The Calabarzon Regional Development Council (RDC), through the Regional Gender and Development (GAD) Committee, spearheaded the conduct of the 7th Calabarzon GAD Convention from September 4 to 6 with the theme “Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through Advancing GAD Mainstreaming Initiatives in Calabarzon”.
The convention highlighted the GAD initiatives in the region towards attaining the SDGs as well as sharing of practices, gaps, and challenges on GAD mainstreaming in various sectors. It gathered 363 participants from regional line agencies, local government units, academe and civil society organizations at the Lima Park Hotel, Malvar, Batangas.
Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) served as keynote speaker of the Convention. “To achieve the SDGs, there is a need to address the development needs of vulnerable groups, which include women and children, thereby ensuring that no one is left behind”, Usec. Edillon said. Thus, social programs and projects must be available for women and girls for them to be productive members of society and contribute in achieving the country’s long term vision of a “matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay”.
In line with the targets of the SDG Goal No. 5 on gender equality, the 3-day convention included sessions on advancing GAD through policy review and academic research, enabling mechanisms to end all forms of violence against women and children, ending discrimination against women and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community, GAD issues on health, convergence approach to women economic empowerment, issuances on GAD and monitoring GAD plans and mechanisms, and a talk show on Leading Women. Hon. Lani Mercado Revilla of Bacoor City graced the talk show together with Dr. Cecilia Gascon, President of Bulacan State University and Ms. Hyacinth Oblea, General Manager of Sinag Kalinga Foundation who shared their experiences and advices as women leaders in their respective fields.
Another highlight of the convention is the signing of contract and introduction of the first batch of the Calabarzon GAD Resource Pool led by RGADC Chairperson and NEDA Regional Director Luis Banua. Dir. Banua also gave an overview of the convention, explaining its objectives and gave a glimpse of the situation of women in the Philippines consistent with SDG Goal No. 5.
In her closing message, NEDA Assistant Regional Director Gina Gacusan underscored the essence of GAD initiatives which is to close the gap between gender inequalities and ensure that all are able to have the same access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender.
Jamie Angeli A. Gutierrez, NEDA Region IV-A | September 10, 2018