Let me share with you a story, it is about respect for women. The writer, lets call him “ABIJITH”, his name means fearless. The story goes like this. There was once a boy who always treated his mother horribly, shouting at her, insulting her. It didn’t matter to him how sad he made her.

One day, without knowing how, he woke up in an immense and lonely place. He was sitting on a rock from which four huge pillars rose up into the sky, appearing to support the entire world. He was all alone, but soon an enormous flock of crows with beaks made of steel landed on the rock, and set about violently chipping away at it. After the crows left, a mysterious door in one of the pillars opened, and through it came a charming and pretty girl. -“Have you come to help us? That’s great! We need all the people we can get.” The boy was puzzled, and spotting his confusion, the little girl explained. – “So you don’t know where you are? This is the center of the Earth. These pillars support the whole planet, and this rock keeps the pillars in place.” -“And how can I help you?” said the boy, confused. -“Well, to help look after the rock, of course. Anyone can see by your face that you’re the best person for the job,” answered the girl, -“The birds you saw are only increasing in number, and if we don’t look after this rock it will eventually crumble and everything will come crashing down.” -“And what do you see in my face?!” exclaimed the boy, surprised. -“I’ve never looked after a rock in my whole life!” -“But you’ll learn how, even if you’ve never done it. Here, look in this mirror,” said the girl, holding one in front of the boy’s face.

The boy could clearly see he now had the face of a bird, and his nose was gradually turning into steel. There he stood, shocked and worried, not a word passing his lips. -“All those crows used to be children like you and I, ” explained the girl, -“but they decided not to look after the rock. Now that they’re older they’ve turned into evil birds; all they do is destroy. Up to now, you haven’t done much to look after it, but now that you know, will you help me to preserve all this?” She said all this with a smile, taking his hand in hers. The boy still didn’t quite understand all this. He looked closely at the pillars and could see that each one was made of thousands and thousands of little figurines, representing the best virtues: sincerity, effort, honesty, generosity…

Closely inspecting the ground beneath him, he could see that the enormous rock was made up of little instances of children showing respect to their mothers, grandparents, brothers, sisters, and old people. What the crows were trying to do was cover over these instances by carving out scenes of shouting and insults. Next to his feet, he could see his own little carving, representing the last time he shouted at his mother. That image, in such a strange place, made him realise that the only thing keeping the columns standing was respect. Respect was sustaining the world.

The boy, filled with regret, stayed there and looked after the rock for many days. He carried out his task joyfully, going without sleep to repel every crow attack. He carried on until, exhausted by his efforts, he collapsed; completely spent. When he woke, he was back in his bed at home, and he didn’t know whether it had all been a dream. However, what he was now sure of was that no crow would ever again get the chance to carve a picture of him shouting at his mother.

The story is about the importance of women which can’t be described in words, if I write about them I will be out of words to admire them, I’m blessed with some important women in my life my mother, my aunt, my wife, my daughters, our “ann’s”, sisters, teachers, colleagues, and friends.

March of every year, among other mandated observances, has been dedicated to women, with varied activities throughout the month in celebration. Pursuant to Presidential Proclamation Nos.224 and 227 and Republic Act No.6949, we celebrate the National Women’s’ Month. Every March of each year is part of the worldwide observance of the International Women’s Day (IWD).

This year’s theme is “WE Make Change Work for Women.” The chosen theme is an offshoot during the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of Presidential Rodrigo Roa Duterte directive which was to fully implement the Magna Carta of Women in order to ensure that men and women will be partners in the pursuit of the country’s economic, social, cultural and political developments. The theme was as good a theme three years ago as it will be in the next two years.

One day in March itself, March 8 to be specific, was declared since 1990 as National Women’s Day and way back in 1988 the same date was mentioned as Women’s Rights and International Peace Day. We stand for Women Empowerment – Women empowerment will make the change that GAD advocates, leaders and experts are espousing or any development responsive of women’s concerns. Make Change Work – for acronym MCW = Magna Carta of Women – Strengthening the implementation of the MCW at all levels which means putting in place functional mechanisms as well as implementing and making known to citizens, programs and services that address strategic gender needs of women. Change – Compassionate and Harmonized Actions and Networks for Gender Equality.

In the implementation outlined in the magna carta, the first word of the theme, “we”, this time as a collective pronoun, the active doer of the action, whether government or private, the various sectors, you and I, whose contribution even how little can promote the overall welfare for our “Juanas”. And by “we”, the “Juans” or the men. “Juans” play an important role in overcoming gender inequality and discrimination and “we” men must be part of the solution to end violence and discrimination against women and girls. … Men still hold much of the power in society and therefore have the power to bring about change.

END/Patrick Rillorta