PCW Tribute to Dr. Amelou Benitez-Reyes
The Philippine Commission on Women expresses our sincerest sympathy on the passing of Dr. Amelia Lourdes “Amelou” Benitez-Reyes. We continue to honor her as a towering icon of women’s empowerment.
Dr. Reyes served as the Chairperson from 1998-2001 and Commissioner for Culture from 2001-2010 of the then National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW). During her stint, Dr. Reyes was instrumental in conceptualizing how to mainstream gender and integrate the women’s agenda in programs and projects of the government.
Heading the Philippine delegation to the UN General Assembly Special Session, “Women 2000 Beijing Plus 5,” Dr. Reyes introduced the concept of Herstory, addressing how women have been invisible in historical documentation and highlighting the need to surface women’s contributions and achievements in history. She also spearheaded the production of a Sourcebook which chronicles NCRFW’s journey as the national machinery on women .
As a firm believer in gender equality, Dr. Reyes was behind various strides in enabling women in many aspects, economy and education among others. She also served as the president of the National Council of Women of the Philippines (NCWP) and vice-president of the ASEAN Federation of Women’s Organizations. As NCWP President, Dr. Reyes led the ACWO regional conference on Womenomics, which aimed to expand women’s participation in the globalized economy. As the president of the Women’s Studies Association of the Philippines, she advocated for a gender-fair curriculum and women’s education.
Dr. Reyes likewise pushed for the empowerment of women and girls when she held the following positions: President of the United Nations Association of the Philippines, Board Member of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines, Project Overseer for the Gender Information Sessions in 2000-2002 for the APEC and Women Leaders’ Network Focal Point 2000-2001, 8th president of the Philippine Women’s University (2003 to 2009) and 2nd president of the Philippine Women’s College of Davao.
The PCW family extends our heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of Dr. Reyes. Her efforts as a champion of women’s empowerment will not only be remembered, but shall live on. As the Commission she has served continues to work towards the same goals, we will take her contributions, memory, and life lessons with us.
Paalam Chair Amelou! Thank you for the love and kindness you have shared with us in PCW. You will forever be remembered with great fondness.