Harris: Improving women’s economic status benefits society

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US Vice President Kamala Harris said on Monday that lifting women’s economic status benefits society.

Harris met Filipina women as part of his visit to the Philippines.

In a town hall meeting with women leaders, youth and civil society organizations, Harris stressed the importance of access to capital, equal access to financial literacy and all opportunities essential to give women “a good idea, a vision and a plan” to thrive.

“You elevate a woman’s economic status, her family will be uplifted, the community will be uplifted, the whole society will benefit,” she said.

The meeting came as the United States announced its intention to invest in Filipino women entrepreneurs.

According to a White House fact sheet dated Nov. 21, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation will provide a $15.5 million loan guarantee through a framework agreement with Citibank to support the Foundation. ASA Philippines, a microfinance institution helping women entrepreneurs access capital and contribute to economic growth in the Philippines.

During the town hall meeting, Harris also emphasized the importance of leaders continuing to support and promote women’s political and civic participation.

“[P]The art of what you have to remember is that there are people who came before you and gave you a path,” she said.

“It’s basically a relay race. And so people who are heroes, regardless of gender, ran their part of the race and then they passed on. And the question is, what are we going to do with the time we wear it,” she added.

Quoting American author and activist Coretta Scott King, Harris said the fight for justice, human rights, equality and equity must be fought and won in every generation, because the gains that come with it would not be permanent unless the public were vigilant in maintaining them.

Maica Teves, director of SPARK Philippines, agreed that women’s political participation should be further encouraged.

With years spent promoting women’s empowerment and inclusion, Teves said women have to work harder than their male counterparts in the Philippines.

“Without naming names, for example, there is a woman mayor who does certain programs, and that has been institutionalized. And what happens is that nobody really talks about it. But four weeks later, I saw her male counterpart do it on a lower scale, but he’s trending on Twitter. It hurts me when I see that women don’t get the same recognition,” she said in an interview.

Also in Manila, Mayor Honey Lacuna said men have held the “highest position” in public office for the longest time.

“(Vice President Harris) said that shouldn’t stop you and it was proven in Manila because I was so lucky and was elected the first female mayor in 451 years of the city of Manila “, she said. (NAP)

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