Emerging Good Practices in Creating the Local Enabling Environment for Women Microentrepreneurs

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.

As part of a series of GWP interventions, Quezon Province went through a three-day gender analysis of LGU policies, plans, programs, projects and services. It also conducted a baseline study on the “Local Enabling Environment and Women Microenterprise and their Women Workers.” As a result of all these interventions, several governance measures that took into consideration what they have learned on gender and development and WEE were adopted. Among these were the formulation of a GAD Code with strong WEE provisions, the conduct of a WEE Forum for women microentrepreneurs, and the creation of a trainors’ pool to cascade gender sensitivity training among barangay officials, women’s groups, and non-government offices.

In order to fully support WEE and capacitate other Quezon LGUs on gender-responsive governance, Quezon Province, together with the three GWP pilot municipalities (Real, Infanta and Nakar), and the Philippine Commission on Women shared costs and resources to cascade project learnings and replicate project interventions in ten non-project partner municipalities, within the first two years of GWP. These are Calauag, Gumaca, Lopez, Padre Burgos, San Narciso, Macalelon, Sariaya, Pagbilao, Candelaria and Mauban.

Following the same roadmap the LGU replicated the following project interventions in non-partner sites: (1) orientation on the enhanced Provincial GAD Code with strong provisions for WEE, (2) development of a WEE database, (3) gender sensitivity training, (4) work planning activities and roadmapping for WEE, (5) conduct of a WEE Forum, (6) partnerships with business institutions, (7) review and enhancement of the revenue code, and (8) gender and enterprise training, and project implementation, monitoring and assessment.

As a whole, the Quezon Province experience is an example of how an LGU has successfully replicated many times over the process of creating an enabling environment for women’s economic empowerment by building on what it had learned from its involvement in the GWP. In so doing, it had expanded the impact of the GWP on the province as a whole.

Written by:
Ofelia M. Palayan, Head, PGAD and Chairperson, PTWG for GWP