by K. Cerva and E. Sison
Males had a feel of what women go through by wearing women’s shoes and dressing like pregnant women when they participated in the National Youth Commission-led parade in Session Road.
The parade, dubbed as “In her shoes. I am her: Marching for young women,” aimed to increase awareness on the vulnerability of young women, especially with the number of teenage pregnancy.
NYC Commissioner Perci Cendaña said the group’s Women’s Month campaign focuses on involving men in promoting women’s rights and welfare.
Now on its fourth year, the “In her shoe” parade is simultaneously held in Baguio, Manila, Iloilo, and Zamboanga.
Cendaña said it is about time that all sectors of society take teenage pregnancy seriously and pay attention to the concerns of young women.
Cendaña said the Philippines has the most number of teenage pregnancies in Southeast Asia with around 600 young women, age 19 years and below giving birth every day or equivalent to 25 young women giving birth every hour.
“One in every seven adolescents in the Philippines is pregnant and these girls are bearing the burden of unplanned pregnancies which is a major deterrent to the development of our young women,” he added.
With the campaign, NYC hopes to encourage more men and other stakeholders to reflect on the plight of young women.
“Comprehensive sexuality education should be implemented immediately and aggressively. Young women should be empowered and provided the necessary life skills to protect them. They should also be given access to essential reproductive health commodities,” Cendaña said.