Address sexual abuse, build more women leaders, start early in gender sensitivity and invest in higher education for women – PCW Chairperson asserts gender at the Commission on Higher Education

Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Executive Director Julito D. Vitriolo said “gender analysis is overdue in CHED” during the CHED Gender Orientation activity on May 18. Moreover, Carmelita Yadao-Sison, Chairperson of CHED’s GAD’s Focal Committee, added that “this is just the soft start as we launch the second CHED National Summit on Gender this October and break out into regional summits afterwards.”

In her lecture, Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) Chairperson Remedios Ignacio-Rikken said that it is important to start as early as possible to influence the minds of people and push for higher education so we can build leaders. “Gender is not about promoting women’s concerns only. We want both women and men to attain their full human potentials by eliminating deterrents to their full human development,” Rikken stressed.

Noting that traditional gender roles “limit the psychological and social potentials,” Rikken challenged the participants to collaborate with schools and universities offering Communication and Journalism courses to help media educate society. “The academe has a big role in changing the media, especially the commercial advertisements we see in television and the internet”, she said.

Rikken also called for actions to address the lack of concern amongst school officials in protecting students against sexual abuse. “Let us build safe structures for students. Secure the comfort rooms, put water and adequate lighting, and make them safe for girls to use,” she said.

Further, Rikken strongly cautioned women in government service who tolerate corruption. She said she does not want people to say “babae pa naman” (unbecoming of a woman).

The Guidelines on Gender and Development (GAD) Planning and Budgeting and the Guidelines on the GAD Focal Point System were discussed by Nharleen S. Millar, Chief of the PCW-Policy Development and Advocacy Division, and Vichel Rse E. Juguilon, Planning Officer, respectively.

The CHED Gender Orientation was attended by regional directors and staff. It was held at the CHED Central Office at Central Office in University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.