2018 National Women’s Month Celebration
By Gerald Sy
DOST-ASTI joins the 2018 National Women’s Month Celebration and various gender mainstreaming activities were conducted in relation to this year’s theme:
The National Women’s Month Celebration every March is part of the worldwide observance of the International Women’s Day (IWD).
The following issuances serve as legal bases for the annual activity:
• Proclamation No. 224 s. 1988 declaring the first week of March each year as Women’s Week and March 8 as Women’s Rights and International Peace Day;
• Proclamation No. 227 s. 1988 providing for the observance of the Month of March as Women’s Role in History Month; and
• Republic Act (RA) 6949 s. 1990 declaring March 8 of every year as National Women’s Day.
In his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo Roa Duterte directed “all agencies, oversight bodies and local government units down to the barangay level to fully implement the Magna Carta of Women." This is to ensure that man and woman will be partners in the pursuit of the country’s economic, social, cultural and political developments. This pursuit of development under the new administration is also anchored on the commitment of “Malasakit at Pagbabago” or True Compassion and Real Change. Thus, the first National Women’s Month Celebration under the new leadership will focus on these key foundations: partnership for change and full implementation of the Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act 9710), captured through the theme: "WE Make Change Work for Women."
Elements of the theme
•WE stands for Women’ Empowerment – empowering women enables them to confidently and meaningfully engage with appropriate institutions to ensure that they contribute to and benefit from development and changes. Thus, women’s empowerment will make the change that we are espousing or any development effort responsive of women’s concerns.
•Make Change Work = MCW = Magna Carta of Women – making change work for women necessitates strengthening the implementation of the MCW at all levels. It means putting in place functional mechanisms as well as implementing and making known to citizens, programs and services that address strategic gender needs of women.
•Change – also means Compassionate and Harmonized Actions and Networks for Gender Equality.
•We / us or “kami / tayo” in Filipino – who is going to pave the way for an enabling environment for women to be empowered? Who is going to ensure that the MCW is implemented at all levels? Who is going to make change work for women? It all of us, in our various capacities whether as government officials and employees, members of the private sector, the academe, non-government organizations, or as private individuals can be partners for a change that is gender-responsive. It emphasizes our collective effort, collaboration and participation to ensure that women will not be left behind in the pursuit of change.
The theme emphasizes that women should be active drivers in bringing about positive changes, and that they should also reap from development efforts. This can be made possible by empowering women – enabling them to meaningfully engage with other development stakeholders, and by fully implementing the MCW.
*Source: PCW website: http://pcw.gov.ph/WomenMakeChange