May 24, 2024

In continuation of the Women’s Month celebration, former senator Atty. Leila De Lima urged Lipasallians to uphold women’s rights and gender equality in a symposium organized by the De La Salle Lipa (DLSL) Lasallian Jurists at the Mabini Auditorium, April 6.   

De Lima said that women should take pride in their gender, recognizing their significant contributions to various advocacies, while acknowledging the challenges that await in their pursuit to a society devoid of inequality and gender bias.

“Hindi tayo mas mababang uri o mas mahinang kasarian […] Wala tayong dapat ikahiya sa ating pagkababae […] Marami na tayong napagtagumpayan bilang mga babae,’’ said De Lima.

De Lima further stressed the importance of social justice in order to attain a society free from any means of oppression by educating oneself of issues and catering to the development of the nation.

“Marami na tayong napagtagumpayan bilang mga babae pero mahaba pa ang ating laban, at Lagi tayong may haharaping paglapastangan sa ating mga karapatan at kapakanan ng taumbayan,” De Lima said.

Atty. Leila De Lima delivering her speech, sharing her experience of being imprisoned for 6 years. (C.Enriquez)

In an interview with Lavoxa Online, Mary Maxine Platon, Chief Justice of the Lasallian Jurists, underscored the importance of the event as a platform to discuss women’s societal struggles and raised the constant need to address misogyny and discrimination on campus.

“Women’s Month should not be a one-month thing only. We should learn to value and respect women at all times and in all ways. Our classrooms should serve as our safe spaces,” said Platon. 

In her speech, De Lima further discussed the struggles she faced as a victim of injustice and political persecution, which includes dealing with the spread of misinformation, criticism, slut-shaming, and attacks against her womanhood.

“Ipinakulong po ako kahit walang ni-katiting na matibay na ebidensya. I was one of the very first victims of eradication of the rule of law under Duterte, together with the thousands of [extrajudicial killing] victims that I was trying to save from his murderous drug war,” said De Lima.

Nevertheless, De Lima highlighted her ongoing commitment to advocating for the voiceless, stating that society has no space for those who violate women’s rights for personal and political gain.

“If they can attack and imprison a lawyer, a former [Commission on Human Rights] Chairperson, a former Justice Secretary, and an elected Senator, they can very well do the same and much worse to any woman [or] to any Filipino,” added De Lima.

Dr. Alicia Botardo, singing her original song entitled “Babae, bawiin mo ang ‘yong kasaysayan” dedicated to Atty. De Lima. (C. Enriquez)

The symposium also featured Atty. Richelle Ann Zamora, an invited guest reactor of the event who shared her realizations and experiences on fulfilling her dream profession while being a stay-at-home mother. 

“We women possess a unique blend of skills including time management, organizational prowess and adaptability honed through the daily demands of managing a household and meeting the diverse needs of our loved ones,” said Zamora. 

Moreover, Dr. Alicia Botardo, a former Gender and Development Officer,  gave a singing performance entitled, “Babae, bawiin mo ang ‘yong kasaysayan.” with its lyrics and tune composed by Botardo herself. The song is an ode to women empowerment and served as a dedication towards Atty. De Lima. 


Article by Mikaela  Athena Terania and Jazmine Bustamante

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