Thursday, February 24, 2005

“divorciada”

There are many arguments against divorce in the light of reason and in the sphere of morals. In addition thereto, there is one that strikes at the social standing of women in the country. It is good that they are gradually winning their crusade against discrimination. But now comes another threat to their good name. It is hidden in the projected divorce bill.

It is not a secret that there are already a good number of prejudicial perceptions against women. A good number of discriminatory treatments against them. It is precisely for this reason that there are women’s movements decidedly trying to counteract the inequality accorded to them. And rightly so, whereas there is genuine equality of dignity among all human persons—boys and girls, women and men.

But as women in the country are gradually gaining there equal standing with men, there is now this sadly poised assault against their good name and standing in Philippine society. This is one big bad news for them.

There is already that prejudicial attribution of “desgraciada” to women without the benefit of marriage. The term is clearly depreciative and offensive. For unknown reasons, the same reality does not seem to apply to the men who are the cause of such a predicament among women.

There is also that discriminatory word “separada” appended to women alienated from their husbands. Just like the “desgraciada,” separated women are also looked upon discreetly but actually down by ordinary people in Philippine society. Again, for one reason or another, the same fact does not seem to underrate the men concerned.

And perhaps unconsciously, here comes another possible discriminatory reality against the good name of women in the country. It comes from the envisioned “Divorce Bill”. No matter what arguments it may want to advance in favor of women, at the end of the day, it is still the womenfolk who will be discriminated against by the Bill. And this is true irrespective of whether they are the victims or the culprits in the event of a divorce grant.

The big stigma comes in form of the label “divorciada”. Fair or unfair, it is again the women who will be ultimately discriminated by the Bill. Even but in the cultural sphere, the proposed divorce bill is not acceptable. It is anti-women.


O.V.CRUZ, DD
24 February 2005