Written by: Joshua De Vera and Ed Karl Perez
Believe it or not, history tends to devalue and forget women’s contributions in addressing national crises when in fact, women are always at the core of every fight against any enemy, whether it has a face or is an unseen one. Women spearhead the majority of unpaid care work in households and dominate the health care workforce.
Yet amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, women are disproportionately affected. The pandemic has worsened existing gender inequalities and the marginalization of women. According to Mx. Vonna Vista, Communication Staff of Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR), gender-based violence and teenage pregnancy have significantly increased due to the onset of lockdowns and quarantines.
As part of the celebration of the International Day of Action for Women’s Health on May 28, the importance of women’s health in the context of their workplaces is underscored especially at such a time when all resources and healthcare personnel are directed towards the global pandemic.
When discussing women and their health, intersectionality is important as it broadens the gender lens and explores the diverse narratives of all kinds of women. Hence, five women from the sectors of Los Banos—in agriculture, academe/education, business, and people with disability—narrated how their health in their workplaces was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Fearless Farmer: Lielanie Sanchez on the importance of women’s health
Lielanie Demesa Sanchez is an organic farmer and fruit vendor based in Timugan, Los Baños. For her, women’s health is critical in the time of a pandemic as women like her experience intensified stress and anxiety. She said that the current crisis made it extremely difficult for her small fruit and vegetable stand in Jamboree, Makiling to thrive as her customers diminished because of the restrictions posed by the community quarantine.
THE ORGANIC OPTION. Lielanie Sanchez sells her organic produce to her regular customers at her fruit and vegetable stand in Makiling, Jamboree. (Photo grabbed from Lielanie Sanchez’s Facebook Account)
“Mahirap po talaga, kasi noon po malakas ang benta namin ng paninda pero ngayon po talagang pahirapan po buti na lang po nakakaraos sa tulong ng maraming kaibigan na tinatangkilik pa rin ang aming paninda. Mahirap man pero kaya naman po malampasan [It is a struggle, before we can sell a lot of our produce but now it is really difficult, we are managing through the help and support of our friends],” Lielanie said.
She noted that women need vitamins and supplements to boost their resistance and immune system against the virus and to pay ample attention not just to their physical health but to their mental and emotional health needs as well.
On the women’s livelihood program, Karen Lagat-Mercado, Development Management Officer II of Gender and Development (GAD) Office in Los Baños, said that GAD’s programs were mainly focused on health and income-generating projects. “Yun yung maganda sa Women’s programs ng Los Baños, hindi lang kami yung opisina na nagpapalaganap at nagpapatupad…yung mga regular programs ni Public Employment Service Office (PESO) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) ay nandoon ang participation ng mga kababaihan [Women’s programs in Los Baños are truly commendable as we are not the only office who implement them… Public Employment Service Office (PESO) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) incorporate this in their regular programs and women’s participation emerges]”, she concluded.
The Progressive Professor: Hazel Millares on women’s needs and access to health services
Since the start of the pandemic, Teacher Florna Hazel Villa Millares from the Christian School International (CSI) in Los Banos stated that her usual routines such as grocery shopping have become limited and her husband does all other outside transactions and activities for their family. Her home became her workplace as the Philippines implemented distance learning. She said that she is still adjusting to this setup as face-to-face classes have now been reduced to virtual interactions.
MOMENTS BEFORE THE CRISIS. Florna Hazel Villa Millares, teacher in Christian School International (CSI) with her students participated in the SyenSaya 2019 at Baker Memorial Hall in the University of the Philippines Los Banos. (Photo grabbed from Ma’am Hazel’s Facebook Account).
For her, women’s health is the totality of all issues pertaining to women’s health. When asked about the health needs of women, she responded, “Para sa akin, ang pagkakaroon ng tamang paraan ng pakikipag-ugnayan sa lahat ng pasilidad lalo na sa reproductive health programs and help na ipinagkakaloob ng gobyerno para sa mga kababaihan. Ang mabigyan sila (mga babae) ng boses upang kanilang isangguni ang kanilang mga saloobin at yung hindi sila hinuhusgahan ng kahit sinuman [For me, having a proper way of coordinating with all the facilities especially in reproductive health programs and help offered by the government to women. To amplify their voice for them to be heard and not be judged].”
She added that women’s rights encompass having access and a voice to raise their health problems and be addressed in the soonest time possible to avoid complications especially to those women who do not have the resources and capacity to do such.
“Sa pagkakaalam ko ay may mga health centers ang bawat barangay dito sa Los Baños bukod pa sa apat na ospital na nagbibigay ng mga health services sa mga kababaihan. Ako ay may sariling doktor (OB-GYNE) sa isang pribadong ospital dito sa Los Baños. Hindi ko pa naranasang sumangguni sa ating mga health centers. Sa ngayon, nababalitaan ko na may maayos na serbisyo ang Barangay Health Unit ng Anos [From what I know, each barangay in Los Baños has its own health center aside from the four existing hospitals that offer health services to women. As for me, I have my own doctor (OB-GYNE) in a private hospital here in Los Baños though I have never experienced seeking the services of our health centers. But, I have heard that Barangay Anos’ Health Unit provides good service],” she said.
In terms of best practices and policies on upholding women’s health in the workplace, Hazel revealed that CSI granted her rights and privileges as a female employee by giving her fully paid maternity leave credits, and paid vacation and sick leave credits.
She also suggested CSI’s policies on Women’s Health could be further improved by giving health insurance coverage to all the family members of the school’s other personnel and staff. “Sa ngayon kami lang na mga empleyado ang may insurance health card [As of the moment, we, the faculty, are the only ones given with insurance health card],” she added.
Millares’ calls for the government to provide a specific program for women workers (of any kind of work and in any field) where they can easily go to a sanctuary and seek medical attention or help, a place where they feel safe and be protected without any judgment on them. “Yung pwede nilang puntahan, at maging kanlungan para mapaayos ang kanilang mga sarili lalo na sa panahong may pandemya [Those places where women can go to and can be their haven to improve themselves especially in the time of a pandemic],” she concluded.
The Limitless Leader: Priscila Junsay on braving PWD Women’s challenges
While the pandemic might have done a lot of changes in Ma’am Priscila Junsay’s nature of work, it did not stop her from fulfilling her duties and responsibilities as the overall president of the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Federation of Los Baños.
JUST NEW NORMAL THINGS. Priscila Junsay, the overall president of the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Federation of Los Baños, meets with her colleagues in a conference hall in Los Baños, Laguna. (Photo grabbed from Priscila Junsay’ Facebook Account).
Meetings done virtually, some projects on hold, limited face-to-face contact with constituents and on top of those, no more reason to glam up and wear make-up—Junsay explained that these are some of the changes in her routine since the lockdowns were imposed.
She added that there were financial constraints everywhere because of the current crisis, “We really have to put a budget for vitamins, healthy foods, health protocols—‘yung mga masks, face shields ay dagdag gastos din. ‘Yun yung naging problema rin. Dumami at lumaki ang gastos at ang contradiction ay lumiit ang kita [That is the problem. The cost of living increased; however, the income diminished].”
Although there were limitations in a lot of aspects for Junsay’s nature of leadership, she remained proactive and true to her oath as the president of the LB PWD Federation. She shared their upcoming project for the PWD dialysis patients where the goal is to gather funds for them to fund the additional expenses, specifically the antigen tests required for every dialysis patient before getting the treatment.
“Dialysis patients are always asked to get the antigen test very often. It’s still a burden even if they are subsidized a little, they still have to cash out a big amount,” she explained.
“Hindi kami hihingi lang, maghahanda kami [We’re not just going to beg, we’ve prepared something]… I’m thinking of utilizing their talents for an online concert and whoever wants to share, kahit piso pa yan [even if it’s just a peso], it will be a big help to the dialysis patients,” Junsay added on the revealed upcoming project.
When asked about her needs as a woman and for the needs of other PWD women with regards to their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), she highlighted the reproductive health needs of PWD pregnant women such as vitamins and other medicines, and the accessibility of health centers for whatever pregnant PWD women will be needing during their pregnancies.
Junsay calls for the right of all women to be healthy, especially during this time of a pandemic. She also calls for women being prioritized in public spaces and the inclusivity of PWDs in getting jobs. She believes that if women’s health is given priority in their workplaces, it will result in macro effects such as economic and development growth. She also hopes to improve cyberbullying policies especially at this time when her PWD constituents receive negative messages online.
The Persistent Student: Zsarla Peñaflor’s take on women’s health as a student
Zsarla Peñaflor is currently a student at the University of the Philippines Los Baños and she shared that there has been a huge change in her workplace as a student since she is currently doing her studies remotely.
AT YOUR OWN PACE. Zsarla Peñaflor, a third-year BS Development Communication student from the University of the Philippines Los Baños, answers her school requirements at the comfort of her own room. (Photo credits: Zsarla Peñaflor)
“Parang na-blur na ang boundary and yung time between sa school lang or work sa personal life. Because of the remote learning, kahit weekend or gabi na, ginagawa pa rin natin sila. Medyo mas heavy na rin yung workload ngayon [It seemed like the boundary and the time for school or work and for personal life have been blurred. Because of remote learning, we still do our tasks even on a weekend or late at night. The workload has become heavier this time],” she explained.
Her definition of women’s health has become a gender-based focus compared to just looking at the overall aspect of the health of a person.
“Mas gender-specific siya (women’s health), kaya nagpe-pertain siya particularly sa conditions, ailments or disease na women lang ang nakakaranas and syempre yung mga treatment and diagnosis for that [It is more gender-specific (women’s health), it pertains particularly to conditions, ailments or disease that only women experience as well as its treatment and diagnosis].”
She also added that women’s health should be given attention even if there was no pandemic, that a lot of women are known to be “caregivers” of their family, so it is important to take care of their health for them to fulfill that one specific duty amongst many other abilities of women in society.
Peñaflor admitted that the pandemic has affected her health in many ways. She shared that her physical health was compromised. Because of the stay-at-home protocol, she is less able to do physical activities nowadays.
In addition, she shared an important change in her health as a woman and student at the height of the pandemic which is hard to see by the naked eye. “I think totoo talaga yun na kahit yung isang tao, kahit feeling natin ay siya ay seemingly mukhang strong at okay lang lahat sa kanya, hindi talaga natin masasabi kung mayroon siyang nararanasan, mayroon din siyang struggles [I think it is really true that even if a person looks seemingly strong and it looks like everything’s alright with them, we can never really say if they are experiencing something or they are facing some struggles],” she explained.
“Dahil hanggang ngayon pandemic pa rin, nagulat ako sa sarili ko na doon ko na-feel na naapektuhan ang mental health ko… Nagkakaroon ako ng mga fears, worries, nami-miss ko yung mga times na pwede lumabas, maka-travel, madaling puntahan yung mga mahal sa buhay. Ngayon kasi limited na lahat kaya yung mga ganoong concerns ay it really gets to you. Kasama pa roon ang stress sa school at uncertainty ng future. Kaya ngayon ko mas naiintindihan ang importance ng self care at ang importance ng mental health sa atin [Because up until now, we’re still in a pandemic, I was shocked when I also felt like my mental health became affected. I felt fears, worries; I miss the times when we can go out, travel, and go to our loved ones conveniently. Because everything is so limited, those concerns really get to you. Not to mention the stress from school and the uncertainty for the future. That’s why I now understand more the importance of self-care and mental health for us],” she added.
According to the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) in 2020, there was a significant increase in monthly hotline classes regarding depression, with calls ranging from 80 (pre-lockdown) to 400 in September last year.
Not to mention that the data presented is not representational as those who only have access or even just know about the hotline services of NCMH was observed. There are still a large portion of people in the country, especially those in the margins, who do not have access to calling such hotline services for their mental health concerns.
For Peñaflor, SRHR is important in women’s health. She also mentioned the challenges women face when it comes to their SRHR, particularly the stigma about it.
“Hindi pa rin talaga siya masyadong napaguusapan (SRHR). Taboo pa rin siya. Kaya ‘yung mga ibang women, hindi nila sobrang alam yung rights nila at merong gap about sa mga misconceptions on that kaya siguro mas dumadami yung rates ng teenage pregnancy, abuse, and other injustices (towards women) [It is still not being discussed (SRHR). It is considered a taboo. That is why other women are not aware of their rights and there exists a gap in their misconceptions which could be related to the growth rate of teenage pregnancy, abuse, and other injustices (towards women)],” she explained.
Moreover, she said that proper education and communication is important to be able to address the said issues. “Kung hindi completely ma-eradicate ay mas mapag-uusapan (ang SRHR) in society para hindi siya maging ganoong ka-taboo at nakakatakot pag-usapan. May mga bagay kasi na parang nakakatakot pag-usapan when in fact, dapat naman talaga syang pag-usapan para mabawasan yung abuse at hindi mga magagandang bagay na nangyayari. It all comes down sa mga bagay na ‘yon dahil sa lack of knowledge [If not completely eradicated, I hope it gets more talked about (the SRHR) in society so it won’t be much of a taboo anymore and fearsome to talk about. There are things that are too fearsome to talk about when in fact, it really should be included in normal conversations so that the abuse and other forms of violence will be mitigated. It all comes down to those things eventually if they have a lack of knowledge ],” Peñaflor expounded.
As a student, she calls for giving importance to education and communication to address issues regarding women’s health. She added that no one deserves to be a victim just because one lacks proper knowledge to avoid or stop it. Through proper education, she hopes that the stigma will break and through proper communication, facts on SRHR topics issues will not be vague anymore.
The Empowering Entrepreneur: Chiara Manuel on empowering women and women’s health in their workplaces
IT TAKES GRIT TO KNIT. Chiara Karenina Manuel, the owner of Knitty Gritty by Chiara, knits at her stall in a bazaar in Los Banos, Laguna. (Photo by: Ms. Chiara Manuel).
A Girl Boss—Chiara Manuel became an entrepreneur in 2017 when she launched her business Knitty Gritty where she sells various products made out of crochet.
Due to the pandemic, her business got affected and experienced challenges in terms of the lowering of demands for orders and suppliers. Thus, she found time to volunteer and do various advocacy work.
While she considers her business as her primary work, the pandemic has temporarily changed her concept of “work” as she did many advocacy work and extended help for others at this time.
Manuel explained that for her, women’s health is interconnected with many aspects of their health. It is not just about the sexual aspect but also the reproductive, mental, and physical health of women.
“Because of a lot of reproductive roles na kailangan ko i-meet, nako-compromise yung physical health ko. Then sa pagni-knit, paggagantsilyo, sobrang halaga sa akin ng kamay ko, hindi siya dapat nasusugatan, napapagod. Kalusugan din yun para sa akin, kumbaga sa occupational side, na hindi dapat ako mawawalan ng means na makapag-knit or else wala ako makakain [Because I have a lot of reproductive roles to meet, my physical health is being compromised. In knitting, in crocheting, my hands are important. It should not be wounded and exhausted. That’s health for me. On the occupational side, I must protect these in order for me to have a means to knit or else I won’t be able to provide food for myself],” she added.
For women’s health, Manuel wanted to highlight the importance of having access to free menstrual products. She explained that menstrual products add cost to women, “Cost siya sa kababaihan na hindi niyo (men) naman ginagastos, kunwari parehas tayo ng trabaho, parehas tayo ng sweldo pero hindi siya nirerequire sa inyo. Hindi kasi siya nire-recognize [It is an additional cost to women because men don’t even have those kinds of expenses for themselves. For example, we have the same job and we receive the same amount of salary but our needs are not required for you to purchase. Those are things that are not being recognized].”
She added that in a normal workplace, considerate leave days should be the bare minimum for women in the workplaces. “Second, kailangan nagpo-provide ng health card, PPE pati vaccines na exclusive lang sa mga kababaihan like for cervical cancer. Yung mga bagay na yun hindi dapat siya privilege, karapatan mo dapat yan. Ano yun kapag may pera ka lang tsaka ka lang protected? It’s unfair [Secondly, the provision of health cards, PPEs, and the vaccines exclusive for women’s concerns like cervical cancer should be considered to be given. Those are the things that should not be considered as privileges. It should be a right in the first place. What about it, those who have money are the ones allowed to be protected?],” Manuel said.
In relation to women’s health, specifically on SRHR, Manuel shed light on progressive concepts for such as bodily autonomy on women and abortion.
“Ako kasi, aking katawan, aking desisyon [For me, my body, my desisyon]. Regardless of my motivations or reasons, pag ayaw ko magdala ng bata sa sinapupunan ko, ayaw ko [Regardless of my motivations or reasons, if I don’t want to bear a child in my womb, then I don’t want it]. I should have the right to say no. No one should force me into having a child that I don’t want,” she explained.
“Isipin mo may something sa loob mo na ayaw mo nandoon sobrang emotionally torturing yun. Ang consent to sex ay hindi consent to pregnancy, it’s really different. Para sa akin, ang sexual health kailangan ma-meet niya yung sexual justice. Ang goal ng sex ay pleasure at hindi childbearing [Think of it this way, there’s something inside of you that you do not want, it must be too emotionally torturing. The consent to sex is not a consent to pregnancy. It’s really different. For me, sexual health should be met with sexual justice. The goal of sex is for pleasure and not childbearing.],” she added.
Manuel calls for improvement of workplaces in terms of practices and policies for women and their health. She wants workplaces to recognize that women need to rest if they experience pain due to women’s hormones. It should not be regarded as arte lang or dysmenorrhea lang as it really affects the productivity of women.
She highlighted the concept of the pink tax and really pushes for provision for free or more affordable menstrual health products to lessen the expenses of women for their health.
“Kung we will always look at women using the gender lens, mayroon kaming mga specific needs na kailangan i-meet in order for us to contribute at our best. Ayun kung healthy ang mga kababaihan, mas productive at mas masaya sila sa workplace [If we will always look at women using the gender lens, in such a way that our specific needs to meet in order to us to contribute at our best, if all women are healthy, workplaces will be more productive and happier],” Manuel said.
Women’s Health in Workplaces as contributor to national development
The Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) is a global network that spearheads the advocacy for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) for women.
The global network is one of the organizations to actively campaign for the May 28 International Day of Action for Women’s Health wherein they encourage organizations or individuals to mobilize their communities to advocate for women’s health, specifically in terms of their SRHR.
In an interview with one of the communication staff of WGNRR, Mx. Vonna Vista, who is also an alumnus of UPLB, mentioned that providing a safe space can contribute to Women’s Health.
A RELEVANT DISCOURSE. A screenshot of the virtual interview of the authors Joshua De Vera (L) and Ed Karl Perez (R ) with Vonna Vista (Middle) Communication Staff in Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR).
“Para sa akin, dapat iparamdam sa mga kababaihan na safe space yung workplace. Na free siya from discrimination tas pag may mag report ng abuse, dapat i-address natin kahit gaano kaliit. Tapos may access tayo sa SRHR services sa mismong workplace natin [For me, it is a must for women to feel and consider their workplace as a safe space—it’s free from discrimination and when they report acts of abuse, it must be addressed no matter the degree. Then, we must have access to SRHR services in our actual workplace],” they explain.
Aside from the fact that WGNRR is currently an organization composed of all women employees, one of the best practices in their workplaces that gives priority to women’s health is the provision of having a mental health break.
“Kapag medyo overload na yung work, binibigyan kami ng mental health break and kinakausap namin ang isa’t isa. Meron kaming supportive na environment at alalay talaga sa mental health ng isa’t isa [When work overloads, we are given mental health breaks and we look out for one another. We have a supportive environment that prioritizes the mental health of all employees],” they added.
They also said that the improvement of workplaces for women’s health in relation to their mental health breaks can be as simple as not holding a zoom meeting for the day and just using emails—just to let the employees rest and prioritize other things apart from their work.
Moreover, Vista added that there is still a long way to go in pushing for their advocacy towards better SRHR policies and initiatives in the country, but what is important is they continue to create global networks for the advocacy and mobilize more people for SRHR for women’s health.
Vista also shed light that they feel strongly about the issue on abortion and bodily autonomy. They highlighted that these concepts by now should have already been given and understood.
“Ang bodily autonomy, dapat talaga may karapatan na tayo na magdesisyon sa mga katawan natin. Lalo na yung abortion, parang kung hindi ka pa ready bakit mo pipilitin ang sarili mo? May mga cases na nagre-result sa unsafe abortions na nagreresult sa death. Yung abortion talaga pinaglalaban namin para iligtas ang mga kababaihan dahil karapatan nila yun eh, free sila mamili kung ayaw na nila nung pregnancy nila or hindi. Tapos, I feel strongly about yung sa equality, dapat given na yun… hindi lang mga kababaihan kasama na ang mga LGBTQIA+ [In terms of bodily autonomy, we must have the right to decide for our own body. Specifically, abortion, when you are not ready, you should not be forced. However, there are cases, wherein unsafe abortions resulted in deaths. In abortion, we fight for women’s safety, rights, and freedom to decide whether they would keep their pregnancy or not. Then, I feel strongly about equality, which should be already understood by all…not just women but the LGBTQIA+ too],” they explained.
Vista advises young women and individuals to continuously open the conversation and freely discuss the SRHR topics and issues. “Wag mahiyang magtanong sa mga women’s org o sa mga ka-close nilang mga tao. Magtanong! Maraming avenues na nagbibigay ng SRHR services. Maging kabahagi ng advocacy. At ang pinaka importante, i-demand ang accountability sa government [Don’t be shy to ask questions in women’s orgs or to the people close to you. Ask! There are a lot of avenues that give SRHR services. Be a part of the advocacy and most importantly, demand accountability to the government],” they said.
Where we are now in terms of women’s health development in policies for better workplaces
According to Ms. Karen Lagat-Mercado, the head of the Gender and Development (GAD) Office of Los Baños, the municipality values gender-sensitivity. It is one of first municipalities in the country who crafted its own SOGIE policy—ordinances on Anti-Discrimination, Anti-Sexual Harassment trainings, and the Bawal ang Bastos Law wherein the Safe Spaces Act was adapted by the local government.
Last January, they passed a gender-responsive health and nutrition care and social welfare support programs which aim to partner with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) for the marginalized sector. Through this policy, the Damayan para sa Kalusugan Program was also intensified.
In her actual workplace, she shared that they practice the Alternative Working Arrangement (AWA), which puts premium on time for rest as majority of her colleagues are women in their reproductive age.
“At the end, kailangan din namin ng rest for ourselves, paano magpapatuloy ang aming serbisyo kung magkakasakit kami [At the end, we need time for rest, otherwise, how can we continue our service when we are sick]?” she emphasized.
Lagat-Mercado admitted that they too experienced challenges in executing their projects and activities in GAD at this time. She explained that they saw the effect of holding their programs and activities at this time in its nature of participation.
She explained that prior to the pandemic, they utilized mass gatherings to ignite participation amongst their stakeholders. Now, it is one of the most challenging areas for them.
Moreover, she suggests that to be able to have better prioritization of women’s health in any workplace, a strong policy should be made.
“In a workplace, a strong policy should be implemented also for sustainable purposes,” Lagat-Mercado explained.
She also said that programs for women and for any other stakeholder should always be evidence-based because it provides representation and gives the implementers the idea to make the programs and projects gender-sensitive.
“Sana yung mga national government agencies and local government units kapag nagpa-plan, on the basis of sex-aggregated data. Dapat ang datos mo hindi pangkalahatan. Ilan ang babae at ilan ang lalaki? We should have different interventions for the male and female na nawalan ng trabaho kasi magkaiba sila ng skills, ng oras, ng capacity, iba eh. Para yung intervention ay akma at nararamdaman…dapat tailor-fit sa particular issues para makapagbigay tayong akma solusyon base sa tamang data.. At ‘yung mga programa ay nakalapat sa pangangailangan nung mga nasa laylayan [I hope whenever the national government agencies and local government units plan, it is geared towards the basis of sex- aggregated data. The data should not be generalized. How many are the women and the men? We should have different interventions for the females and males who, for example, lost their jobs, because they have different skill sets, time, and capacities so that the inventions are appropriate and can be felt. They should be tailor-fitted with particular issues so that we can provide the appropriate solutions based on reliable data and that the programs should be geared towards the needs of the marginalized],” Lagat-Mercado expounded.
Lagat-Mercado added that there are many plans for GAD and for the women sector, specifically in terms of health programs and income-generating programs for women. She shared that the LB PESO was given a grant by DOLE to create programs for the community.
Now, she calls for not only an effective policy but also proper funding and proper execution combined altogether to make all their plans happen for the women and women’s health of Los Baños.