Emphasizing the role of women in pursuit of a just criminal system, LPU-Batangas celebrated this year’s Women’s Month with a prominent leadership figure and lawyer in the country, Atty. Leni Robredo. This celebration of empowered women was held last March 7, at the LPU-B Freedom Hall.
In a sit-down interview, Atty. Robredo was able to tackle continuing gender equality issues, concerns, and challenges. Aligned with the theme, “Just Women in the Criminal Justice System”, she shared her experience as a public attorney helping women who were victims of physical and emotional abuse. Apart from this, she pointed out that for women to take on more leadership roles, society must create safe spaces where women can participate, and where their experiences are considered. This would also entail challenging the status quo, with stress on empowering women economically. To be able to understand these issues deeply, she recommended that students taking up criminology immerse themselves in communities that have prevalent challenges that were mentioned.
As for the issue of violence on women, Atty. Robredo gave advice to female students regarding “red flags”: “I was married to my husband for 25 years, pero never akong sinigawan. Kasi alam niya na oras na sigawan niya ‘ko, iiwan ‘ko talaga siya. So, kayo mga girls dito, kayo yung magdidikta kung papano niyo gusto kayo I-treat ng mga lalaki. Kung nagme-make kayo ng excuses na ganyan lang talaga siya, yung buong relationship niyo magiging ganyan. So habang maaga pa, ‘pag nasigawan kayo ng mga boyfriend niyo, iwan niyo na.”, she said. Her last message, though, was dedicated to the youth.
“Please believe in yourselves. Please believe that power is in your hands.”, Atty. Robredo said. She added that only then can they be catalysts of change in society.
With the Women’s Month Celebration also serving as a venue to highlight women’s achievements and discuss continuing and emerging women’s empowerment, a panel discussion was also held with Pcpt. Mary Ann Espina, Chief, Women and Children Protection Desk-Batangas PPO, Atty. Alyssa Renee Cruz, Vice Mayor-Batangas City, Jssupt. Ma. Arlene Gillera, Officer-in-Charge, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology-CALABARZON, and Hon. Maria Cecilia Austria-Chua, Executive Judge-Batangas City Regional Trial Courts.
This event was made possible through the efforts of the College of Criminal Justice Education, in partnership with the Gender and Development Office.