Filipino wife roles and status in the Philippines

Filipino women rights and equality in the Philippines

In the Philippines, filipina women have always enjoyed greater equality than Asian women in other parts of Southeast Asia.

In the pre-colonial days, Filipino women have enjoyed equal status with men for a very long time.

Before the Spanish colonization, both filipino men and filipina women can get a divorce for the following reasons: spouse failure to meet family obligations, childlessness, and infidelity. Properties and children regardless of sex are equally divided.

Since a filipino man is required to pay a dowry to the filipina woman's family, she is expected to return the dowry back if she is to blame. In the case where the man is at fault, he will lose the right to get back his dowry.

Perception of young filipina girls and female children in the Philippines society

In the Philippines society, there are no sex preferences for children. Female children are regarded as worthy as male ones unlike in countries such as China and India where male babies are often favored.

Filipino parents provide equal opportunities to their children regardless of sex. Filipino daughters receive the same education and they can also inherit family properties.

Filipino women's education

These have led to higher education and literacy levels for filipina women compared to men in the functional literacy education survey conducted in 2003.

In 2006, the percentage of licensed professional filipino women was higher than male at 57%. There are 63,574 filipina women professionals and the most popular profession is nurse followed by Professional Teachers-Elementary Level.

Roles of a filipino woman in marriage and relationship

From the Spanish colonial period till now, the filipino wife has been the chief financial officer in the family unit. She control and manage her family's finances that involves her children and her kinsfolk.

The duty of the filipino husband is to provide for the family while the Filipino wife ensures that her home is well maintained and her husband comfortably well attended to.

A filipina woman assumes delight in ensuring that her husband and kids are well taken care off not because she is duty bound but due to her selfless love and devotion to her family

Filipino wife: divorce in Filipino marriages

In the Philippines society, divorce is prohibited as it is considered damaging and destructive for the family and community unit. In the eyes of Filipino customs and values, the life of a filipino wife revolves around the family and the filipino social culture emphasize the family as the core social unit.

Divorce is not accepted as a solution to any marital disputes because it disrupt the progress of the basic community unit. Thus, a Filipino husband and filipina wife are supposed to communicate and resolve their internal differences without the need for divorce or separation.

For most of the time, the filipino wife might be accomodating and give in for the sake of holding the family together. However this will happen only in the case of a local filipino married couple but not a foreigner married filipino girl marriage.

Under limited circumstances, judicial separation was permitted but legal remarriage was not allowed. The Philippines Family Code of 1987 constituted a change to amend the Civil Code that has proved unsuitable to Filipino culture.

Under the influence of Roman Catholic Church law, the Philippines Family Code of 1987 allowed annulment of marriage due to:
(1) Repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed against the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner;

(2) Physical violence or moral pressure to compel the petitioner to change religious or political affiliation;

(3) Attempt of respondent to corrupt or induce the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner, to engage in prostitution, or connivance in such corruption or inducement;

(4) Final judgment sentencing the respondent to imprisonment of more than six years, even if pardoned;

(5) Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism of the respondent;

(6) Lesbianism or homosexuality of the respondent;

(7) Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage, whether in the Philippines or abroad;

(8) Sexual infidelity or perversion;

(9) Attempt by the respondent against the life of the petitioner; or

(10) Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one year.

Divorce obtained abroad by an alien mate was recognized. Although the restrictive divorce laws might be viewed as an infringement on women's liberty to get out of a bad marriage, indications were that many Filipinas viewed them as a protection against abandonment and loss of support by wayward husbands.

Contemporary roles of filipino women

In the working society, filipino women are given equal opportunities with men. As men delegated household tasks to filipina women, filipino women who are employed are overwhelmed.

Although male chauvinism is prevalent in the Filipino society, there are many Filipino women in political postions. However due to filipino women's submissive attitudes in general, there is always a double standard towards sexual conduct.

Since Filipino wife control the access to the family's finances, she has the ability to help her own maternal family when the needs arise. Generally, the filipino husband is particularly concern about how his wife spend the money. The responsibilty of the huband is to bring money in for the family and it is the duty of the filipino wife to budget.

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