In celebration of the International Women’s Day, Vice President Leni Robredo reminded her fellow Filipinas that women are “unbreakable” and stronger when they stand together in overcoming obstacles.

“They say women are inherently strong and resilient. But when women help other women, they become unbreakable. Truly, we are each other’s better halves, or as they say, we are our sisters’ keepers. We are always stronger together,” VP Leni said during her message at the International Women’s Day Summit 2019 in Taguig City on Friday, Mar. 8.

“We may be pressed on every side, but we are never crushed. We may be perplexed by life’s troubles, but we never get overwhelmed by despair. We may be knocked down, but we are never destroyed,” she said.

VP Leni encouraged women to stand firm against anyone, including those in leadership positions, who belittled their capabilities because of their gender.

“For as long as one woman gets threatened in the dark, raped, and blamed for it because “her knees are showing,” and suffer because “babae ka lang naman,” then we have no right to rest on our laurels,” VP Leni said.

“When our leaders joke about rape and normalize abuse, shouldn’t we be alarmed? When reports say that one out of two women did nothing after they were harassed and a lot of those who chose to be silent did so out of fear, shouldn’t we be more scared?” she added.

The Vice President also emphasized the importance of empowering women by giving them opportunities to become financially independent, saying that it is the first step in achieving real empowerment.

“For every woman that is economically independent, the entire family has the chance to break free from abuse and poverty,” she said.

The celebration was organized by the Office of the Vice President under its flagship program Angat Buhay in cooperation with Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran (SPARK!) Philippines. Women empowerment is one of the six pillars of OVP’s Angat Buhay, including food security, nutrition, housing, rural development, and education.