7 Lessons for Women’s Month from 7 Empowered Filipinas

Let’s start Women’s month inspired and empowered, mamas 😉

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(L-R) Downy Philippines Assistant Brand Manager Zedrick Laqui, Downy Never Fade Awardees Joy Wong, Atty. Kristine Yuzon-Chaves, Iza Calzado, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Pia Wurtzbach, Bianca Gonzalez-Intal, Kara David, Downy Philippines Country Commercial Leader Christina Vilalta and Regional Brand Communications for P&G Asia Fabric Care Rebecca Kan

In celebration of Women’s Month, the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), together with Downy, the global leader in fabric softener, recognizes and honors seven purposeful women who have been a force of positive change in the society — Atty. Kristine Yuzon-Chavez, Kara David, Bianca Gonzalez-Intal, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Iza Calzado-Wintle, Joy Wong, and Pia Wurtzbach. Dubbed as the Downy #NeverFade Awardees, these are a tribe of women who are unafraid to sweat it out in the pursuit of the advocacies they believe in. Their stories of passion paved the way for women to have a voice that creates positive change — they inspire, they empower, they never fade.

And just like these women, we, in turn, can use the lessons they share to empower our kids. Here are a few ways to do so:

Teach our kids about gender equality by never using gender as an excuse for bad behavior.

We can sometimes be too quick to judge kids — boys as malikot and girls as malditas. Stereotyping them in such a way can further reinforce traditional gender roles, such as that it’s the men’s role to work while it’s the women’s role to do housework. When in reality, men can do housework in as much as women can and women can work in as much as men can. At the same time, men can also be in touch with their emotions and express them in as much as women can.

Just like Atty. Kristine Yuzon-Chavez, the #NeverFade Awardee as Champion for Gender Equality. Atty. Chavez, as the new Executive Director of the PCW, vows to strengthen Gender and Development (GAD) programs and policies by creating and implementing plans and programs that empower women in their livelihood, employment, health, and safety among others. As a mother of two, her vision is to continue to push forward programs that seek gender equality and women empowerment.

My advocacy, in line with that of PCW, is to advance women’s rights and ensure the availability of equal opportunities for all women. Because only through women’s empowerment and gender equality can we achieve genuine progress that will never fade.” — Atty. Yuzon-Chavez.

Teach our kids the importance of education and compassion.

Perhaps the best way to teach kids about the importance of education is to tell them why we need it — because education allows a person to live independently and gain freedom. And it can protect a person both financially and socially, allowing him the means to live and rely on his own two feet. At the same time, as parents, we should also tell our kids that not everyone has access to quality education. And that they too, can empower and help these people to have a better future through education.

Just like Kara David, the #NeverFade Awardee as Advocate for Education. As a broadcast journalist and TV host, Kara has produced award-winning documentaries that shed light on the extreme inequalities of society. Through her stint as an investigative journalist, Kara was moved by the need to help the less fortunate Filipino children and since 2002, she founded  Project Malasakit -a scholarship program built on her story of compassion and hope for these children. 

“Project Malasakit has been in existence for almost 20 years. Through our outreach program, we have made food, medicine, and education accessible to remote communities that otherwise, had no basic government support. There is indeed a lot more that needs to be done. But if we harness the power of our collective compassion — we can make a change that will never fade, one school at a time, one child at a time.” says David.

Teach our kids the importance of self-care and connecting with like-minded individuals.

Self-care allows our kids to develop self-esteem and in a way, a sense of themselves. Doing so will allow them to voice out their own struggles, seek help, overcome these, and even empower others who might be in the same situation.

Just like Bianca Gonzalez-Intal, the #NeverFade Awardee as Advocate for Maternal Health. Bianca’s strong advocacy on breastfeeding allowed her to empower other moms to face their own struggles with breastfeeding. With a total combined social media following of more than 5 million, Bianca utilized her online platforms to openly talk about her own breastfeeding battles on low milk supply. A resounding real-life issue that resonated with a lot of moms who found comfort in Bianca’s personal stories on the ups and downs of motherhood. 

Gonzalez-Intal candidly shares, “I started posting my real struggles as a new mom using the hashtag #mommydiaries, to share not just the beautiful but also the ugly side of motherhood. I had no idea that a simple hashtag could spark many conversations. To this day, I continue to share my pains, my learnings, hacks, and tricks I’ve discovered, to hopefully make a never-fading impact and help make other moms feel a little less alone.”

Teach and empower our kids to be constructive, proactive, and compassionate.

This might be easier said than done but perhaps the best way to do this is to model being a constructive, proactive, and compassionate individuals ourselves. Our kids’ behavior and even self-image are based on those who are important to them, so that includes us, as their parents. So we should set a good example for them to follow.

Just like Jasmine Curtis-Smith, #NeverFade Awardee as  Leader of Equal Social and Economic Development. She uses her platform to highlight what needs to be done in society and acts on it. In 2015, she was appointed as World Vision Ambassador and has five sponsored children through the organization. Her first sponsored kid from five years ago will start her college education this year. 

“A fair access to education encourages a better future for all. When a child has access to education, he or she will grow up empowered to see the possibility of a self-capable, successful future. I use my voice as an extension of their voices, my dream is to create a bright future for these children that will never fade” shares Curtis-Smith.

Teach our kids that self-worth is not synonymous with what we look like or others’ perceptions of us.

Teaching our kids the importance of a positive self-worth and body image will go a long way in loving ourselves. We have to teach them that no one can dictate how they feel ourselves and to appreciate themselves and their bodies — through any size, shape, or color.

Just like Iza Calzado-Wintle, the #NeverFade Awardee as Advocate for Women Empowerment. Lauded as a prolific actress, Iza is also a co-founder of She Talks Asia, an empowering community committed to increasing the representation of Asian women globally, and support efforts that give women a seat at the table. Iza has a prominent voice against issues that thwart women from believing in their capacity to succeed. She advocates for body positivity and self-love and creates open discussions for mental health and equality.

Calzado-Wintle believes that “we have to start teaching young women to change their standards on how they see themselves as women. Today, we teach them to look beyond the expectations of perfection – where beautiful traits like bravery, confidence, and sense of humor can be found. What will never fade? It’s how you see and accept yourself as your own standard of beauty.”

Teach our kids the value of resilience.

Resilience, in a nutshell, is a person’s strength to navigate any challenge or tough situations and drive to find good solutions. Resilience can empower our kids to confidently face the tough challenges that come with growing up.

Just like Joy Wong, #NeverFade Awardee as a Woman of Resilience. Joy is a cancer survivor. At age 27, she had Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD), which is a group of pregnancy-related conditions that develop inside the uterus. Since bearing a child is no longer possible, Joy and her husband became active advocates of legal adoption. Today, they have built a family they call their own and are proud parents to two adopted children. Her health condition also did not stop her from crossing the finish line at the Ironman 70.3 triathlon race in 2017. She lives a life of purpose as a Smile Train Charity athlete where she was able to raise $3,864 to fund free surgeries to children with cleft lip and palate.

“At 27, I came into terms with the possibility of dying young. I had cancer. But something inside me knew that it cannot be the end of my life just yet, and so I fought, and I fought really hard. My cancer survival story is not the end of my journey. Today, I am a charity triathlete for Smile Train, and I help raise funds for children born with cleft lip and palate. I also support People Ignite Foundation in helping disadvantaged teens with ages 13 to 19. My personal tragedy led me to this purpose to create a legacy that will never fade.” Wong shares.

Teach our kids the importance of sexual and reproductive health.

Teaching our kids sexual and reproductive health will help them make informed decisions when it comes to their bodies and even family choices later on in life. Doing so will also inform them of their rights (to their bodies and health), provide them the necessary knowledge that could help them avoid certain risks to their health, and promote a positive attitude related to sexual and reproductive health.

Just like Pia Wurtzbach, the #NeverFade Awardee as Advocate for Sexual and Reproductive Health. Miss Universe 2015 Pia has been steadfast in her advocacies on HIV awareness, proper sexual education, and gender equality. Appointed as UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for Asia and the Pacific, Pia has launched campaigns that support public HIV screening as well as proper sex education through social media. Five years after her reign, Pia continues to walk the talk – her strong voice has opened the discussion on issues that used to be taboo.

 “To never fade does not mean that you will always reign. To #NeverFade means to use your voice and platform to create meaningful change that impact people’s lives now and for years to come. I have always believed that a lasting legacy can only start when you choose to take a stand, and you stand by this belief wherever you go – wherever life takes you…I am proud to be part of Downy’s #NeverFade Awardees and once again be given the opportunity to use my voice to inspire more people, so that they too will take a stand and make choices that will never fade,” Wurtzbach shares.

Downy Premium Parfum for Filipinas who #NeverFade 

“The Downy Premium Parfum experience is one that stays with you from wash to wear. Inspired by the long-lasting passion and relentless spirit of the Downy #NeverFade Awardees, Downy creates premium fresh fragrances that remain on your fabric even when you sweat it out on your passion points. Our innovations are designed to keep up with the dynamic lifestyle of women. Our premium product offering is where we want to showcase our timeless commitment to empower more Filipinas, with a fresh boost of confidence, through our long-lasting fragrance,” shares Christina Vilalta, Country Commercial Leader, Downy Philippines.

Rebecca Kan, Regional Brand Communications for P&G Asia Fabric Care says, “We always envision the Downy woman to be confident and beautiful inside out, and tonight, our Downy #NeverFade Awardees become the true embodiment of these characters. We are truly proud to present these remarkable Filipinas and their stories of passion. As we support the National Women’s Month Celebration led by the Philippine Commission on Women, Downy celebrates all Filipinas for their inspiring passion and never-fading spirit to make positive change in the society.”

To all Filipinas who never fade, Downy Parfum carries a collection of sophisticated long-lasting scents that match women holding different beliefs, personalities, and characters. The premium parfum experience comes in the scent of Passion.

Three Alluring Scents 

The three exhilarating scents – Passion, Mystique and Sweetheart – that women can identify with to find one that truly reflects her sophisticated character. Designed to enhance the different dimensions of a woman and help her to find pleasure in the ordinary, the collection offers an array of high-quality fragrances that tap into various personality traits and mirror her dynamic lifestyle. 

Downy Parfum Collection, the long-lasting fragrance for fabric, created for women who #NeverFade.

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