Friday, July 31, 2009


Many factors have forced numerous Filipino women to work abroad as prostitutes. These include poverty, lack of education, lack of opportunities, and the most hideous of all - a culture that normally treats women as sex objects, as bodies that can be bought, sold, raped, murdered, harassed, ogled at and whistled at. A culture that is not friendly to and at times dangerous and difficult for women.

We need to take a closer look into the lives of these women forced into prostitution to discover that many of them have been sexually abused as children or by their partners and spouses. Most of them had been raped in their early teens by their fathers and step-fathers, uncles and brothers, forcing them to become hookers saying, "wala na ang pagkababae namin, sira na ang buhay namin, sino pa ang papatol sa amin?"

These women sink to the lowest brink of self-esteem and self-worth. Our hypocritical society puts so much premium on virginity and chastity but at the same time nurtures a culture of misogyny wherein women are really left few choices. Menfolk assume the right to sex regardless of the women's consent.

Our government is also to blame for the plight of our women who have gone into prostitution overseas. I think the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) could be the biggest pimp in the country, allowing recruitment agencies to prey on these innocent and desperate victims. Members of Congress should also get the blame, who are supposedly looking into the matter, motivated simply for publicity and propaganda.

Can the POEA for a change embark on a real program to close down all these "talent/promotion agencies" who are really just recruiting women to work as "entertainers" abroad? Entertainers who are expected to transform into prostitutes soon after. Or are government institutions simply interested in the Dollar remittances of our overseas labor force? It's time our honorable legislators look into the POEA and compel the institution to correct any and all practices that obviously hurt and not protect our Filipino women seeking employment overseas.
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