#WomenSpeak: Leaving no woman worker behind

I am Dianalie Patagan, President of the Women Welders’ Guild (WWG), which is affiliated with the Association of Women Workers in the Construction Industry (AWWCI) and the National Union of Building and Construction Workers (NUBCW) in the Philippines. 

I was introduced to the building and construction industry through a welding training that I attended organised by the AWWCI and NUBCW. The training gave me an opportunity to develop my skillset as a woman worker in the construction industry in a non-traditional manner. It helped me discover that I can expand my job opportunities if I set my mind to it. 

The training also made me realise that women are not meant for home-making alone. The role and voice of women in the working communities, and society in general, are extremely vital. I now understand the importance of acquiring knowledge on labour laws, especially those pertaining to women workers. As a result, I am able to further my advocacy in promoting gender equality and the rights of women workers.

As the President of the Women Welders’ Guild (WWG), I want to share with my fellow women workers what I have learned.  I believe that women workers must always be included and involved in their workplaces’ different affairs. Women workers must be involved in the planning and decision-making at the local and national levels. 

As a group of skilled women, we believe that everyone should be recognised, everyone should have opportunities, no one should be left behind, and no one should be subjected to harassment and discrimination. 

#WomenSpeak is a monthly article on gender issues and concerns authored by BWI’s different affiliate women workers. It seeks to provide women workers more spaces and platforms to express their thoughts and concerns on a variety of issues that are important to them as workers and most especially, as women.