Invited guests and participants during the 2021 CALABARZON Regional Women’s Month Celebration on March 31, 2021 via Zoom and Facebook Live.

The CALABARZON Regional Development Council conducted its 5th Regional Women’s Month (RWM) Celebration with sub-theme “Juana: Kagitingan at Katatagan sa Gitna ng Pandemya” on March 31, 2021, via Zoom videoconference and Facebook Live. The 2021 RWM served as a tribute and a platform that highlights the extraordinary roles of women as agents of change during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Opening the program, NEDA Regional Director Luis G. Banua emphasized the need to inspire and empower women and girls to be agents of change, to foster cooperation between and among different government and private organizations to promote people-centered and gender-responsive governance, and to strengthen efforts to mainstream gender and development in all activities.

In her keynote message, Congresswoman Dahlia A. Loyola called for women to act and challenge their  spheres of influence, communities and government to fight for women’s rights. She underscored that change is possible by working together to make an impact in the community.

This year’s RWM celebration included the first video making contest spearheaded by the RDC’s Regional Gender and Development Committee to showcase women’s challenges, empowerment and leadership in time of pandemic in line with the RWM’s sub-theme. Awards were given to the top three entries from participating higher education institutions in the region.

The celebration also included relevant and insightful presentations from women leaders on the following topics: a) the Impact of COVID-19 on Filipino Girls and Young Women by Ms. Alexandra B. Pura of Plan International Philippines; b) Women’s Leadership in the Time of Pandemic by Dr. Merian Catajay-Mani​ of Romblon State University​; and c) Rethinking Work: ​Flexibility and Engagement by Director Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla​ of Department of Labor and Employment-Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns.

Closing the activity, Executive Director Kristine E. Yuson-Chaves of PCW urged the CALABARZON government offices and civil society organizations to  remain committed drivers of substantive change towards a more gender-equal and inclusive communities and to continuously deliver gender-responsive programs and services to women and girls.  

Around 350 participants joined this year’s virtual RWM celebration.

Donna Riza R. Mercado, NEDA Region IV-A | April 6, 2021