7 Stories of Female Leadership this International Women’s Month

March is International Women’s Month, a time to celebrate the incredible contributions of women around the world. This year’s Bookshelf PH is honoring #WomenInPages, which calls us to celebrate women’s accomplishments in diverse industries and highlight the causes and impact they’ve done to promote women empowerment.

In the Philippines, there are many inspiring women who have achieved great things in their respective fields through women empowerment and gender equality. With so many women who have made a difference in the world, here are seven who dared to dream and pushed to empower others.

Senator Risa Hontiveros


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Senator Risa Hontiveros has been a long-time advocate of women’s rights and has been a driving force in the fight for gender equality. She has been at the forefront of legislations that promote women’s rights, such as the Reproductive Health Law, the Comprehensive Anti-Sexual Harassment Act, and the Magna Carta of Women. She also played a major role in the passage of the Expanded Maternity Leave Law, which provides female employees with an additional two months of paid leave.

Merlee Jayme


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Merlee Jayme is another inspiring Filipino woman who has achieved her goals through her commitment to women’s empowerment and gender equality. She is the founder and chair of the multi-award-winning advertising agency, DM9 Jayme Syfu, and is a staunch advocate of gender parity in the workplace. She is also a vocal champion of women’s rights.

Zara Carbonell

Zara Carbonell is a former beauty queen who is making a mark in the field of business and technology. She is the founder and CEO of The Social Startup, which seeks to empower and equip women in business through marketing from the ground up.

Kim King


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After seeing her mom fight cancer in 2010 and experiencing a cyst in 2015, Kim King, owner of Kim King’s Kitchen, is a firm believer in empowering women through health and wellness by providing a progressive and personalized approach in nutrition planning. Her infamous bone broth lifestyle plan has transformed many women’s fitness journeys, including Heart Evangelista, Neri Miranda and many more.

Debbie Sy

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Executive Director of SM Foundation Inc, Debbie Sy has spearheaded several initiatives to empower women and promote gender equality within the SM Foundation and beyond. She has led the Women’s Committee of SM Foundation Inc. and implemented the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan (Partner in Livelihood) program, which aims to provide livelihood opportunities for women in rural areas. The program provides training, equipment, and resources to help women start their businesses, giving them tools to achieve financial independence to support their families.

Sheryl Ann Aspacio

Sheryl Ann Aspacio, Head of Human Resources at Human Nature, has championed women’s leadership within the social enterprise by promoting gender diversity and inclusion. At the heart of Human Nature, Aspacio lives by the company’s pro-poor, pro-Philippines, and pro-environment values, by empowering women with a sustainable collection of natural personal care products.

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Gretchen Peiffer

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For many, trauma and energy healing can be hard to obtain after societal pressures on women. Gretchen Peiffer, debut author of Sharing My Light and Healing Energy, believes in offering a safe space for women to voice out against domestic violence, gender inequality, and discrimination. Peiffer continues to write literary works in her mission to empower silenced women to finally speak up.

These inspiring women have achieved great success in their respective fields through the power of women empowerment and gender equality. Their stories serve as a reminder of the importance of continuing the fight for women’s rights and the power of using our voices to challenge gender bias and inequality. This International Women’s Month, let us celebrate women’s accomplishments by reading #WomenInPages here.