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Empowering Women

This year I spent the first five months traveling in the Philippines, offering resources to the churches and governments toward the empowerment of the poor. Many women shared with me that they were poor because they had been left with child by a man who abandoned them after making them pregnant. When I asked them why they did not file a charge of paternity and abandonment, they said they could not afford to have a paternity test. The government has a law requiring men to be responsible for the children they father but the women have to pay a huge amount for a paternity test. This is what leads to a large part of both the poverty and population problems in the Philippines. When I return it will be my first priority to get the church or government to provide free paternity tests and free paternity and abandonment litigation. I hope the Catholic church, that I assist, will work with me. Their failure to ordain women has contributed to the submissive and compliant attitude of women that is part of the problem. Rowland Lane Anderson for Veterans For Peace

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