2016 National Women’s Month highlights state of women during Aquino gov’t and women’s agenda for next administration

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8, the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) will present how the government, under the current administration fared in bridging the gender gap.

“Estado ni Juana: The State of Filipino Women Report”, which is slated to be presented at the Kalayaan Hall in Malacañan Palace, chronicles the achievements of the administration of President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.
This is consistent with item no. 13 of the President’s Social Contact with the Filipino People: from a lack of concern for gender disparities and shortfalls, to the promotion of equal gender opportunity in all spheres of public policies and programs.

Featured in the report are the gender-responsive programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Department of Health (DOH). The Gender-Responsive Economic Action for the Transformation of Women or GREAT Women Project which facilitated convergence of interventions for women’s economic empowerment is also highlighted. PCW’s partners for the GREAT Women Project include the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Philippine Health Insurance Commission (Philhealth).

PCW Executive Director Emmeline L. Verzosa will deliver report, while DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman will deliver the keynote address. Also expected to grace the event is CHED Chairperson Patricia B. Licuanan, OPAPP Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, DOH Secretary Janette L. Garin, and National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Chairperson Yasmin Busran Lao.

Include Women in the Agenda

Carrying this year’s theme “Kapakanan ni Juana, Isama sa Agenda” (Include Women in the Agenda), the PCW calls for both public and private sector to observe gender-balance in leadership and decision making positions; include women’s concerns in leadership platforms and the government’s development agenda; and capacitate and prepare women and girls to reach their ambitions.

In its effort to create more inclusive platforms for citizens, especially women to voice out their opinions and contribute in shaping public policies, the PCW launched the “Agenda ni Juana” crowdsourcing which is accessible through its website, www.pcw.gov.ph. Said crowdsourcing envisions to gather public’s pulse on which women’s issues should be prioritized or addressed by the government within the next six (6) years. Results of this survey will aid the PCW in crafting or proposing policies related to gender equality, women`s empowerment, and the fulfillment of women`s human rights. This online survey will run from March 1-31, 2016.

Other activities

The ceremonial opening of the 2016 National Women’s Month Celebration took place on March 3 during the PCW- Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID) Magna Carta of Women (MCW) Project’s Knowledge and Product Fair. The said event became an avenue for sharing project results which include the improved efficiency and capacity of PCW as oversight agency in monitoring and evaluating MCW implementation, and improved implementation of the aforementioned law by partner national government agencies and 18 local government units (LGUs).

The PCW also partnered with DTI, ECHOsi Foundation, and the Yuchengco Museum for the GREAT Women Market Match Forum and Trade Exchange at the RCBC Plaza in Makati on March 11. Supported by the Government of Canada, this Market Match Forum will serve as a venue to facilitate the gathering of women owned/managed small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and women-led social enterprise organizations to be engaged for potential trading with or supplying for bigger corporations.

Another highlight of the month-long celebration is the public event entitled “Sama-Samang Pagsulong sa mga Agenda ni Juana” on March 16, 6:30 to 9:00 AM at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park, Manila. The activity expects to gather more than 5,000 participants from national government agencies, local government units, state universities and colleges, government-owned and controlled corporations, private and civil society organizations, and the general public. The early morning event will be capped by a manual version of the Agenda Ni Juana crowdsourcing where each participant will drop their “ballots” in designated boxes then proceed with having their thumbmark etched on the #AgendaNiJuana canvass.