By Emiko Perea
On March 8, 2019 in commemoration of International Women’s Day, a global holiday that celebrates women’s achievements in social fields, economics, culture, and politics, Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Philippines and Inner Wheel Clubs of the Philippines co-organized a Women’s Summit under the theme, “Better the Balance, Better the World.” Over 1,000 women leaders, advocates, students, and influential women speakers gathered for the summit at the Grand Theater of the University of Makati in Makati City, Philippines as a step towards building a more gender-balanced world.
Ten influential speakers from diverse professional fields spoke about their works involving heritage, human rights, women’s health and wellness, and women entrepreneurship as works that “Better the Balance, better the world.”Dr. Soonok Kang, Secretary General of the women’s division of GPF, shared how this theme points to the“importance of striving for a higher goal; that a gender-balanced world also seeks to create a better, harmonious world of peace and prosperity as the ultimate goal.” She highlighted that the true meaning of women empowerment is more than only uplifting women as individuals but uplifting the institution of the family and greater society.
The women leaders took the opportunity to network and build meaningful partnerships among stakeholders that share common values and vision to better the world. On March 7, representatives from GPF, GPW, and Inner Wheel Clubs of the Philippines, District 380, signed a memorandum of understanding to form an official partnership to collaborate on future peace-based projects.
GPW Philippines and Inner Wheel Clubs of the Philippines explored their plans to expand the All-lights project together, calling the endeavor: “Adopt a Village project: Life of Hope - One light, One Family,” a project that aims to build a better society and world through sustainable development. Remote villages far from the capitol and with limited basic resources were provided with solar lanterns through the All-lights Village Project, which was first launched in 2012. As chairperson of Inner Wheel Clubs of Philippines, District 380, Dr. Nona Ricafort emphasized during the summit that the All-lights Village project will expand further through the creation of multi-purpose centers with GPW Philippines. These centers will serve villages and communities by not only providing lanterns, but will also serve as a school, library, day-care, health and wellness center, and values and leadership training grounds, thus creating a space of community welfare and development.
The women’s summit celebrated International Women’s Day by bringing passionate women together to collaborate to build peaceful communities through their unique talents and innate qualities as women, united by their common goal to create a peaceful gender-balanced world.
Sign up for monthly newsletters for the latest on women leadership for peacebuilding around the world.