GREAT Women Project Hosts National Forum on Women’s Economic Empowerment

The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) is hosting the National Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) Forum on September 19-20 at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria Hotel in Ortigas, Quezon City.

The National WEE Forum is a two-day activity showcasing the results and outcomes of the Gender Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women (GREAT Women) Project implemented by the PCW, through the technical and funding support of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) Canada.

The forum, themed “Moving Women’s Economic Empowerment Forward,” intends to spur national and local government partners and other stakeholders to innovate, sustain and replicate WEE efforts of the GREAT Women Project by using their gender development budgets.

The National WEE Forum will also award citations to national and local government partners for meritorious efforts in advancing women’s economic empowerment, and to women microentrepreneur groups that have uplifted lives of community women.

The GREAT Women Project is a 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. GREAT Women Project, with technical and finding assistance from DFATD Canada, has directly benefited over 10,000 WMEs with business development services delivered through national and local government agencies.

GREAT Women Project outcomes and results have brought in better budget and spending for WEE by government, diversified multi-functional programs and services for women microentrepreneurs (WMEs), inter-agency teams for WEE, creation of enabling mechanisms for women (i.e., common service facilities for WMEs and enterprise desks/units), better production and income for WMEs, and more firmly organized business-oriented enterprise groups for WEE.

The National WEE Forum will have panel discussions and coaching sessions on Convergence models on WEE, LGU as WEE Champions, ‘women-helping-women’ mentoring, and on environment and enterprise. The National WEE Forum will have learning sessions, as follows:

• Session 1: Common Service Facility (CSF) as an LGU Initiative: The Case of Jagna, Bohol. This session explains the convergence initiated by the Municipal Government of Jagna, Bohol with Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), to build the Jagna Common Service Facility for women calamay makers. The session will also present the impact of the CSF to claim holders and duty bearers.

• Session 2: Changing Mindsets: The LGU of Gainza Building CSFs through Convergence. This session presents the convergence among national government agencies such as DTI, DOST, DOLE-Occupational Safety and Health Center, and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), together with Metro Naga local government units, that steered the development of Common Service Facilities benefiting the Crab paste Producers Association of Gainza and the bamboo furniture producers of Bula in Camarines Sur

• Session 3: WEE is Good Governance. This session condenses the lessons and experiences of local government in enhancing gender-responsive governance with women’s economic empowerment, through gender analysis and policy making, programming and budgeting.

• Session 4: Sustaining the Environment Through Developing Green Enterprises. The session features initiatives of environment cluster partners of the GREAT Women Project that introduced measures ensuring environmental sustainability among women-led microenterprises, environment-based enterprises and green businesses at the small and medium enterprise (SME) level.

• Session 5: Synergizing Women’s Energies. This session expounds on the creation of the Great Women brand through a public-private sector partnership. The Great Women brand is a concept brand that taps local designers and leading women entrepreneurs to gather women-produced community products, upscale and link these quality products with local and exports markets through the Intensive Design Clinic Series and linkaging with social entrepreneurship channels.

Over 200 guests and participants from the Official Development Assistance-Gender and Development (ODA-GAD) Network, national government agencies, local government units, women microentrepreneurs, non-government partners, women’s rights advocates and media will participate in the forum.