The battle for gender equality and women’s rights in the Philippines is rapidly increasing, thanks to the growing amount of movements and activists who use their voices to pave a new mindset for today’s society. One of these emerging movements is called SheDecides.
SheDecides is a global movement that started last 2017 with a goal to support the rights of girls and women so that they can freely decide for themselves, whether it is about their sexual lives, gender identity, family desires, and more. The movement also strengthens its goal to shift the narrative on how women should act in a society.
In addition, it pledges to help pass bills in congress such as the teenage pregnancy prevention, as well as putting a stop to child marriage. With this, they live by the SheDecides manifesto: “A new normal where girls and women decide about their bodies, their lives, their futures. Without question.”
To jumpstart International Women’s Month, this emerging movement gathered feminists and activists from various youth organizations to climb Mt. Binutasan in Tanay, Rizal. The lush mountain stands at 577m above sea level. For the supporters of the movement, it symbolizes the 577 pieces of menstrual kits that will be distributed to the teenage girls in the evacuation centers of Taal. “Since our advocacies aren’t traditional, we decided to create a hike instead of having the event in a conference room”, says 21-year-old Jona Turalde, global youth champion and overall coordinator of SheDecides.
Since access to health and reproductive education for young people is still a key issue in the Philippines, the group made empowering pledges upon reaching the summit to emphasize a new normal for girls and women in the Philippines that is more inclusive to topics that are related to reproductive health. This includes education on menstruation, especially for adolescent girls and to heighten the discussion on proper sex education in the country.
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