Speak up, Harris tells Filipino women

Harris also underscored the need to remove gender bias among women in any industry

Photo by Yummie Dingding

United States Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday exhorted young women in the Philippines to speak up even in difficult times.

In a town hall meeting — her third activity in Manila — Harris spoke about human rights, leadership, and empowering women.

“Know that you stand on the shoulders of those who came before you,” she said, citing the late Cory Aquino, Josefa Escoda and Concepcion Calderon as examples of Filipino female leaders.

Aquino became the first woman president of the Philippines.

Escoda was a Filipino civic leader, social worker, World War II heroine, and suffragette.

She is most known for campaigning for women’s suffrage and as a founder of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Calderon was known for being one of the Philippines’ earliest feminists. She was one of the founders of the first women’s club in the country, the Asociacion Feminista Filipina which was established in 1905.

Harris also underscored the need to remove gender bias among women in any industry.

“One of the issues for women around the globe is access to capital. That is one of the ways that must be targeted in our approach to measuring whether women have access to equal opportunity in banking systems, financial literacy, etc.” she said.

“You lift up the economic status of a woman, and her family, community, and all of society will be lifted,” she added.

Harris made history for being the first woman and woman of color in the White House.

The US official also assured those who defend human rights that they are not alone in their fight.

“Never give up. There is so much about the fight for human rights that requires us to remember that we are not alone,” said Harris, stressing that human rights are inalienable and not favors to be granted by power.

“They are your rights, God-given. I think it’s important to remember that in the fight. And remember there’s a universality of rights,” she added.



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