What are the challenges in Filipino advertising

Are women second class citizens? - Equality as a challenge in the Philippines

On Carpenter Street in Davao, the notorious street of the largest city in the Philippines, girls and young women struggle daily for their survival. The youngest are only 13 years old. But with their bright make-up, in mini-skirts and high heels, they don't look like children.

Sex for 7.30 euros

In the traditionally patriarchal society of the Philippines, it is very difficult for women. Girls and women are often victims of violence and sexual abuse in their own four walls. In their job, women often only earn half the salary of men. In poor families, girls have to give up schooling in favor of their brothers. Uneducated girls are easily victims of violence - a vicious circle.

Because of financial hardship, many girls go to the city to work. It is not uncommon for them to slide into prostitution. The Japanese market offers another opportunity to earn money. Japayuki, "going towards Japan", is the name given to the girls who dance and prostitute themselves in Japanese bars. With a contract as “entertainers” in distant Japan, they become heroines of the family, because the sex business is lucrative and nourishes the relatives.

Sex sells - a double standard?

The authorities earn a lot from the sex business - by issuing trade licenses and collecting taxpayers' money from club owners. The sex industry now generates the fourth largest share of the gross national product. The Philippine state also earns a lot from the Japayukis. These girls send several 100 million euros back home every year. A huge sum for a country whose foreign debt is constantly increasing. And so prostitution is illegal, but widely accepted.

Over the past 15 years, the Philippine government has passed many laws to strengthen the rights of women and children. There are also numerous non-governmental organizations that help women and girls. But for Filipino society there is still a long way to go before equality is established in people's minds.

Authors: Magnolia Yrasuegui and Priya Esselborn

Editor: Peter Koppen