Reasons for Celebration

There are many challenges facing women in the Philippines but today we have some thing to celebrate. On Monday, the Senate of the Philippines passed Senator Risa Hontiveros’ Senate Bill 1305 or the “Expanded Maternity Leave Law of 2017”. If passed into law, this Bill will grant new mothers 120 days of maternity leave. This is a vast improvement on the current benefit that covers only 60 days of leave time. The Bill would also grant new fathers 30 days of leave, which is significantly better than the current allocation of only 7 days.

Recognizing how important it is for new parents to care for and bond with their infants, the most progressive countries in the world grant as long as one year for maternity leave. Studies have found that the longer a new mother can stay home with her baby, the greater the chances are that she will be successful at breastfeeding and that both mother and baby will have improved health outcomes. This is great news for women and families. Maraming salamat po Senator Risa!

To mark International Women’s Day, Roots of Health is partnering with JCI Kiao to hold a Global Mentoring Walk on Saturday, March 11. The Walk is organized by Vital Voices, and this year our group is one of 134 walks in 60 countries around the world with an estimated 1,700 participants. This is the third Mentoring Walk we are holding in Palawan. We are pairing up 15 of our Youth Advocates with Mentors from JCI Kiao, which is a service organization comprised of young business and social leaders of Palawan. Mentorship relationships are integral to young people’s empowerment so we’re very excited to be able to establish these relationships.

This month and always, Mabuhay ang kababaihan!

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