NCRFW ends 2008 Women’s Month on high note

The National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW), the government’s machinery for advancement of women, ended the 2008 National Women’s Month celebration on high spirits citing the notable achievements of various government agencies in the implementation of gender and development (GAD) budget meant to promote women’s empowerment and gender equality.

With the theme CEDAW ng Bayan: Yaman ng Kababaihan, NCRFW Chairperson Myrna T. Yao said GAD budget in the government is intended to address the gender issues within the respective sectors. It also mandates all government instrumentalities to sustain gender-responsive programs and projects for the benefit of women as well as men.

“GAD budget, which is at least five percent of the total agency/local government unit budget of the given year, must be implemented to execute the international and national commitments on women’s rights such as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Beijing Platform of Action, Millennium Development Goals, Philippine Plan for Gender-Responsive Development, RA 7192 and other laws on women,” Chair Yao added.

The GAD budget also aims to address gender issues such as gender biases, inequalities, discrimination or oppression including the distinct needs of women and men arising from the unequal status of women and men as well as from the different characteristics, roles and expectations attributed by society to women and men.

Chairperson Yao said that many of the national agencies and LGUs are seriously implementing the GAD budget to support women’s advancement in the Philippines. She cited the achievements of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Supreme Court to promote gender equality.

“TESDA used its GAD budget to build leadership and entrepreneurial skills of women leaders, to ensure women/gender-friendly policies, programs and facilities, and to establish and run the TESDA Women’s Center which primarily provides education and training including non-traditional job trainings like welding, automotive, and electronics to women,” Chair Yao noted.

TESDA is likewise primarily responsible for the provision of technical education and skills development through enabling policies, programs and quality standards.

The Supreme Court, meanwhile, created the Committee on Gender-responsiveness in Judiciary which developed a Strategic GAD Mainstreaming Plan, 2003-2008, that will guide their efforts towards said endeavor. The budget for the implementation of this plan forms part of the SC budget. Part of their plan is to advocate with Congress for the passage of gender-responsive/sensitive legislations and the establishment of the Committee on Decorum and Investigation which handles grievances of employees such as sexual harassment cases.

“TESDA and the Supreme Court are just two of our national agencies that have outstanding programs on gender and development that aim to empower women. Many agencies and LGUs similar interesting programs on GAD,” Chair Yao added.

Chair Yao added that all government agencies, state universities and colleges, and LGUs should continue prioritizing their GAD planning and budgeting efforts to improve the welfare of the Filipino women and promote economic advancement in the society.