Imee: We Need An Ordinary Mom On Board IATF

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Senator Imee Marcos has urged the government to seriously consider appointing a mother who is an ordinary homemaker to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) or set up a special committee led by her to assess the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on women.

“These new modes of blended education are a challenge to both the school system and families. Mothers are struggling at the center of it all. The pandemic is impacting women in myriad and cruel ways,” Marcos said.

“We need simple, commonsensical ways for mothers to cope. A lending program for tablets, or one that supports purchases by installment, would be in place if a mom was sitting in the IATF,” Marcos asserted.

“A working mother would already have set up community-based tutoring pools that handle small groups of kids, or opened streets and auditoriums, and more handwashing facilities for family use. Instead, we are arresting people for quarantine violations. Where are they to isolate in our crowded, depressed areas?” Marcos asked.

The pandemic has amplified the hidden discrimination against women and the lack of policies that benefit them, Marcos pointed out.

“The toll on healthworkers, 70% of whom are female, has been immeasurable, ” Marcos said, adding that women even take on the role of “default caregivers who are usually uncompensated” when a family member becomes disabled or seriously ill.

Longer, not shorter, market hours and more rolling stores would give women, especially single moms, the breathing space to juggle work, household chores, and childcare, Marcos added.

Although the economic potential of women in micro-businesses and MSEs has been recognized worldwide, Marcos said it remains suppressed by limited access to loan programs, since most property titles required as collateral are often in a husband’s name.

A mother in the IATF would be more critical of official reports concerning her fellow women, Marcos also said, citing Philippine National Police findings that violence against women and children has gone down.

“Domestic violence is likely unreported,” Marcos explained, adding that the Philippines has yet to shake off its reputation in the United Nations as the global epicenter of child pornography online.

“Women are outnumbered in the IATF. Poor Secretary Briones is overwhelmed by the demands of new learning modes, Secretary Berna is struggling with her tourism sector. We need a commonsensical but compassionate homemaker in policy making,” Marcos concluded.