak out for fear of being ashamed,” explained Hontiveros. For her part, Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale lamented the difficulties encountered by local government units in Cebu and their partner agencies and non-profit organizations in suppressing online human trafficking despite the arrest of numerous suspects.

“Arresting pedophiles remains a challenging job for every concerned agency in Cebu,” said Magpale.

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