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 2017, the PCW Board Members and Inter-Agency Technical Working Group identified the NWMC theme “We Make Change Work for Women”, which shall be used from 2017-2022. It highlights the empowerment of women as active contributors to and claimholders of development. This pursuit of development is also anchored on the commitment of “Malasakit at Pagbabago” or True Compassion and Real Change.
The 2019 NWMC shall focus on strengthening efforts to improve and track the progress of implementation of the Magna Carta of Women (MCW), and other relevant laws and commitments to the international community such as the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA), and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
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 fruits of 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.
The 2017-2022 NWMC generally aims to:
- inform and engage women as stakeholders of government programs and services – to promote citizen-centric governance and make “change” a conscious effort to know, understand, and provide what ALL citizens need;
- create and facilitate platforms to discuss good practices, gaps, challenges, and commitments in pursuing gender and development (GAD) – to strengthen implementation of the Magna Carta of Women; and
- inspire and empower women and girls to be agents of change – to contribute in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of all women.
Specifically, the PCW-led major events for NWMC 2019 aim to:
- introduce the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) Plan and the GEWE Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Indicators Compendium to stakeholders;
- launch the Gender-Responsive Local Government Unit (GERL) Toolkit and recognize the LGUs that contributed in the development of the tool;
- recognize additional Local Learning Hubs (LLH) and feature the model GAD programs of these LGUs;
- sign the partnership agreement between the PCW and the newly certified GAD Local Learning Hubs;
- conduct continuing advocacy throughout March in line with the theme and focus of NWMC
2019 NATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY CONFERENCE
Date: March 8, 2019 (Friday)
Venue: Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Pasay City
Target participants: Key officials and Gender and Development Focal Point System of government agencies and LGUs (please wait for official advisory)
Lead agency: Philippine Commission on Women
The National Women’s Day Conference will serve as the venue for the PCW to launch the Gender Responsive Local Government Unit (GERL) Toolkit; the Certification of new GAD Local Learning Hubs; and launching of the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) Plan, and GEWE Monitoring and Evaluation Compendium.
CERTIFICATION OF NEW GAD LOCAL LEARNING HUB
The GAD Local Learning Hubs (GAD LLHs) showcase innovative GAD structures, processes, and programs that have been sustained or improved by LGUs through the years. The certification of GAD LLHs is meant for sharing and replicating good practices, ultimately giving other LGUs the opportunity to think outside the box when implementing GAD initiatives. LGUs seeking to imbibe GAD innovations can learn from the GAD LLHs and get inspiration on how to infuse GAD in local governance and public service. This March 2019, PCW shall recognize seven (7) that will join the roster of PCW’s certified GAD LLHs.
- GENDER-RESPONSIVE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSESSMENT TOOLKIT
The GERL Assessment Tool aims to measure the extent of gender-responsiveness of the LGUs, both provincial and city/municipal levels, in terms of its capacities as an organization, and its delivery of basic services and facilities. Specifically, the GeRL Assessment Tool will: (1) gather data and information on the level of LGUs’ GAD mainstreaming efforts and practices; (2) serve as a monitoring and evaluation tool to measure the extent of gender responsiveness of the LGU as an organization and in the delivery of basic services and facilities; and (3) identify the gaps and corresponding strategies to achieve gender responsive local governance.
GENDER EQUALITY AND WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT (GEWE) PLAN, 2019-2025
The GEWE Plan serves as guide and key reference in formulating GAD Plans and Budgets of agencies, and is aligned with and supports the vision of the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022. It provides concrete strategies to realize the objectives of the long-term perspective plan on GEWE — the Philippine Plan for Gender-Responsive Development 1995-2025. It will also contribute to the realization of AmBisyon Natin 2040, the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, and the attainment of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal No. 5 on Achieving Gender Equality.
COMPENDIUM OF GEWE INDICATORS
The Compendium presents a menu of indicators to aid development stakeholders in monitoring and evaluating the results of the interventions and investments undertaken towards the realization of GEWE in various sectoral and thematic areas of concern in the Philippines. It is a tool and reference guide to inform planners and policymakers on their need to design, approve, implement, monitor and evaluate policies, plans, programs, and projects supporting GEWE outcomes and other results.
1. FLAG RAISING CEREMONY (March 4) - All government agencies and local government units are encouraged to include NWMC announcement in their respective Flag Raising Ceremonies on Mach 4, 2019 (first Monday of March).
2. SERBISYO PARA KAY JUANA (March 8 or per discretion of sponsoring agency) – the activity encourages government agencies and private organizations that offer direct services and other transactions with the public to offer privileges like freebies and discounts on International Women’s Day (March 8) and any chosen dates within March, making the celebration more publicly known and felt.
3. #JUANA SAYS (March 1-31) – an online advocacy first initiated by PCW in 2015. Juana Says is a daily dose of inspirational quotes from Filipino women from different fields or profession. Personalities who will be invited to share their inspiring words include heads of government agencies, private corporations/companies, celebrities and artists, women from various sectors (e.g. rural, IP, Moro, youth, formal employment, entrepreneurs), among others. Everyone in encouraged to visit, like and share PCW’s official social media accounts to participate in this online advocacy.
4. PRODUCTION OF IEC MATERIALS (January to March 2019) – the 2016 Agenda Ni Juana Crowdsourcing survey during Women’s Month show that the top 5 priority women’s agenda that people expect from the government is “Improved information dissemination on government programs and services for realizing gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls and their human rights” which was chosen among the top five priority of 3,297 out of 8,005 survey participants. Section 26 of the Magna Carta of Women (Right to Information) also provides that “Access to information regarding policies on women, including programs, projects, and funding outlays that affect them, shall be ensured.” In view of this, government agencies and LGUs are encouraged to produce and distribute their own information materials featuring programs and services that can be accessed by women clients. Under the banner/theme “WE Make Change Work for Women”, agency/LGU IEC materials shall respond to the following key points:
o How does the agency/LGU make change work for women?
o What are the programs and services that can be accessed by women clients? Simplified steps/guide in accessing said programs and services.
o Results or most recent data on accomplishments (to showcase what we have done so far).
The key objective is for the government to address the expressed need for more information about their programs and services which is also consistent with the mandate for women’s right to information under the Magna Carta of Women.
5. PURPLE FRIDAYS (March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29) - Purple Fridays is an advocacy activity in calling women and men advocates to advance women's rights and gender equality, break gender stereotypes and stop gender-based violence and discrimination against women. Wear anything purple every Fridays of March to show your support.
6. Series of Workshops for the Preparation of the BPFA+25 Progress Report (March 19 Visayas; March 21 Mindanao; March 29 National Validation) - PCW and key partners will hold a series of consultation to make the BPfA+25 progress reporting participatory. Interested parties are advised to visit the BPFA25PH microsite (http://bit.ly/BPFA25PH) for more information about the process and important documents.