Liza Soberano spoke up about women and children empowerment during a Gabriela Youth webinar held on Tuesday, October 13.
The event, titled “Tinig ni Nene: Reclaiming Our Voice on the International Day of the Girl Child”, invited Liza to share her knowledge and experience on the topic of "young women's contribution to raising awareness and creating a safe environment for young women amid the pandemic."
Here three of the most important things she imparted regarding the issue.
1. Women should be able to stand up for themselves
Liza finds it important for everyone to be aware about societal issues affecting us, especially on the issue of violence made against women and children.
She admitted she wasn’t as vocal before. She said, “I know that I haven’t been the most vocal about my opinions and about the advocacies that I feel very [strongly] for, because I was always afraid that I would be dividing my supporters. I was afraid of creating conflict."
But after her firsthand experience with sexual harassment online, she knew sheq had to change. “I realized the importance of me, standing up for myself, especially after I filed a criminal case against somebody who made a rape joke against [me].”
2. For true change to happen, everyone — especially those in power, must work for it
After Liza filed criminal charges vs the person who made a rape joke about her, some of her supporters sent her messages of gratitude.
“A lot of my supporters — actually I think there were five — messaged me and were saying, ‘Thank you.’ Honestly, I cried when they sent me those messages, because I didn’t realize how many women were struggling to stand up for themselves,” she shared.
Liza then broke down as she recalled instances of harassment that happened to the women she knows.
She related, “I know a lot of women in my life who have struggled with this. And I find it so unfair that we women have to go out everyday in fear of being catcalled, in fear of dressing a certain way, and getting called out for the way we’re dressed. I fear that my nieces and my future children won’t be able to go out in a safe environment. That’s why I find it so important to start spreading awareness to the future generations as early as now so that we can create a better future for everyone.”
Liza then said, “Change cannot be just the responsibility of the people who need it most. They need the support of everyone, especially those of the highest power, if we are to see true change.”
3. Those who have the influence must use their power to protect and fight for the voiceless
Towards the end, Liza stressed the importance of using your platform to speak up for those who can’t.
She said, “As a woman, as a Filipino artist, I think that women and influencers alike should start speaking up. They can contribute not only awareness about these issues, but also encouragement and confidence to our fellow women and children — that they need to learn to stand up for themselves.”
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