“Fathers can make a difference” — NCRFW

The National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) joins the entire nation in the celebration of Fathers’ Day by recognizing the important role that men play in achieving gender equality in the Philippines.

“Fathers’ Day is an event to celebrate fatherhood and male parenting. On this day we honor not only our fathers and forefathers, but all men who have supported our interests and aspirations. Therefore the male population needs to be involved if gender equality is to be achieved,” NCRFW Chairperson Myrna T. Yao said.

There is a growing interest among men to get involved in the issue of gender equality based on research cited by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Chair Yao stressed that this interest among men encourages mutually satisfying relationships of women and men built on trust and communication.

The NCRFW has spearheaded programs that seek to increase men’s sense of ownership over new initiatives that promote gender equity, equality and women’s empowerment.

“This is in response to Philippine government’s priority to develop gender programs that involve men and the role that they can play in a movement promoting gender equality and narrowing gender gaps in the country.

“Campaigning and organizing among men is one form of program that increases men’s appreciation of seeing themselves as responsible, caring and non-violent partners. Programs such as MOVE (Men Opposed Violence Everywhere) increase men’s comfort with seeing themselves as responsible, caring, and non-violent partners. Good programs such as MOVE recognize that gender roles and relations are dependent on social contexts in which cultural, religious, economic, political and social circumstances are intertwined. These programs must espouse that gender relations are not static and can be changed,” Chair Yao explained.

The 23rd Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly (Beijing+5) held in year 2000 made a stronger statement on men’s responsibility in gender equality through its Political Declaration citing that governments “emphasize that men must involve themselves and take joint responsibility with women for the promotion of gender equality.”

Through the initiative of the NCRFW, MOVE was convened by men from the government, private sector, academe and non-government organizations on November 27, 2006 during the commemoration of the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW).

MOVE is an organization of principled men whose members have dedicated themselves to be actively involved in eliminating all forms of discrimination against women particularly VAW.