MANILA — The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and its stakeholders on Tuesday agreed to work hand in hand to ensure gender equality in developing the transportation sector.
During the first-ever Gender and Transportation Summit, over 300 participants from government and multi-sectoral groups attended to listen to various topics that bring attention to the transport sector’s contribution on Gender and Development (GAD) interventions.
The two-day Summit began Monday (Nov. 17) until Tuesday (Nov. 18) at Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in line with government’s Gender and Development (GAD) agenda.
DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya who was a special guest, was there to sign a Memoranda of Agreement, Memoranda of Understanding, and Manifestos of Support to the initiative along with stakeholders in each of the four transport sectors.
In a speech, Abaya said that while the DOTC continues to push for the modernization in the transportation systems, the agency also remains mindful of the significant role that women play in nation-building.
“We organized this Summit to synthesize a broad consensus on Accelerating Equitable Development through Inclusive Mobility, which is our theme at this milestone event,” Abaya said.
“When these transport infra and services address needs and concerns of both men and women, the transport sector has fulfilled a much higher objective—it comes enabling it becomes empowering,” he added.
The DOTC chief then described the signing of each sub-sectors respective MOUs, MOAs and Manifestos of Support as “a positive development” in the agency’s attempt to close the gender disparity.
“We are proceeding from two basic premises: first, that horizontal mobility -– or moving passengers and goods from one place to another -– empowers people by giving them better access to socio-economic opportunities such as education, employment, and health facilities,” Abaya said.
“Second, we must pave the way for vertical mobility in terms of gender concerns. This means that we should do our part in helping uplift women’s concerns in public transportation by addressing their needs,” he added.
The Summit is timely held, with the release of the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap 2014 Report last October 29.
In that report, the Philippines placed 9th out of 142 surveyed countries in terms of the relationship between a country’s gender gap and its national competitiveness.
Similarly, in a poll conducted by Thomson Reuters called the “Most Dangerous Transport Systems for Women” whose results were published last month, Manila was ranked by women and experts as 7th best in the world out of 16 cities in terms of safety, freedom from abuse and harassment, and similar public transport issues.
The survey was conducted in 15 of the world’s largest capitals and New York, which is the United States’ most populous city.