The Role of Women in the New Millennium


Vision, Goals and Objectives of the Women’s Movement

The Vision of feminism in the new millennium is a non-sexist society in which there will be no discrimination whether by race, gender or class, in the production and allocation of economic resources. It would also be a society where power is not assigned in accordance with one‟s class, race, gender and where individual civic rights are respected and upheld. Such a society would
have to respect, encourage and animate traditional female values but not restrict them to only one—half of the population, who by virtue of its gender, is categorized as subordinate to the other (Quintos-Deles, 1995, P. 158).

Women all over the country envision a nation where women call stand equal to men. But more than equality, women look forward to a society where women, as well as men, will be free to decide for themselves the path the country will take towards development; where all persons, men and women alike, will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor; amid where class nor gender will no longer be a basis for division of labor, wealth and social status.

The ultimate goal of women‟s liberation is the removal of all structures and relations of gender oppression, and with it, the end to practices and concepts of gender discrimination.

The recognition of women‟s liberation must start with the recognition of the comprehensiveness of the oppression of women, not just in celebrated cases, but more so in its everyday forms, in the totality of the structures and relationships that keep women subjugated to men.

We now have to work towards the emancipation of women. This includes the struggle against women‟s subordination to the men within the home; against their exploitation by the family; against their continuing low status at work, in society, and in culture and religion, against their double burden of production and reproduction. It challenges the very notion of femininity and
masculinity as mutually exclusive, biologically determined categories (Torres, 1990, p.29).

The women‟s movement today embraces millions of women and men who are active in social change. The women‟s movement is a loosely linked collection of non-government organizations, people‟s organizations, coalitions, networks, single and multi-purpose collectives, interest groups and individuals.

Feminism, regardless of ideological influences, simply refers to ideas and movements that seek in various ways to improve the status of women. Feminism is the most potentially powerful challenge to the status quo, precisely because it calls for struggle against all forms of oppression (Se and Crown, 1987, p, 19).

Women‟s liberation shall humanize individuals, relationships, movements and structures. Such process of humanization is a long and arduous struggle where battles are waged simultaneously in the personal and political realms. At the kernel of the struggle are the transformation of deep seated values and attitudes towards oneself, other women and men, and the interweaving of these values with other liberating values borne out of the struggle against classism and racism (Josefa Francisco, p. 12).

While many sectors continue to treat women‟s movement as an auxiliary or support movement whose role is to “provide highlights to class and sectoral issues,” women are asserting through their own action and reflection what is also a multisectoral, multi-class movement capable of advancing a comprehensive struggle for national, class and gender liberation, all in the interest of the people‟s movement. All issues of social change are, after all, women‟s issues (de Vera, March 1.992, p. 10).