BUTUAN CITY – The success on the assertion of women empowerment in this society does not only concern women. It is everyone’s job to make sure that women’s rights are ensured and advanced.

This was the core of the message of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Caraga OIC Director Mita Chuchi Gupana – Lim during the culmination of the Women’s Month celebration, March 26, here.

“The success of women’s plight will not be possible without us – the we – and the men, of course. Each one’s contribution is essential in bringing out the best for all women,” said Lim as delivered by Protective Services Division Chief Jessie Catherine Aranas.

Protective Services Divsion Chief Jessie Catherine Aranas delivers RD Mita Chuchi Gupana-Lim’s message during the women’s month culmination dubbed as womentum.

Dubbed as Womentum, the culmination, initiated by the Regional Inter-Agency Committee Against Trafficking and Violence Against Women and Children (RIACAT-VAWC), celebrated moments of women’s strength, force and passion through a series of lectures, free health services for women and an all-women poster making contest.

The lectures focused on the issues of the woman sector such as ageing and menopause and the most common cancer types suffered by women in the entire world – the breast and ovarian cancer.

Lawyer Euvic Ferrer of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR)-Caraga discussed the Magna Carta of women.

“We need to give some enlightenment that the Magna Carta [of women] was not made to give special rights for women but to remind us of the rights of women,” Ferrer said.

Clad in purple, representatives of the different government line agencies gather for a day of lectures on magna carta of women, trafficking in persons and women health concerns.

According to the Philippine Commission on Women, the Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women is a comprehensive women’s human rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination through the recognition, protection, fulfillment and promotion of the rights of Filipino women, especially those belonging in the marginalized sectors of the society.

“The world needs to add the color blue to the very red history of the world. In that way, we achieve purple. In that way, we achieve balance on gender rights,” Ferrer quipped.

Balance for Better’

It can be recalled that the Women Summit has already been held earlier on March 9 in time for the celebration of the International Women’s Day.

During the summit, Regional Gender and Development Council (RGADC) chairperson Atty. Jerefe Bacang of the CHR said that a balanced world is a better world.

“To build a balanced world is simply not a woman issue but a business issue. It means that there is equal treatment of gender and leveling off of the so called playing field,” Bacang stressed, adding that both women and men should have equal access to opportunities.

Lawyer Jerefe Bacang of the CHR advocates for a balanced world through the recognition of women empowerment.

“We should, therefore, all work hand in hand in strengthening and track the progress of the implementation of the Magna Carta of Women and other relevant laws and commitments of the international community such as the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW) and the sustainable development goals,” Bacang said.

Bacang also encouraged all the women to think of themselves and always recognize the importance of self-awareness, self-affirmation, self-confidence and self-care.

‘Women Make Change’

The theme of this year’s celebration which extends until 2020 is “We Make Change Work for Women.”

WE means women empowerment. The first letters of the words Make Change Work translates to the first letters of the Magna Carta of Women. Change means compassionate and harmonized action and networks for gender equality.

The culmination ended with a 1 Billion Rising Zumba, an international movement to break the chains of women violence.

“Each time you stand up for yourself, you stand up for all women,” Lim said. ###(MIKE ARIEL P. PLAZA/Social Marketing Section/DSWD Field Office Caraga)