Espina: W.O.W: Women of Worth

·2 min read

I revisited some research on the women leaders of the country and found very interesting related studies.

Decades ago, the Women in Travel honored Women of Distinction, namely, Ingrid Sala Santamaria for arts and culture; Jo Magsaysay, Nelia Neri and Flor Ynclino for media and journalism; and Dr. Lourdes Quisumbing for education. I was chairperson of the project.

The women had valuable contributions, especially in education, arts and culture, tourism and community service. The Zonta Club of Cebu 1, led by president Gina Atienza, will soon join Zonta International in setting projects for the historic “16 Days of Activism,” the purpose of which is to dramatize the leadership of the empowered women in advocacy and service. It will reinforce its stand against domestic violence, teenage pregnancy and related family and social ills. The Empowered Woman is a mother, teacher, social worker or a government official, among others.

During its Golden year, the Zonta Club of Cebu 1 launched some essay writing, poster, comics and video presentation contests, featuring the iconic “Miss Zonya,” in tandem with some institutions and selected schools, namely the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R), Benedicto College, University of the Visayas and Speechcom.

Miss Zonya is the symbolic barangay teacher, a model of efficiency and efficacy. Aside from teaching, she visits families and barangay leaders to promote family solidarity, entrepreneurship, health and wellness, linking with volunteer groups for relevant projects.

The success stories, written by students, depicted “Miss Zonya” helping young women deal with teenage pregnancy, wives caught in domestic violence and students victimized by bullying.

The USJ-R Graduate School literature students crafted and dramatized issues on women and children. Benedicto College shared videos on teenage pregnancy. An oratorical contest on women issues was conducted by the Zonta-adopted Tulay National High school students with Benedicto College.

Cebu Normal University, the University of Cebu, the University of the Visayas, Southwestern University, the University of Southern Philippines and the Sisters of Mary performed in several programs in search for “Talento Cebuanos” citing women leaders, conducted by the USJ-R Dramatics and Cultural Ensemble and Speechcom International.

Don’t look far. There are a good number of Zontians who are icons in their own professions and communities. They are there “behind the scenes,” propellers of service and advocacy.

The Zontians believe in empowered leadership with values and action. They need no trumpets of glory because their ultimate goal is to improve the quality of human life. Their successful programs speak for themselves.

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