As a woman working in public health policy, I work to ensure that our policies are inclusive of all, especially the most vulnerable members of society such as our children and other marginalized sectors. Our unique experiences as women who have faced and continue to face discrimination or other forms of disempowerment help frame the response to our country’s urgent need for more inclusive policies that enable all people to achieve their right to health—to be well physically, mentally, and socially.
It is definitely challenging being a young lawyer advocating for effective and sustainable social change in a field that is dominated by men, i.e., government, and for my work to be discounted on the sole basis of my sex. In such instances—and there have been quite a few—I re-center, focus on the problem at hand and what I bring to the table, and push forward with my advocacy.
In my work as a public health advocate, I find that being a woman is a key strength. Through my ability to empathize, I am able to better design policies and ensure that they capture and are responsive to the lived experiences of the persons who will be affected by such policies. And ultimately, it is a policy that is responsive and inclusive that can make the greatest impact in the lives of the Filipino people.