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This coming March is Women’s Month, a recognition of what women empowerment is all about and a reflection of how far the influence of women has reached. It seems that the power of women has been growing stronger throughout the years. The influence of women in our lives has always been so strong.
My own mother’s influence on our values has been quite strong when we were growing up, as my dad was busy working hard. It was my mother who made sure that we followed the rules. She did the budgeting and gave us our allowances, which was actually not enough during those days. It was Mom who pushed us to the limits. In a way, we are what we are today because of our mother’s influence. Now that we are married, our wives have somehow taken over that role, setting the balance in our lives and reminding us to give time for family and spiritual life.
Today, women occupy top positions in our government. PGMA has been our president for nine years. President Cory has also fulfilled a full term for six years. Come to think of it, since the first Edsa Revolution, presidency has been occupied by women for 15 years compared to the nine years occupied by the men. Women power is everywhere, as Cabinet Secretaries, Undersecretaries, Senators, Congresswomen and LGU leaders. Even in the corporate and NGO world, women hold the power. The Philippines seems to be the country that has empowered women. In fact, maybe there must be a Philippine Commission for Men to reassure our rights.
When I was still in college in La Salle Taft, there were more males. I had only five classmates who were girls. Now, I am told that the school is gradually being dominated by females (not counting those in between).
I have five children and four of them are girls. They are really adorable, but they have this certain way of getting what they want, especially the youngest who is only two years old. When it comes to curfew extensions, the teenagers prefer to call me rather than their mom, since I normally give in. Even in the simplest situations, you can see that women always have ways.
In the past four years of our advocacy in helping microentrepreneurs, it is very clear that majority are women. Our research study on entrepreneurship in our country also revealed 70 percent of enterprises are started by women. They are naturally quite enterprising, persevering and diligent. Women also have this certain patience for details, which men rarely have. They have a good perception of their negosyo environment. There are also many cases here in our country when women look for other opportunities to augment the family income. They either find jobs or start small negosyos.
Our Filipina women are among the most beautiful and endearing in the world. Even with these qualities, the Fili-pina is also clearly a fighter who will work for better life and future for her family.
For the last two years, Go Negosyo has partnered with the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) headed by chairperson Myrna Yao, who is also a very dynamic entrepreneur. She is the founder and COO of Richwell Trading Corp., a leading distributor of children’s products. PCW is an advisory body on programs and policies on the advancement of women. They have a strengthened advocacy on the development of programs and projects that would push for women empowerment.
I asked Myrna about her vision for the Filipina women. She replied, “My vision for the women of the Philippines is to empower the poor to alleviate themselves from poverty and to empower our women to be globally competitive, because with empowered women we can build a stronger nation.”
On March 8, we will have the second Women Entrepreneurship Summit at the World Trade Center. Last year, we were surprised to see a huge crowd that reached 15,000. The result of the first summit reassured us that women really are the change agents in most families. This year, the Go Negosyo: Babae Tagumpay Ka ng Bayan Women Entrepreneurship Summit will even be bigger.
We will also be launching our fifth book on inspiring stories of 100 small entrepreneurs. It is also interesting to note that 80 percent of the featured entreps are women. This book will show how they triumphed over poverty and other challenges in life. Our Angelpreneur-Chief Motivator Francis Kong provided the interesting Lessons Learned part that captured the common success factors that can help others as well. The 100 entreps will be in the World Trade Center and will be recognized as an inspiration to many other Filipinos.
In the morning, we will also be honoring eight women who have had an impact on the Philippine society and who serve as an inspiration to others.
We have also prepared a whole day of informative and exciting programs and sessions with topics such as: Making a difference by having an enterprising mindset; Women and their influence on society; and Business opportunities for Women and men. We have invited industry-experts, negosyo mentors, professionals, celebrities and entertainers to give you only the best. There will also be seminars rooms with different negosyo and women-related topics. More than 300 booths and exhibitors will also be present to showcase different negosyo frameworks and products. It is an open event for women (and men), aspiring and starting entrepreneurs, and the youth. This summit is for free and we encourage everyone to take advantage of this one-day activity as we celebrate Women’s Month.
March 8 is dedicated to the selfless sacrifice of our Filipina women. Congratulations to all of you for being an inspiration to both men and women.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or thru my Joey Concepcion Facebook account, or thru SMS at 09189656333. Visit www.gonegosyo.net. Watch the GO NEGOSYO: Kaya Mo! Show in QTV, every Saturday and Sunday 8 to 8:30 a.m., with replays in NBN every Sunday 9:15 to 10 p.m.