PCW shares efforts towards gender equality to Japanese officials

Japanese delegates paid a visit to the Philippine Commission on Women’s officials on April 29, 2022 to learn more about the agency’s best practices in influencing efforts towards gender equality. PCW Chairperson Sandra Sanchez-Montano, Deputy Executive Director for Management Services Cecile Gutierrez, Commissioners Asliyah Limbona and Judy Calimutan, and PCW Division Chiefs welcomed Atty. MORI Masako, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, Mr. NAWATA Hiroshi, Principal Deputy Director, Gender Mainstreaming Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan), Mr. NAKATA Masahiro, Minister of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, Mr. NAITO Masaki, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, also the Interpreter, and Mr. SATO Nobumasa, Private Secretary to the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister.

Ms. Mori, who is the first Special Advisor for women’s empowerment to the Prime Minister, expressed their determination to promote gender equality in Japan. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, Japan ranked 120th among 156 countries. Considering that improvements must be had in economic participation and opportunity, Ms. Mori said that they are working on closing the gender gap in wage and providing more opportunities to women.  They are also eyeing to launch international discussions and a women’s assembly.

Chairperson Sanchez-Montano expressed gratitude for Japan’s appreciation of the Philippines’ initiatives towards gender equality, with the country ranking first among Asian countries when it comes to closing gender gaps. She explained PCW’s mandates pursuant to the Magna Carta of Women.

“As the primary policy-making and coordinating body on gender equality and women’s empowerment, we strive to guide agencies in mainstreaming gender in their programs, activities, and projects, so women’s rights will be protected and promoted, even in the grassroots,” she said.

Sectoral Coordination Division Chief Mr. Macario Jusayan elaborated on PCW’s efforts in working with key implementing agencies (KIAs) in the four priority sectors, namely: Education, Peace and Security, Women’s Economic Empowerment, and Environment. He emphasized that since the Philippines, like Japan, is situated along the Pacific Ring of Fire, the needs and concerns of women must be considered in environment management and disaster mitigation programs.

For the Technical Services and Regional Coordination Division, Chief Ms. Nharleen Santos-Millar underscored PCW’s endeavors to strengthen Gender and Development (GAD) mainstreaming in the country. She also mentioned different mechanisms and tools in place including the Gender Focal Point System (GFPS), technical assistance, GAD Resource Pool, and just recently, the GFPS Functionality Assessment Tool, among others.

Anchored on the policy-making mandate, PCW, as shared by the Policy Development, Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation Division Chief Ms. Anette Baleda, also lobbies policy recommendations to legislators through the Women’s Priority Legislative Agenda (WPLA). She also expounded on how PCW monitors the gender responsiveness of agencies through their use of the GAD Budget.

After the sharing of PCW, Ms. Mori said Japan can really learn from PCW’s efforts. She reflected on the importance of policies in closing the gender gap.

“PCW is doing well, because gender equality here is not just about ideas. It’s about institutionalization and training agencies,” Ms. Mori enthused.

As to the GAD Plan and Budget, Ms. Mori said this is something the Japanese government can also adopt.

Relative to the environment and peace and security, she also echoed the statement that during disasters, man-made or natural, it is the women who suffer the most, as observed in the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan back in 2011. 

She also vowed that Japan will continue supporting the Philippines through women and children healthcare programs in Mindanao.