The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the Central Visayas region pushed for more advocacies that will involve everyone in promoting women empowerment and gender equality while showing steady support for women’s rights protection as the agency celebrated the National Women’s Month celebration.

The DSWD 7 Centers and Residential Care Facilities personnel participate in the Women’s Month kickoff.

The NWMC carries the sub-theme: Lipunang Patas sa Bagong Pilipinas: Kakayahan ng Kababaihan, Patutunayan, which resonates with the efforts of the department in showcasing and harnessing the potential of women.

The celebration is an opportunity to spotlight both the accomplishments and struggles of women, especially for women in especially difficult circumstances (WEDCs), through various advocacy activities.

The recently concluded Miss Juana pageant paid tribute to women in the Centers and Residential Care Facilities (CRCFs) of DSWD 7 held on March 1, 2024, as the kickoff to the month-long advocacy efforts.

Ananisa F. Aviso, the focal person for the Women’s Welfare Programs, said that through the convergence efforts of DSWD 7, women are assured of equal representation in society and ensure inclusion of everyone in the community.

“We want the women in our community to show their confidence and encourage them to feel empowered even if they are experiencing difficulties or life-long challenges,” said Aviso, also the center head of one of the CRCFs, the Regional Haven for Women.

Aviso revealed that CRCFs lined up different activities for the month-long celebration. It includes outreach activities for women residents inside the centers by the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS) and strategic planning of the re-organized Men Opposed to VAW Everywhere (MOVE) of DSWD 7 male staff to help push women’s advocacies.

DSWD 7 also tapped the youth sector to raise awareness about rights, responsibilities, advocacies, programs, and services for women through an orientation for students, and women leaders of the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) will take part in one of the efforts to engage all sectors in society.

Two of the main highlights of NWMC in the region are the ‘Pakiglambigit ni Juana’ among various women’s organization representatives on March 13, 2024, and the convergence activity together with the council members of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking and Violence Against Women and Children (IACAT-VAWC) for the culmination of the women’s month celebration on March 22, 2024, at SM Seaside City Cebu.

The official poster for the DSWD 7 Women’s Month celebration.

Meanwhile, DSWD programs will continue to promote the role of women in nation-building, like the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which creates opportunities for women to transcend beyond their traditional reproductive and stereotypical roles by building their awareness of their rights, capacities, and potentials for leadership and active community participation. Women volunteers and leaders of the KALAHI-CIDSS program prove that women can break norms in male-dominated communities. The Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) gives women equal opportunity to embark on the challenging role of entrepreneurship.

Through these programs and engagements with different stakeholders, the Department will continue to strive to build more spaces for women to participate and become empowered citizens. Hence, it is crucial to share this collective responsibility of pushing for more inclusive advocacies by not solely focusing on women in the DSWD community but all sectors of society.

The DSWD 7 is encouraging the public to take part in all NWMC activities and participate in #PurpleFridays, an advocacy campaign for the wearing of purple on all Fridays of March, as well as social media campaigns by changing one’s profile picture using the official profile frame and the use of the #WEcanbeEquALL hashtag on Facebook and other social media platforms. ###

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