Baguio City – Gender and Development (GAD) advocacy should move from traditional activities with innovative ways considering the changing environment which is continuously aggravated by the current health crisis. This was manifested during the Regional Gender and Development Committee (RGADC) meeting on Thursday, January 21, as it agreed to spell-out more advocacy of gender concerns in its activities for this year.  

The Committee coordinated the celebration of the Women’s Month and the 18-day campaign against Violation Against Women and their Children (VAWC) in 2020. Its member agencies conducted various activities towards advancing gender equality, women’s empowerment and protecting the rights of women and girls.  

“The impact of these activities should be looked into”, said Edna Tabanda of Pilipina Inc. and RDC-CAR Benguet Private Sector Representative, as an observation on the shared agency updates.

In agreement, Greg Ariz of NEDA said that an assessment report on the activities related to the 18-day VAWC campaign will be prepared.  

For 2021, the Committee shall be preparing a more detailed work plan relative to the aforementioned major celebrations scheduled in March and November, to identify thematic focus and bring out new ideas and innovative activities and strategies considering the COVID-19 situation.

While these observances are anchored on the guidelines and menu of activities from the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), the country’s lead agency on gender development efforts, the Committee’s Technical Working Group aims to identify its advocacy activities within the region’s cultural context to harness the creativity and innovativeness of the region.   

The GAD Committee is the lead coordinating body on GAD and serves as the platform for engaging GAD related policy discussions and consolidating GAD initiatives in the region. It operates under the Regional Development Council as a support committee with its budget limited to quarterly coordination meetings hence, agency activities are funded from the GAD budget for government member agencies and own funds of civil society and private sector members.   

NEDA-CAR serves as the secretariat together with the DepEd, with the latter holding the Committee Chairpersonship.