The National Women’s Month Celebration every March is part of the worldwide observance of the International Women’s Day (IWD).
The following issuances serve as legal bases for the annual activity:
• Proclamation No. 224 s. 1988 declaring the first week of March each year as Women’s Week and March 8 as Women’s Rights and International Peace Day;
• Proclamation No. 227 s. 1988 providing for the observance of the Month of March as Women’s Role in History Month; and
• Republic Act (RA) 6949 s. 1990 declaring March 8 of every year as National Women’s Day.
In his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo Roa Duterte directed “all agencies, oversight bodies and local government units down to the barangay level to fully implement the Magna Carta of Women." This is to ensure that man and woman will be partners in the pursuit of the country’s economic, social, cultural and political developments. This pursuit of development under the new administration is also anchored on the commitment of “Malasakit at Pagbabago” or True Compassion and Real Change. Thus, the first National Women’s Month Celebration under the new leadership will focus on these key foundations: partnership for change and full implementation of the Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act 9710), captured through the theme: "WE Make Change Work for Women."
Elements of the theme
• WE stands for Women’ Empowerment – empowering women enables them to confidently and meaningfully engage with appropriate institutions to ensure that they contribute to and benefit from development and changes. Thus, women’s empowerment will make the change that we are espousing or any development effort responsive of women’s concerns.
• Make Change Work = MCW = Magna Carta of Women – making change work for women necessitates strengthening the implementation of the MCW at all levels. It means putting in place functional mechanisms as well as implementing and making known to citizens, programs and services that address strategic gender needs of women.
• Change – also means Compassionate and Harmonized Actions and Networks for Gender Equality.
• We / us or “kami / tayo” in Filipino – who is going to pave the way for an enabling environment for women to be empowered? Who is going to ensure that the MCW is implemented at all levels? Who is going to make change work for women? It all of us, in our various capacities whether as government officials and employees, members of the private sector, the academe, non-government organizations, or as private individuals can be partners for a change that is gender-responsive. It emphasizes our collective effort, collaboration and participation to ensure that women will not be left behind in the pursuit of change.
The theme emphasizes that women should be active drivers in bringing about positive changes, and that they should also reap from development efforts. This can be made possible by empowering women – enabling them to meaningfully engage with other development stakeholders, and by fully implementing the MCW.
Consistent with Proclamation No. 227 s. 1988, the annual conduct of the National Women’s Month Celebration (NWMC) aims to give due recognition to the contributions of Filipino women in our society.
Specifically, 2017 celebration aims to:
1. inform and engage women as stakeholders of government programs and services to promote citizen-centric governance and make “change” a conscious effort to know, understand, and provide what ALL citizens need;
2. create and facilitate platforms to discuss good practices, gaps, challenges, and commitments in pursuing gender and development (GAD) – to strengthen implementation of the Magna Carta of Women; and
3. inspire and empower women and girls to be agents of change – to contribute in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of all women.
All agencies, local government units (LGUs) and other instrumentalities of the government shall organize their own activities and other initiatives that contribute in the attainment of these objectives.
Informing and engaging women as stakeholders of government programs and services
1. Production and Distribution of IEC Materials (January to March 2017) – Section 26 of the Magna Carta of Women (Right to Information) also provides that “Access to information regarding policies on women, including programs, projects, and funding outlays that affect them, shall be ensured.” Interestingly, the Agenda Ni Juana Crowdsourcing survey during the 2016 Women’s Month show that the top 5 priority women’s agenda that people expect from the government is “Improved information dissemination on government programs and services for realizing gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls and their human rights” (chosen among the top five priority of 3,297 out of 8,005 survey participants).
In view of this mandate and the citizen’s expressed need for information, government agencies and LGUs are encouraged to produce and distribute their own information materials featuring their GAD programs and services that can be accessed by women stakeholders. Under the banner/theme “WE Make Change Work for Women”, agency/LGU IEC materials shall respond to the following key points:
• How does the agency/LGU make change work for women?
• What are the programs and services that can be accessed by women clients? Simplified steps/guide in accessing said programs and services.
• Results or most recent data on accomplishments (to showcase how citizens were able to benefit from the program).
Agencies and LGUs can follow their respective office’s branding or style guides in the development of their IEC materials, as long as these key points are presented. The IEC materials may be in the form of flyers, posters, comics, magazine/newsletter, printed materials, audio / video materials, or other format which they deem appropriate and economical. They may also opt to utilize various methods for dissemination such as through information caravan or tapping the broadcast, print and online media. It is also best to prepare the IEC in local languages or pop-version.
Tip for GAD Focal Point Systems: this is the time to make your agency GAD initiatives widely known! The key objective is for the government to address the demand for more information about their programs and services which is also consistent with the mandate for women’s right to information under the MCW.
2. Serbisyo Para kay Juana (March 8 or per discretion of sponsoring agency) – the activity enjoins agencies, LGUs and other organizations that offer direct services and other transactions with the public to offer treats like freebies, discounts, or distribution of IEC materials on March 8 which is the International Women’s Day (IWD) and any chosen dates within March, making the celebration more publicly known and felt.
Participating agencies/LGUs are also requested to send the following information about their IWD treats through the comments link below this webpage:
• Agency / LGU Name:
• IWD Treat:
• Date/s and time/s of availability:
• Venue (where to avail):
• Mechanics (how to avail):
• Contact details in case of public queries about the IWD treat:
Important note: only IWD treats that are offered to the public (i.e. stakeholders and clients) are acceptable under this activity category. PCW will prepare and release a list of all IWD treats submitted by the agencies / LGUs through the comments link below.
Free Admission to all Female visitors at Casa Manila, Baluarte De San Diego and Fort Santiago in Intramuros Manila on March 8, 2017 (Intramuros Administration)
Free Admission to all visitors at paid facilities of Rizal Park in Manila on March 8, 2017 (National Parks Development Committee)
Free Office of Ombudsman Clearance Application Fees to all Walk-in Female Clients on March 8, 2017 (Office of the Ombudsman)
Libreng Sakay to all women and girls at LRT 2 and MRT stations on March 8, 2017; from 7:00-9:00 AM and 5:00-7:00 PM (Light Rail Transit Authority, Metro Rail Transit Corportaion and Department of Transportation)
GRABCAR P50.00 discount valid for two rides on March 8, 2017; to and from GSIS Theatre in Pasay City | Promo Code: PCWMNLFORUM (Grab Philippines)
PCW will randomly select from pre-evaluated posts recipients of special prizes as simple token of appreciation for joining the online initiative. Please like and follow PCW’s official Facebook account (https://www.facebook.com/PCWgovph/
) for details and updates.
Join and promote the advocacy! Agencies and LGUs are requested to encourage their employees and the general public to join the online advocacy.
4. We Make Change Work for Women Micro-Retailers. (Date: March 10, 2017; Venue: University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) Gym Obrero Davao City) A market place of programs and projects by the government and private sector that can help women sari-sari store and carinderia owners grow their micro-retail businesses. The event will showcase the united front of the government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector in creating the enabling environment for micro-enterprises to succeed.
7,000 women sari-sari store and carinderia owners in Davao Region
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), TESDA Women’s Center Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), National Reintegration Commission for OFWs (NRCO), Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. (PCE - GoNegosyo), Tagum City Council of Women, Inc. (TCCWI), First Community Cooperative (FICCO), and Philippine Association of Stores and Carinderia Owners (PASCO), Local Government of Davao City
Contact Persons :
Joy M. Musayac-Cacal Email: email@example.com Contact Number: 0917-814-8372, 02-849-8156
Ms. Cecilia G. Olfindo, Supervising TESDS
Partnerships and Networking Division
Partnerships and Linkages Office
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)
East Service Road, Southsuperhighway, TESDA Complex, Taguig City, Metro Manila
Contact Number: (02) 941891
Creating and facilitating platforms to discuss good practices, gaps, challenges, and commitments in pursuing GAD
5. Announcement of National Women’s Month Celebration (NWMC) in Flag Raising Ceremony (February 27)
– All government agencies and LGUs are encouraged to include NWMC announcement in their respective Flag Raising Ceremonies on February 27 which is the Monday before the start of Women’s Month. The objective of this activity is to enjoin agency/LGU officials and employees to join the national celebration. It will also give the GAD Focal Point Systems the opportunity to explain the objectives, theme and various ways for their colleagues to contribute in achieving the objectives of the national celebration. You may use the All-Women Cast Lupang Hinirang Video during your Flag Raising Ceremony and agency’s NWMC activities. The music video can be downloaded at http://tiny.cc/allwomenlupanghinirang
Tip for GAD Focal Point Systems: this is the time to highlight GAD within your agency and enjoin the agency officials and employees to support the GAD initiatives that you are working on.
6. Press Briefing on Estado ni Juana and the 2017 NWMC (March 7 tentative) – The Press Briefing aims to present the current situation of women and significant accomplishments of the Philippine government in pushing for gender equality and women’s empowerment. It will be conducted at the OP Press Briefing Room, and in partnership with the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).
Agencies and LGUs are encouraged to watch the coverage of the Press Briefing. PCW will release further details regarding date and time of airing once firmed up with partners.
7. CHANGE: A Women’s Summit (March 30-31) – The CHANGE Summit or Compassionate and Harmonized Actions and Networks for Gender Equality Summit will be a gathering of key stakeholders on the implementation of the MCW and related GAD mandates. Specifically, the Summit aims to achieve the following:
• Share good practices in implementing the MCW
• Discuss gaps and challenges in the implementation of specific provisions of the MCW
• Solicit and strengthen commitments of agencies, local executives, NGOs, and the private sector to implement policies and programs relative to MCW and other GAD mandates
The two-day Summit will feature relevant plenary discussions and parallel sessions to discuss strengthened implementation of the MCW, culminating to a commitment setting and the President’s Address towards the end of day 2.
Important note: for logistical and technical input management purposes, this event is by invitation only; agencies and other stakeholders with accountabilities in the implementation of the MCW shall be given priority in order to achieve the objectives of the activity. Travel, billeting and other allowable expenses of regional/local participants shall be charged to their respective GAD budgets. PCW may issue a separate announcement providing the guidelines and technical details of the Summit when needed.
Inspire and empower women and girls to be agents of change
8. We Make Change: Women Inspiring Women Series (March 1, 8, 15)
– Modeled after TEDx format, this forum aims to celebrate women’s journey and sharing inspiring stories of change in their chosen fields, to encourage their fellow women to be empowered change agents. It will also serve as a venue for women to inspire and appreciate each other, and create an environment supportive of each other.
The forum will be held on three Wednesdays in March, as follows:
• March 1 (1:00 to 5:00 PM): Cebu City, in partnership with Provincial Women’s Commission (PWC)
This is intended for participants based in the island group of Visayas.
For interested participants, please coordinate with Ms. Hedda V. Largo
of PWC of Cebu at Tel. No.: (032) 254-1212, 256-2166, Cp. No.: 0916-441-2995 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• March 8 (1:00 to 5:00 PM): Metro Manila, in partnership with Government Service Insurance System
• March 15 (1:00 to 5:00 PM): Davao City, in partnership with the City Government of Davao, through the Integrated Gender and Development Division (IGDD)
This is intended for participants based in the island group of Mindanao.
For interested participants, please coordinate with Ms. Lorna Mandin
of Davao City IGDD at Tel. No.: (082) 226-8011, Cp. No.: 0917-546-0823, 0915-400-2139 or Email: email@example.com
Important note: these events have limited seats. Separate guidelines on participation shall be released by PCW and partner organizations once logistical details are finalized (e.g. seating capacity of venue, confirmed speakers, etc.).
Tip for GAD Focal Point Systems: You may consider organizing your own Women Inspiring Women Fora, giving special focus on topics relevant to your agency mandate. For example, schools can invite speakers who can inspire young women and girls to excel and explore future career options. Agencies with mandate related to women’s economic empowerment can organize a forum targeting women entrepreneurs. Agencies that deal with traditionally male-dominated fields like science and technology, engineering, mathematics, law enforcement and military, and the likes may consider organizing a gathering of women in the said fields to share their inspiring stories of change. LGUs may host a forum among women’s organizations in the locality to discuss topics relevant for women in the locality, and avenues for engagement and collaboration at the local level.
Agencies/LGUs organizing their own Women Inspiring Women event are also requested to send the following information through the comments link below this webpage for inclusion in the NWMC Calendar of events:
• Host Agency / LGU Name:
• Event Title:
• Date and time:
• Venue (exact location):
• Expected speakers and topics to be discussed:
• Contact details in case of public queries:
9. Online Advocacy: #JuanaSays (March 1-31) – first initiated by PCW in 2015, Juana Says is a daily dose of inspirational quotes from Filipino women from different fields or profession. Personalities who will be invited to share their inspiring words include heads of government agencies, private corporations/companies, celebrities and artists, women from various sectors (e.g. rural, IP, Moro, youth, formal employment, entrepreneurs), among others.
Everyone in encouraged to visit, like and share PCW’s official social media accounts (Facebook
) to participate in this online advocacy.
10. 2017 Cine Juana Film Festival (March 20-24) – using arts (through film) to showcase and celebrate women’s empowerment and the various role that Filipino women play in the society is the main objective of the Cine Juana Film Festival. Launched in December 2015 during the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW), the first Cine Juana Film Festival was opened to the public for free at the NCCA Auditorium in Intramuros, Manila. It showcased films that deal with the issue of VAW, followed by an open forum with the movie producers/artists and PCW representatives per film showing. This year, the Film Development Council of the Philippines is organizing the CineJuana Film Festival.
Agencies and LGUs may also organize their own film showing, provided that their respective GAD Focal Point systems were able to screen the films to ensure that featured films tackle women's empowerment, gender equality, or issues confronting women in the marginalized and vulnerable sectors.