UPV successfully celebrates National Women’s Month

UPV successfully celebrates National Women’s Month


The University of the Philippines Visayas, through its Gender and Development Program (GDP), together with Ugsad Regional Gender Resource Network, successfully celebrated the 2022 National Women’s Month last March. The lineup of activities revolved around the 2017-2022 theme, “We Make CHANGE Work for Women,” with this year’s sub-theme, “Agenda ng Kababaihan, Tungo sa Kaunlaran.” 

The month-long celebration was welcomed with a virtual opening ceremony with UP School of Economics Professor Emeritus and former NEDA Director General Solita Monsod as the keynote speaker. Prof. Monsod delivered a powerful facts-based message on why it is high time to let qualified, competent, and empathetic women assume leadership positions in the national and local levels. The ceremony also featured a Women’s Month Binalaybay by UP High School in Iloilo (UPHSI) Professor and Palanca awardee, Prof. Early Sol Gadong, solidarity messages from sectoral representatives, and a video presentation entitled Ili-ili Sang Paglaum/Kalinga ng Sining by the University of San Agustin Little Theatre. 

To put relevant women’s issues to light, webinars and virtual discussions were conducted. On March 2, GDP organized a roundtable discussion entitled “Revisiting and Honoring Women Heroes of Western Visayas”. The panelists were Mr. Sashah Dioso of the UPV Center for West Visayan Studies (CWVS), Prof. Frances Anthea Redison of the UPV Division of Social Sciences, and Dr. Jesus Insilada of Malitbog National High School in Calinog, Iloilo and the Division Focal Person of the Indigenous Peoples Education (IPEd).  The panelists discussed the crucial roles of women heroes in the history of Western Visayas and the contributions of the women of the Panay Bukidnon. 

It was followed by a hybrid event entitled “Let Women Lead: A Forum on Women’s Political Participation and Representation” on March 8. The event was held at the UPV Little Theatre and through the Zoom platform. The activity was organized in partnership with the UP Silab Sisterhood, Inc., UP Silab Sisterhood, and UP Silak Brotherhood. Former COMELEC Commissioner Rowena Guanzon served as the resource speaker.

A webinar on “Women and Wellness” was conducted on March 9. Prof. Diane Mendoza of the University of Santo Tomas College of Education and Ms. Kate Atienza of Body Love Yoga Studio served as resource speakers. They shared their knowledge on good nutrition for women and the importance of meditation. 

On March 23, GDP organized a virtual discussion on “Women and the Womb”. The resource speakers were Dr. Rey Castillo of Qualimed Hospital and Dr. Cristina Pelaez-Crisologo of Organon & Co., who gave lectures on reproductive health issues, specifically Infertility and Late and High-risk Pregnancies. 

The last webinar for Women’s Month was “Important Laws Every Woman Should Know,” held on March 30. Public Attorney’s Office VI lawyers Atty. Mia Laine Catalan-Dabao and Atty. Ma. Victoria Gerona served as resource speakers. The virtual discussion highlighted four legal mandates centered on women. 

In addition to the said activities, the celebration was also marked by cultural events. Samahan ng Mag-aaral na Kabataan at Kababaihan (SAMAKA-KA) spearheaded “Vaginight”, a virtual presentation featuring performances by UPV constituents to honor women’s remarkable contributions to society, and at the same time spark conversations on women’s issues. Meanwhile, the exhibit featuring Ilonggo women artists, “From Lin-ay to Hangaway”, organized by the UPV Office of Initiatives for Culture and the Arts, began in March and will run until June 2022.

The UPV GDP distributed solidarity snacks on International Women’s Day as tribute to the UPV constituents for their contributions in gender mainstreaming. UPV female employees were treated to pampering sessions as well. The pampering sessions also served as means to support service providers who were mostly women whose jobs were affected because of the pandemic.

To cap this year’s Women’s Month Celebration, the GDP-COP-BIDANI Nutri-Garden Cook-off was held at the Iloilo City campus on March 31. Six teams prepared entrées which included ingredients from the GDP-COP-BIDANI Nutri-Garden. The winning entrees were Team UPV Library’s seafood salad and dessert, Team TLRC and CAS’s deconstructed kare-kare, and Team Pacific Sun’s ensalada na puso. Consolation prizes were awarded to Team Cinematheque (linagpang na gata), Team CDMO (crispy pata), and Team UPV Security (sweet and sour fish and chicken with garlic). Ms. Mary Rose Banares of Pies Surprise, Prof. Ruben Gamala, Director of the UPV Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, and Ms. Ma. Cecilia Balleza of the UPV Health Services Unit City campus were the judges for the cook-off. The nutri-garden is an initiative of the CAS COP-BIDANI and the UPV GDP with the support of the CDMO to contribute to the promotion of health, nutrition, climate action and food security deemed crucial at this time of the pandemic. 

The UPV GDP wholeheartedly thanks all those who actively participated in the celebration of National Women’s Month, and hopes that everyone will continue to strengthen their efforts to promote women’s empowerment and gender equality.

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