The only way to advance human condition is to ensure that no one is left behind—and this includes women and girls.
As we celebrate the International Women’s Day (IWD), the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), the lead agency that makes government work for the promotion of women's empowerment, women's human rights and gender equality, is calling both private and public sectors to always include women in the agenda. This means including “Juana” in planning, implementing, consultation, and decision-making processes where she can actively and meaningfully participate in and benefit from overall development.
We need to include “Juana” as women do not only comprise half of the population but women share half of the pool of talents and abilities that can be tapped for overall progress. We have to include “Juana” because the goals of democracy, development and peace cannot be achieved when gender equality is unmet.
The PCW, therefore, appeals to aspiring and future leaders not to forget, but to reveal their agenda for women in their leadership platforms. We likewise appeal to voters in the coming national and local elections to vote for candidates not based on their sex, gender identity or popularity, but based on clear, realistic and inclusive platform of governance. Choose candidates who carry women’s causes in their agenda, and whose hearts are sincere and genuine to heed the call of every “Juana.”
The Commission also calls on young women and girls to never get tired to aspire and reach for their dreams; in the same way, we encourage government and private leaders to initiate programs, policies and activities to prepare and capacitate them to excel in their chosen fields.
Lastly, we call on everybody to become gender equality and women’s empowerment advocates themselves for it is our responsibility to guarantee an inclusive and shared prosperity to attain a better world.
May we all have a meaningful celebration of National Women’s Month!