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    Posted March 3, 2014 by

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    Ladies control House in Philippines

    THEY may belong to different political parties but when it comes to their causes, the women lawmakers are united.
    This was more apparent Monday as they took full control of the House of Representatives' plenary as it celebrates the International Women's Month.
    Acting Speaker was Rep. Gina De Venecia, President of the 79-strong women caucus of the Lower House, with Congresswomen Linabelle Villarica, Marlyn Primicias-Agabas and Gwendolyn Garcia acting as Deputy Speakers.
    The other participants in the all-women session on that day were Rep. Rosenda Ann Ocampo as the Majority Floor Leader with Reps. Susan Yap, Josephine Sato and Marie Anne Pernes as Deputy Majority Floor Leaders. Rep. Carol Jayne Lopez was the Minority Floor Leader while Rep. Aleta Suarez acted as the Deputy Minority Floor Leader.
    The plenary session was a platform for women issues ranging from women's rights to cybercrimes. Scheduled to deliver privilege speeches are Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan, who will discuss "Protecting Our Women, Unmasking the Policies Discordant with the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act", Rep. Belma Cabilao, who talked about "Annulment" while Rep. Magnolia Antonino-Nadres spoke on "Pregnancy" and Rep. Aileen Radaza on "Cyberpornography and Cyberprostitution."
    The other speakers who took the floor were Rep. Maria Leonor Robredo on "Judicious Spending of the Gender and Development Fund of Local Governments", Rep. Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman on "Women and Peace in Mindanao", Rep. Mirasol Aragones on "Women: Breaking Stereotypes" and Rep. Evelina Escudero on "Human Trafficking."
    The all-women session was jointly sponsored by the Association of Women Legislators Foundation, Inc.(AWLFI) headed by Congresswoman De Venecia and the Committee on Women and Gender Equality chaired by Villarica.
    De Venecia, who is at her second term as AWLFI president said: "At 79, the number of women legislators in the 16th Congress is the biggest in history. Yet, we're just a quarter of the total House membership. To strengthen our influence, we decided to unite, because in a world where there are many voices, it is important that the women's voice is heard."

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