4 Highlights from Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Delia Domingo Albert’s Speech on International Women’s Day
Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Delia Domingo-Albert spoke about the challenges of women during the pandemic on March 10 to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Spark Philippines together with the US Embassy and the Finnish Embassy in Manila held the forum Women and the Pandemic, streamed on the Spark Philippines Facebook page last March 10 to celebrate International Women’s Day.
The forum is one of many series this March.
Former Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Delia Domingo-Albert was the keynote speaker of the forum wherein she discussed the challenges women faced during the pandemic. Here are some of the highlights:
Women’s Month 2022: The pandemic as a “disaster for feminism”
Ambassador Albert quoted an article from the North Atlantic about the pandemic as a “disaster for feminism.”
“Women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to the pandemic than men. Secondly, women make up 39% of the global employment but have accounted for 54% of the job losses,” she said citing a McKinsey report.
Working women, especially mothers are the most affected
The pandemic according to Albert has blurred the line of work and home.
“Working women, especially mothers who share responsibilities with child care and educational facility and bring up the family are the most vulnerable,” she said.
She added that with the rise of remote work, there’s no more division of home and work and has even caused what is called a “COVID cost.”
Narrowing the gender gap in the political arena
Albert said that much has been done for women in terms of education and health but the political arena is a different story.
“The Philippines according to World Economic Forum has been the only country ranked top 10 among 170 that has narrowed the gender gap from 2006 when the first survey was made. In 2016 dropped to number 17 due to the participation of the political arena for reasons we may know,” she said.
“I hope we could spring back to the top 10 again.”
Highlighting the Filipino health care workers
In her speech for International Women’s Day, Albert mentioned several times the contribution Filipino health care workers have given the country. Many of the healthcare workers are predominantly women nurses.
In 2019, she mentioned that 70,900 nurses left to work abroad many of them, women. Aside from the healthcare workers, teachers and accountants are the top two jobs often in demand abroad.
In Singapore, Albert said that around 200,000 plus Filipinos work there as healthcare professionals and domestic workers. Around 8,000 plus are nurses. Some of the OFWs have also taken on jobs as caregivers.
“I have read so many obituaries giving a lot of praise to the Filipino caregivers who took care of them until the end. It was amazing and I am very touched,” she said.
Taking care of the Filipino healthworker
As she closed her speech, Albert said that she hopes Filipinos will give more importance to health care workers as many of them are women.
“I hope that the community focuses on supporting and ensuring the healthcare workers are supported protected motivated and equipped to deliver safe health at all times and not only during the pandemic,” she said.
She also said that she welcomes the United Nations for Feminist plan which is working on a road map on gender equality, social justice, and sustainability at the center of the recovery and transformation of societies.”