MANILA—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in observance of National Women’s Month, conducted a forum highlighting the various issues that Filipino women face.
During the forum, “We Make Change: Forum on Women Empowerment”, held at the department’s Central Office in Batasan Hills, Quezon City, former secretary general of Migrante International, a global alliance of OFWs and their families, Gina Esguerra, shared the plight of women migrants who have suffered sexual abuse and exploitation while working in other countries.
President of the Solo Parents Association in Brgy. Payatas A, Quezon City, Flora Leones, spoke of her experience as a solo parent leader in their community despite her disability, while Atty. Maricar Mon of the Civil Service Commission discussed the employment rights and benefits of women working in government agencies.
DSWD Legal Service Division chief, Atty. Casandra Urbiztondo, likewise tackled the salient features of Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women, a comprehensive women’s rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination against women.
Meanwhile, male DSWD officials, led by Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) director Leo Reynoso, expressed their support for the observance of National Women’s Month by joining the One Billion Rising Dance during last Monday’s flag ceremony.
He was joined by other unit directors, among them Joel Espejo, Gil Tuparan, Fernando de Villa, and Wayne Belizar.
Poor women clients of the Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU) were also “pampered” with massage services and provided with fact sheets from the Magna Carta of Women.
The DSWD, through its Protective Service Bureau (PSB), provides assistance to vulnerable sectors of society, among them abused women and children.
During family development sessions (FDS), once-a-month meetings which 4Ps beneficiaries are required to attend to continue to stay in the program, the department shares with mothers basic knowledge on how they can improve their family relationships, gender roles and responsibilities in an effort to empower them.
If the women beneficiaries have entrepreneurial skills, they are given a chance to join the DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), where they can avail of capital assistance to help them attain self-sufficiency and prevent them from sliding back to poverty.
They are also linked to skills training, in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).