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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Ghurl power

by Maria Eleanor Elape Valeros
July 12, 2004; posted at www.thefreeman.com

GLORIA Macapagal-Arroyo has secured the Presidency; Gwendolyn Garcia takes Cebu province’s gubernatorial seat. Arroyo had the blessing of the Visayan populace. For a first-timer like Gwen, it was written upon her star.

Many women have already secured important posts in both public and private sectors, as vital as decision-making positions. Throughout history, significant women had manifested efforts to become social agents of change, empowering and inspiring generations after. Teresa Magbanua, Teodora Alonso, Marcela Agoncillo, Gabriela Silang, Josefa Llanes Escoda, Gregoria de Jesus, Melchora Aquino, among others, had left behind indelible marks.

In each of the generation unfolding, women are playing an ever more active role, assuming leadership responsibilities and taking a share from the pie of reconstruction and of building societies.

The Arroyo-Garcia phenomenon in Philippine politics must be accompanied by sustained measures that would promote ghurl power.Ghurl power is about women serving as peacemakers.

As United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan puts it: “Women must serve as peace educators, both in their families and in their societies; must be instrumental in building bridges instead of walls, of making quantum leaps from lives in the private sphere to leading the way in reshaping a society through democratic tools.”

Women leaders today are expected to study local, national and international affairs in depth, to be most articulate and committed global citizens negotiating peace. They should pursue intensive development programs with longstanding commitment to social justice, human rights, ethnic and or racial equality, and peace. Programs that would help define the priorities of their people; and move the nation’s economic productivity by addressing persistent problems of long-term and structural unemployment and underemployment.

With the rise of more and more women securing a foothold at the threshold of governance in the country, it is hoped that they may give the work for peace credibility. It has already been said: “There will come a time when nations will be judged not by their military or economic strength, nor by the splendor of their capital cities and public buildings, but by the well-being of their people, by their levels of health, nutrition and education; by their opportunities to earn a fair reward for their labors; by their ability to participate in the decisions that affect their lives; by the respect that is shown for their civil and political liberties; by the provision that is made for those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged; and by the protection that is afforded to the growing minds and bodies of their children.”

Sure, women have this overwhelming power to transform society. Ghurl power rules!

***

CEBU-based women-climbers… errrrmmm… ghurl-climbers shone in the 2nd Datu Lipus Makapandong Climb to Mt. Magdiwata in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, when they completed a 6-hour trek to the peak, at over 2,000 feet passing by 14 waterfalls—7 are major ones—using a moderate-to-difficult trail. Marites Jumalon Arañas of Johndorf Ventures, Cerna Jagonal of The Freeman, Dowella Demetillo of Innodata, Miss Minda Jumarito of International Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and this columnist had witnessed the bounty of San Franz’ forests guarded by the hunter-god Mighty Magdiwata. Lezz do more of this, ghurlz, to promote the sport, and of our-kind-of-peace when we do bond with nature. Ghurl power rocks!©