The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) joins the nation in the celebration of the 2018 National Women’s Month. To start off this year’s celebration, the UPOU Office of Gender Concerns initiated the UPOU Women’s Month Kick Off Program during the UPOU flag ceremony on 5 March 2018.
During the program, the ‘UPOU Gender Card’ was launched. This is an initiative that aims to further increase gender mainstreaming in the university by giving incentives for active participation in all gender-related activities.
On 6 March, eleven UPOU employees participated in the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau’s (ERDB) “Advocacy Walk and Padyak para kay Juana” at the Forestry, UP Los Banos, Laguna. The advocacy walk circled the Forestry Ground of the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) in Los Banos, Laguna. A short program followed the activity at the ERDB Auditorium where Mrs. Susan Panahon Grimm, the President of Printing Image CTC, Inc., shared her journey to being successful as a woman. ERDB also opened its Women’s Month exhibit as well as the Tyanggehan sa ERDB where several local products were sold. The Advocacy Walk and Padyak Para Kay Juana is in support of this year’s Women’s Month themed “WE Make Change Work for Women.” The activity was joined by local government units and other private institutions within Los Banos.
On 8 March, it was UPOU’s “Violet Shirt Day,” and over 30 UPOU participants joined “Walk for a Cause” at the Olivarez Plaza Junction to New Municipal Hall Building, Los Banos, Laguna. Walk for a Cause, a fundraising walk for cancer prevention in women organized by the local municipality of Los Banos. Under Municipal Ordinance No. 2012-1163, 90% of the proceeds of the of the walk go to the diagnostics of possible cancer patients while 10% go to the production of IEC materials. UPOU, as co-member of the Los Banos Science Community Foundation Ins with the Municipal Government of Laguna, and as an active member of the Los Banos community, is an avid participant of Women’s Month events.
In addition, OGC mounted a “UPOU Women’s Month Freedom Wall” at the UPOU Main Building Lobby to allow employees to convey their messages about “Ano ang natatanging pangangailangan ng kababaihan ngayon upang masabing sila ay namumuhay ng payapa, maunlad, at maligaya?”
On 21 March, OGC organized a seminar for its employees entitled “Reproductive and Sexual Health for Juana and Juan.” The seminar aimed to provide a venue for UPOU constituents to access practical information on reproductive health concerns and sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), and their varying impact on women and men. This is part of our celebration of the National Women’s Month, and we were fortunate to have our very own Senior Lecturer (FEd), Dr. Wen Raymundo, who is also an Obstetrician-Gynecologist, who shared medical information about the topic. This also served as part of UPOU’s endeavors toward wellness and health in the university.
On 27 March, the OGC and the UPOU Diploma in Women and Development (DWD) program under the FMDS held a Let’s Talk It Over Lecture Series entitled “Situating Women in Today’s Economy and Environment.” The lecture series presents two topics: gender research on women’s role in the (1) economy and (2) environment. Dr. Nathalie Africa-Verceles, the newly appointed Director of the UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, delivers the lecture on the first topic. Her talk was entitled “Livelihood Practices of Women in the Informal Economy: Forging Pathways Towards a Feminist Solidarity Economy.” The second lecture entitled “Making women’s roles in economic and environmental sustainability visible through gender research” was delivered by Dr. Thelma Paris, socio-economist, gender specialist, and FMDS associate faculty.
Photo and details about the gender and development activities of UPOU are available on gender.upou.edu.ph, the OGC microsite which was officially launched on 26 March 2018. (RMBValencia)