Oxfam Pilipinas and its partner organizations stressed the importance of addressing inequalities faced by women and girls “toward a just, inclusive, and sustainable future” during the groups’ celebration of Women’s Month on Saturday, March 18.
Oxfam Pilipinas executive director Erika Geronimo said “amplifying women’s voices and spotlighting their leadership and contributions to social development and nation building … is essential in paving the way towards a just and equal future for all.”
A panel discussion at Eastwood City Mall in Quezon City carried the theme “Babae ang bukas: Women’s Conversations.” It discussed ways how women and girls in the Philippines “disproportionately shoulder the burden” of unpaid care work at home, leaving them unable to study, do income generating activities, or participate in decision-making.
Oxfam Pilipinas Ambassador for Resilience Antoinette Taus also cited the strong links between climate change and gender justice.
“Women and girls are among the hardest hit by the impacts of the climate crisis. When disaster strikes, their workload in terms of care work such as collecting water increase tremendously,” she said.
The event stressed the call of Oxfam Pilipinas and its partner organizations for “gender-responsive and inclusive policies” that ensure the availability of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, information, and commodities to women, girls, youth, and people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions, and sex characteristics.
“We need a rights-based approach to sexual and reproductive health,” said Geronimo.
“While there is a proposed national policy in addressing adolescent pregnancy, there is much to be done in terms of influencing policymakers to ensure its universality and gender-responsiveness,” she added.
The panel discussion also highlighted the importance of women’s participation and leadership in peacebuilding and social healing, and the need for collaborative work between the government and CSOs to expand women’s role in conflict transformation and to ensure that protection of human rights in conflict situations.
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