The Changing Role of Women in Philippine Society

When many people think of women in Asian culture, they think of a male dominated society where women don’t have as many rights as their male counterparts. However, the Philippines are different. Filipino women have always enjoyed greater equality than women in other nations in Southeast Asia. There right to legal equality and to inherit family property have never been called into questions. They have enjoyed educational and political advantages in their country. Female President Corazon Aquino and other powerful females like Imelda Marcos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo stands as a testament tow what women can accomplish in this country. Yet, in the 21st century, what is the role of women in Philippine society.

For starters, Filipino women today serve as heads in the family arrangement, handling the money, acting as religious mentors and even arranging marriages for their sons and daughters. This is a sharp contrast to women being subjugated to their husbands. The emergence of powerful women is instrumental in the changing role they’d have in the home.

This does not mean that they have equality everywhere. In the workplace, Filipino women are paid less and are often hired for lower positions even if they are qualified to earn more money. Some still harbor the mindset instilled in them as children, when boys were elected to president and vice president positions and girls held treasury positions. On the home front, women carry a heavy burden in the homes in order to support them financially while men can keep their money and are not obligated to the family.

Thankfully, strides are being made to equalize this perception of inequality. Human Resources Managements are seeing to it that a lot more women hold high ranking positions in large and small organizations. More women are holding managerial positions in banks, government, and multinational companies.

Despite the countries American-based school system and Filipino women becoming educated and professional members of Philippine society, political participation is slow. Even though they have had a female president, involvement in politics is considered dirty, and many women still hold to the tradition that a woman cannot take a higher position than her husband. Part of this mindset is due to the effect of colonization on Filipino women. However, women are embracing the role they had in the political process before Spain conquered them. They have worked to implement female-centric policies and create programs for the betterment of the Filipino female.

Like women in many parts of the world, Filipino women have had to fight for their proper place in their society. They have worked hard to extend themselves beyond the confines of their homes and show that they have the strength and power to control business and politics. Although they have made a number of strides, there is still plenty of work to be done to see the full measure of their rights.


The Role and Status Women