Prior to the GREAT Women Project (GWP), gender mainstreaming in Iloilo Province, consisted mainly of a series of trainings on gender sensitivity and gender analysis that were meant to enhance the province’s Gender and Development (GAD) Plan.
When the GWP was launched in three pilot Iloilo municipalities, namely, Badiangan, Miag-ao and Pavia in 2008, gender mainstreaming took a new direction towards women’s economic empowerment.
In October 2009, the Province conducted a series of orientations, Gender Sensitivity Training++, and a Forum for Women Micro-entrepreneurs. Soon after, the local government replicated gender mainstreaming among women micro-entrepreneurs in eight sites in six municipalities covered by the Rural Works and Sanitation Project. Gender mainstreaming surfaced gender issues related to inadequate water supply. Having limited water made it difficult for local women to engage in livelihood and other entrepreneurial activities. These issues included the following: (1) inability of women to grow vegetables for livelihood, (2) difficulty of maintaining cleanliness and hygiene within households, and (3) additional time and money spent for water. Understanding these issues through gender analysis ensured that the Rural Works and Sanitation project would be implemented in a more gender-responsive manner.
Enhancing the capacity of the Province to undertake gender analysis under the GWP underscored the importance of gender mainstreaming in local programs and projects. Learnings from the capacity development activities led to the adoption of a policy to mainstream GAD in all projects and programs under the 20 percent Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) development fund starting in 2010. The subsequent issuance of Executive Order No. 6 (series of 2010) on the Institutionalization of Gender and Development in all the Programs, Projects and Activities of the Iloilo Provincial Government, and the use of the Harmonized GAD Guidelines also came about because of GWP.
Iloilo continues to strengthen GAD mainstreaming in the Province by coaching technical personnel on the determination of GAD concerns in project identification and design, engendering the processes in implementation and management of projects, and ensuring gender responsiveness of projects through effective monitoring and evaluation.
Prepared by Mr. Mario Nillos, PPDO and Co-Chair, PTWG for GWP-Iloilo