Mainstreaming gender at the local level becomes a reality when key local plans such as the Annual Investment Plan and comprehensive local plans are infused with gender and women economic empowerment (WEE) perspectives through a participatory process. Buenavista, Bohol used as its main entry point to mainstreaming gender the introduction of gender and WEE in local strategic plans.
Infanta, Quezon did not regard GAD and women economic empowerment (WEE) as priority concerns and the municipality did not have WEE policies to speak of. Through the GREAT Women Project (GWP) however, Infanta learned to use a “ WEE lens” to assess policy directions, the gender capability of officials and staff involved, mechanisms and structures, and programs, projects and activities in relation to gender. WEE was also made a basis for determining the strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-and-threats of the local economy.
Quezon Province had been a staunch gender advocate long before the entry of the GREAT Women Project (GWP). It had a Provincial GAD Office, 40 municipal gender and development councils that met regularly, and one city gender and development council (CGADC). The GWP however enhanced Quezon’s gender involvement by creating a local environment conducive for women economic empowerment (WEE) through capacity development, partnership building and enhancement of policies, programs and services.
The GREAT Women Project (GWP) implemented by TESDA highlighted the process of mainstreaming gender and entrepreneurship in the Enhanced Technology-Based Community Training Program curriculum, through the development and use of gender-responsive training modules. The use of gender-responsive training modules in the curriculum hopes to stimulate the “tech-vocpreneurship” capabilities of women, thereby increasing their opportunities to be economically productive.
Micro-enterprise development for women microenterprises (WMEs) in Metro Naga consisted mainly of sporadic livelihood/microenterprise development efforts, a limited network of institutions supporting WMEs and the limited capacity of LGU personnel to engage in microenterprise development. Overall, microenterprises were considered as just “recipients” of national government agency (NGA) programs involving Metro Naga’s local government units.
In response to the situation, the Metro Naga Development Council (MNDC) and the GREAT Women Project (GWP) has adopted a four-way strategy to build an enabling environment for women microentrepreneurs. (The MNDC is a voluntary organization of 14 local governments in Naga which had been in existence since 1995. Eight MNDC member municipalities are implementing the GWP). First, MNDC is crafting policies to bring development to the WME Sector. Second, MNDC is seeking service delivery for WMEs in line with the SMED Harmonization Plan. Third, MNDC is exploring social protection schemes for WMEs. Fourth, MNDC continues to build the capacity of its LGUs to better support WEE development.