December 2, 2020 (1:43 PM)

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ROLE OF WOMEN. Guest speaker Samira Ali Gutoc-Tomawis discusses the potentials of young women in terms of successful nation-building during a webinar entitled, “The Role of Women in Philippine Contemporary Politics” hosted by the UP Mindanao Association of Pre-Law Students (APLS) via Zoom. Photo taken from @upminprelaw Twitter page.

Highlighting the role and importance of women in political spaces and decision-making, women’s advocate and former legislator Samira Ali Gutoc-Tomawis asserted that obstructions women face in contemporary public society do not define them, for women can do anything amidst limitations.

In the webinar “The Role of Women in Philippine Contemporary Politics”, Gutoc mentioned that speaking one’s voice and telling one’s truth as a woman furthers the goal of breaking the barrier set by society.

“I found my voice in writing. I found my voice in researching. I found my voice in facing men even if I was the only girl in the meeting,” she said. 

Gutoc also stressed the power young women hold in contemporary politics, particularly pre-law students.

“You have the power to redesign and refashion things. The way that limitations are defining us, shouldn’t be what defines us,” she said.

According to Gutoc, having law-makers that represent minorities such as the poor, the provinces, and the children as a vital need are necessary to improve the welfare of the people. 

“Hearing the stories of Mindanaoans, listening to them and their platforms, taking into consideration their needs, sentiments, and aspirations are what you carry, and not what you think is the best only for you,” she said.

“It is all about what we share commonly, and that is justice. Justice is non-negotiable. There’s no Mindanao justice, no Luzon justice, no Visayas justice. There’s only one justice. And you will fight for one country,” she added.

The said webinar was conducted by the University of the Philippines Mindanao Association of Pre-Law Students (APLS) in hopes of raising awareness on women’s role in nation-building.



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