We the women, for the women


by River Ho

This week, most parts of the world celebrate the advancement of women through the International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8. IWD’s 2017 theme, #BeBoldforChange, brings to mind how far women have come from the aughts when women were not considered serious players in the society. Indeed, so much have changed. But so much are yet to be done in empowering women, giving them the status they deserve as equal contributors to social progress and economic growth, rightfully compensating them for their efforts, and giving them a place in the boardroom.

In our quest for equity, we the women have the biggest role to play in making this change happen. Every moment, our mindsets, behaviors and words impact the way women are thought of and treated. So, in the spirit of being bold for women, I asked some of my bold friends, who hail from different backgrounds and who all have successfully overcome personal and professional obstacles, what they would do or continue doing to advance the interests of women in their own circles.

Here are what they have to say:

Phnom Penh

Sambath Lao
Commercial and Communications Officer, Embassy of Sweden
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

“I will continue encouraging women to make decisions for themselves, whether it’s for their career, love, family or future plans, as well as when participating in politics. I will continue telling them to do what’s good for them, and not what society and others expect them to do.”


Doris Jimenez
PR Consultant, Belo Medical Group
Manila, Philippines

“I encourage and support women in the workforce. In my PR practice, I’ve continuously advocated for gender parity across all levels in business and the society.”

Jo Hazel

Jo Hazel
Bograd Asia Data Science and Analytics Manager, Monsanto

“I represent/champion women in science, and encourage the same by being a mentor to newer/younger women in science. I am also a spokesperson and role model as I encourage more girls in school to choose careers in science and engineering.”

Dr. Humaira Islam

Dr. Humaira Islam
Consultant Sonologist, Anwar Khan Modern Medical College Hospital
Dhaka, Bangladesh

“As a doctor, I do my best to give my women patients sound medical care and advice to keep them in good morals.”

Ny Phanthaboun

Ny Phanthaboun
Consultant, Asian Development Bank / Business Owner
Vientiane, Laos

“I encourage women to value themselves, to be ready to follow their dreams, and to think positively but wisely!”

Jeanette Mendoza

Jeanette Mendoza
Training and Quality Assurance Manager, Le Meridien Hotel
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

“I am attending Meditation and Yoga classes for my physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing as a woman, and am encouraging all of my female friends to do the same.”

Shalu Panwar

Shalu Panwar
Assistant Manager – HR, Vasundhara Hospital and Fertility Research Center
Jodhpur, India

“I strongly feel that every woman has her own hidden strength. “Know your strengths, Own your strengths”. Our hospital is a complete mother and child care centre, with almost 80% of employees being females from different backgrounds. We motivate them to express their best in life and work, and be able to identify and channel their unique strengths. As women, we value ourselves and step up to take the lead.”



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