Cotabato solon calls women unsung heroines of the economy

MANILA — A proposed redefinition of “work” in order to give more recognition to women has drawn the support of Cotabato Rep. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza, who described it as “fair, practical and necessary –- even a bit overdue.”

“We certainly need a more credible portrayal of the economic realities by a greater recognition of women’s contribution to the economy,” said Taliño-Mendoza, now running for governor of Cotabato.

Taliño-Mendoza made the statement as the nation prepared to observe Women’s Month.

Taliño-Mendoza pointed out that “women deserve a better assessment of their capabilities in the world of work, than is reflected by the antiquated view that they’re not as capable as men.”

A previous survey of large companies showed that an overwhelming majority of them were still not in favor of the equal employment opportunity concept.

Taliño-Mendoza said a wider recognition for women would mean correcting the parochial definition of “work.”

Owing to this limited view of “work”, she said women have been “unsung heroines of the economy.” In statistical reports, housewives appear as if they do not perform anything of economic value, she added.

Taliño-Mendoza on the other hand noted findings by both Philippine and foreign sociologists that “women are important consumers in our society, labor in the home without getting paid for it, thus making it possible for the men to work outside.”

According to the University of the Philippines’ Population Institute, “The time women spend on productive work, both paid and unpaid, is typically greater than that spent by men in the labor market.”

The institute further observed that the census of population and housing as well as the national labor force and demographic surveys usually “exclude relevant farm activities” involving women.

Taliño-Mendoza expressed support for the idea of expanding the definition of “work”. For instance, she said household tasks such as childbearing and child-rearing should be considered “work”.

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