Cover Multi-ethnic group of beautiful women. (Photo: Getty Images)

In celebration of International Women's Month, we list eight foundations and charities that uphold the rights of women in many aspects of life

Rags2Riches

Founded in 2007, this enterprise empowers women—most especially mothers—in Payatas, Quezon City by helping them convert their knowledge in making rags from fabric scraps to sewing wearable art and other fashionable garments. Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, its president and co-founder saw a huge opportunity to alter the lives of these women struggling to make ends meet when she and her fellow co-founders discovered how talented they are. By cutting out the middlemen in the age-old structure thus allowing the women to earn more money from their creations, as well as partnering with local designers to elevate the quality of the products, Rags2Riches has given these women and more in the succeeding years to thrive financially and creatively. "This not only meant higher wages," as stated on its website. "It meant a deeper sense of pride, self-worth, and empowerment."

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Women's Legal and Human Rights Bureau

This legal bureau pioneered the idea of having feminist legal advisors fighting against the abuses towards women. Since 1989, this group has been advocating women's rights, empowering women through the use of and engagement with the law and its institutions. One of its core programs is called Engendering the Barangay Justice System, which directly engages women from grassroots communities to access justice through assistance in local legislative processes, capacity-building, and educational platforms.

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HABI: The Philippine Textile Council

This organisation aims to preserve, promote, and enhance Philippine textiles through education, communication, and research. Generally, its scope includes men, women, and youth in communities with local weaving traditions and farmers of cotton, fibre, and more. However, in a sector that is predominantly women in the population, this organisation has also launched and partnered in programs that promote the welfare of women, particularly weavers and artisans, assisting them to maximise their local businesses' potentials and platforms to reach a wider market.

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Read more: Maribel Ongpin on HABI's Efforts to Revive the Philippine Cotton Industry

Child Protection Network

This organisation has been tirelessly rescuing victims of domestic and child abuse. In the process, it has been educating judges, prosecutors, social workers, and police officers in such cases and building Women and Children Protection Units (WCPUs) in many parts of the country to provide safe havens for these victims. Through a combination of competent, compassionate, non-threatening medical and psychosocial staff, these WCPUs become welcoming, safe, and child-friendly spaces that help these victims recover from trauma and continue living with more hope and love.

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Read more: The Child Protection Network Today: A Worthy Cause

Kasuso: Philippine Foundation for Breast Cancer

The creation of the first breast care centre in the Philippines at East Avenue Medical Centre propelled the establishment of this foundation in 2001 that is dedicated to serving mostly indigent patients of breast cancer. Through financial and emotional support, women fighting against this disease are provided with utmost care. Moreover, the foundation also accelerated diagnostics and treatment programs in partnership with other foundations as well as launched training courses at the grassroots level in pursuit of its campaign for early detection. "It is now the leading institution whose effective breast cancer advocacy not only trains the masses to do correct breast self-exam confidently but also to navigate through the complex health care delivery system in the country," as stated on its website.

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Read more: Philippine Organisations For Breast Cancer You Can Support Today

SPARK!

The Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran (SPARK!) is an organisation comprised of women championing women's rights and empowering them on their roles in national development. It holds a vision for a country that is gender-sensitive, inclusive, and responsive, hence launching programs, policies, and mechanisms to achieve these. Its programs cater to gender-sensitivity education and development, women's economic empowerment, girls' rights and education, and various advocacy campaigns via social media.

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Read also: You Matter: Managing Mental Health

ICanServe Foundation

Another foundation that advocates early breast cancer detection is ICanServe. Through high impact information campaigns and community-based screening programs, this foundation empowers women with cancer-related information, which allows them to speak up about their health care. Breast cancer patients are given to feel and receive support throughout their ordeal through this foundation's assistance. Its co-founders, breast cancer survivors Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, Crisann Celdran, Becky Fuentes, and Bet Lazatin formed ICanServe in order to provide support for breast cancer patients who are newly diagnosed, on treatment, and in remission, especially in their transition to "new normal" life.

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