“WE”: A WOMEN’S MONTH SPECIAL

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March 10, 2024

Writer: CJ Dumaguin
Researcher: CJ Dumaguin
Graphics: Krystle Labio; Jia Moral; Ian Stephen Velez
Tweet Chat Moderator: Richardson Mojica

 

“Let us strengthen our advocacy and reaffirm our commitment to a better world where women, LGBTQIA+ community are heard, respected, and honored,” – Director and Assistant Secretary for Foreign-Assisted and Special Projects Marcial C. Amarao, Jr., Biodiversity Management Bureau.

Recognized every March, the National Women’s Month Celebration coincides with the worldwide observance of International Women’s Day to honor women and their contributions to nation-building with a focus on the need for fair and just protection, promotion, and fulfillment of women’s rights so they can maximize their potential and welfare as they become agents of the nation’s development.

THE STORY BEHIND THE THEME

WE stands for Women and Everyone, highlighting the role of both in the pursuit of gender equality. WE also stands for Women’s Empowerment, which can only be achieved when institutions, sectors, individuals, and systems provide women with equal rights and opportunities to further themselves. With women and everyone in synergy, WE can make gender equality a possibility [1].

This celebration introduces a new recurrent theme from this year until 2028: “WE for Gender Equality and Inclusive Society”, as it marks a turning point and ignites a passionate dedication in the promotion of women’s rights and protection.

The recurring theme also aligns with the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, which aims for “deep economic and social transformation to reinvigorate job creation and accelerate poverty reduction by steering the economy back on a high-growth path.” [2] 

The plan also highlights that growth must be inclusive, building an environment that provides equal opportunities to all Filipinos and equipping them with skills to participate fully in an innovative and globally competitive economy [2].

CHAMPIONING THE POWER OF VOICES ON GENDER EQUALITY AND INCLUSIVE SOCIETY

Gender Equality constitutes the first component of the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) advocacy, representing the fundamental goal in advancing women’s rights. The theme underscores the need for accelerated action to intensify efforts toward this crucial aspiration [3]. 

According to the Global Gender Gap Report, progress is slow, with the global gender gap closing at only 68.4%. At this rate, achieving complete parity would require 131 years. It must also be noted that no country has yet attained full gender parity [3].

Despite this extended timeline, the struggle for gender equality today is an investment in a more inclusive and improved future, even if the complete realization may extend beyond our current generations. The phrase gender equality is also preceded by the word “for”, signifying our call to women and everyone to advocate for, take action on, and promote equality and inclusivity [3]. 

An inclusive society goes beyond a gender-responsive approach; it champions a society that surpasses the distinctions in SOGIE, class, ability, generation, status, and culture. It envisions a society where every individual, each endowed with rights and responsibilities, plays an active role. Equality and inclusion are interwoven elements of the  GEWE advocacy, emphasizing the importance of fostering a society that embraces and celebrates diversity [3].

Our understanding of the world is shaped by the stories we catch and release. It is good to put things into perspective because that is how we decipher what we think and should fight for. The promotion of women’s empowerment may be greatly aided by even seemingly small acts of sponsorship, support, and mentoring. Collectively, we can help create a future in which the achievements and rights of women are fully acknowledged, honored, celebrated, and respected.

Session Questions: 

  1. How do you empower yourself and the women around you?
  2. How do you communicate with women and LGBTQIA+ to make them feel included at your home/school/workplace?
  3. What institutional and societal changes need to be made for women to be empowered?

 

REFERENCES: 

[1] Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Biodiversity Management Bureau (2023). 2023 National Women’s Month Celebration. Retrieved from https://bmb.gov.ph/2023-national-womens-month-celebration/ 

 

[2]  Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (2023). W2023 National Women’s Month Celebration. Retrieved from https://www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/gad-corner/photo-gallery/13 

[3] Philippine Commission on Women (2024). 2024 National Women’s Month Celebration. Retrieved from https://pcw.gov.ph/national-womens-month/ 

 

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