GREAT Women Project and Ifugao Province seal agreement to enhance women’s enterprises

The National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW), the national machinery for the advancement of women, and the Provincial Government of Ifugao sealed a three-year partnership to pursue women’s economic empowerment through the Gender-Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women (GREAT Women) Project.

The GREAT Women Project is a five-year governance and capacity development project that aims to promote and support a gender-responsive enabling environment for women’s economic empowerment, particularly those in microenterprises. The Canadian International Development Agency provides technical and financial support to the Project.

The ceremonial memorandum of agreement signing was held at the Provincial Capitol, Lagawe, Ifugao last August 12. Signing the agreement were NCRFW Executive Director Emmeline Verzosa, Ifugao Governor Teodoro Baguilat Jr. and five mayors of pilot municipalities, Lino Madchiw (Banaue), Ramon Tinawi (Hingyon), Pablo Cuyahon (Hungduan), Ceasario Cabbigat (Lagawe), and Francis Tenenan (Lamut).

Through partnership with the GREAT Women Project, Ifugao committed to enhance the local enabling environment such as policies, plans, programs, services and institutional mechanisms conducive for the growth of women’s microenterprises to small and medium enterprises.

Ifugao Governor Teodoro Baguilat Jr. mentioned that while Ifugao has resources to meet women’s concerns, the GREAT Women Project offers the advantage of capability-building to further integrate gender perspective in its local policies and programs. Its current efforts and gains, such as Gender and Development Codes under the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Sixth Country Program Project that seeks to ensure social protection of women could be used as springboards for women’s economic empowerment.

Given this, NCRFW Executive Director Emmeline Verzosa highlighted that “at the end of three years, the local government of Ifugao should be able to show outcomes that the local enabling environment for women’s economic empowerment has improved, effecting results that women’s incomes have risen and their rights are better protected.”

All six municipal mayors individual pledged their commitment to the Project. Representatives from provincial technical working groups and municipal technical working groups, and representatives from women’s organizations attended the signing.