You are here

SHARING OF BEST PRACTICES: GPW Philippines (GPW Sessions 3)

SHARING OF BEST PRACTICES: GPW Philippines

Being with all of you here, amongst friends, and to have an opportunity to meet new friends, is a great honor and privilege, especially for being able to share our experiences about the role of women in partnership with men in nation building. This is a special day for us women, because we are celebrating the women’s month--March, a month each year, dedicated to women. This is the month when the world recognizes and appreciates the great importance of women’s contributions and participation in the development of a nation. Celebrating women’s month depicts your organization’s vibrancy and resiliency in meeting the tides of change, most especially the challenges of the changing environment, responding to how we, men and women together, can be most effective in realizing the opportunities at hand.

Women have come together in many international conventions, conferences, meetings, and all sorts of gatherings to celebrate their joys and triumphs, to share their woes and frustrations, and to reaffirm their commitment to continue the legacy, so heroically begun by their grandmothers and mothers, and then onto the next generation. Once again, in this momentous occasion, we, women are gathered here, not only to build and strengthen bridges of friendship, but also to share with each other, our heroic experiences and successes while also strategizing ways towards mainstreaming women’s participation in development. This can only be achieved through concerted efforts in our crusade for the elimination of feminized poverty, gender-based violence, and inequality, etc. and then toward economic and political empowerment of women, that can bring about a change in the situation in which women have languished for generations. Of course, it is important to note, that this so-called “struggle for women’s empowerment” can only be achieved if men are able to fully realize its need and is also in agreement with us. Thus, there is a need to network and collaborate with them because the development of any nation is an outcome of the progressive efforts made by all units of society, that is, by both men and women.

Over the past decades, countries across the world have been converging towards higher levels of human development, as shown by the Human Development Index (HDI). However, despite much progress, inequality remains among the greatest challenges of our time. The changing global economy is creating unprecedented challenges and opportunities for continued progress in human development. Global economic and political structures change quickly as the world faces financial crisis, worsening climate change, and growing social differences.

In the past recent years, Global Peace Women Philippines played an active role as a partner of the Filipinos in championing the cause for progress and harmony in the Philippines. It played a pivotal part in the awareness and promotion of our common pursuit for the advancement of women’s leadership in the family, in peace building, and economic progression in our country. Living up to this mission with conviction, commitment, and courage as one of the key players in our country, we focused our energies on the following program and activities undertaken under four categories:

1) Women and Family

2) Women and Youth

3) Women and Peace

4) Women and Poverty (economic empowerment and most significant is our All lights Village Project)

Each year, we generously shared our three T’s in life: Time, Talent, and Treasure, in making difference in these four areas.

 

I.  WOMEN AND FAMILY - FOCUS ON THE RIGHTS OF THE FAMILY, FAMILY VALUES, AND HEALTH. The GPW Philippines programs are centered on helping marginalized and indigent persons with special focus on:  

The Maternal and Infant mortality reduction program with the support of PLDT-Smart Foundation, the Rotary Club of Pasig South and Inner Wheel of Central Ortigas, who jointly partnered with us in establishing birthing clinics and also upgrading the childbirth skills of midwives working in these birthing centers.

Under the People with Disability Health Program, we addressed the four most basic disabilities in Seeing, Speaking, Walking and Hearing:

  • SEEING: Performed cataract surgeries, pterygium surgeries, eye screening, and    distribution of reading glasses and prescription eye glasses.
  • SPEAKING: Cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries, followed by speech therapy clinics.
  • WALKING: Distribution of prosthetic artificial feet and wheel chairs.
  • HEARING: Distribution of hearing aids.

II. WOMEN AND YOUTH - DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM ADDRESSED GENDER ISSUES AFFECTING OUR SOCIETY. We assisted the continuous efforts exerted by the government, for gender equality, and the empowerment of women through the establishment of linkages between both genders and authentic development in various spheres of life:

  • We pursued capacity building for gender and development (GAD), as well as peace and human rights education (especially for teachers).
  • Conducted Violence against Women Campaign lectures, seminars and workshops.
  • We initiated a campaign to counsel teenage girls and offer guidance to walk them through the murky pre-adulthood years, advising and supporting them for their rights.
  • Conducted a forum against human trafficking.
  • Promoted health and sports education for women and girls.
  • We have granted Scholarships for University Degrees and Diploma Certificates of short courses.

III. WOMEN AND PEACE - ADDRESSED SOCIAL PROBLEMS, ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT PROBLEMS, AND ABOUT THE COMPLEMENTARY ROLES OF MEN AND WOMEN. GPW Philippines is concerned with the issues of pollution and other environmental problems brought about by the improper waste/garbage disposal, relentless cutting down of trees, and other harmful ecological practices. We joined hands with other NGO’s in providing possible solutions to environmental problems.

The call of our unfortunate brothers and sisters who lost their homes and their livelihood due to floods, typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or other calamities, did not fall on deaf ears. In response to these calls, with our caring hearts, we launched the “Operation Disaster” initiative. Since then, this project has been the source of solace to many of our affected calamity victims. These victims need not beg GPW Philippines for aid, as we always take it upon ourselves to offer help where the devastation took place, either in money donations or in kindness.

IV. WOMEN AND POVERTY - ADDRESSES SOCIO-ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT THROUGH ALL-LIGHTS VILLAGE PROJECT, POVERTY ALLEVIATION, AND LIVELIHOOD PROJECTS. While growth depends on human capital in the knowledge economies, the key to development is knowledge, and lack of it is a major constraint to economic and social progress. With this in mind, we were compelled to push livelihood projects with the objective in mind, to empower women and youth with skills, in order to also improve their health and wellness. GPW Philippines envisioned to ensure that the beneficiaries would have a choice for a better, or improved quality of life. Also, GPW Philippines sponsored livelihood projects in different depressed communities.

THE ALL-LIGHTS VILLAGE PROJECT IS ONE OF THE MOST SUBSTANTIVE PEACE ACTIVITIES THAT GPW PHILIPPINES IS CARRYING OUT TO BUILD MODEL COMMUNITIES, EXEMPLIFYING THE CULTURE OF SERVICE AND VOLUNTEERISM. We are not only concerned with fund raising amongst our members within their families and friends to implement our All Lights Village project. Rather, we want to provide basic access to light for children (so they can catch up for night school and complete homework), and for mothers (to help them fulfill their cooking and kitchen tasks for their family). We believe, these people must be helped in order for them to not depend on cutting trees for firewood to provide fuel for cooking, which is the root cause for floodings. Our All-Lights Project partners are the State Universities around the area, who provided livelihood training for the income generating project. They also assisted in monitoring the successful implementation of lighting the path of our brothers and sisters in remote places where there is no electricity. This is “where light becomes life.”

As Toffler said,

“The roaring current of change is so powerful that it overturns institutions and organizations, value systems splinter and crash, while the lifeboats of family, church and state are hurdled sadly about. In the midst of these exploding changes, the danger signals are ever present, such as nuclear annihilation, ecological disaster, violence, war, economic debacle, large scale technological disaster – any of these could alter future history in catastrophic ways.”  

 

If change is inevitable, it is indispensable to search, or put in place, new alternatives or strategies for our people to effectively adjust and cope with the complex changes in today’s world.

The time has come for women to have great hopes because never before in history, has technology supported women’s development so strongly. This situation can provide endless opportunities for women. That is, of course, if women are determined to seriously face this challenge and if we all believe that this is the era for technology networking. If successful, women will definitely have an upper hand. This situation, still, can always be vastly enhanced.

With our strategic avenues of service that sends a message of hope to marginalized Filipinos amidst their hardship in life, we are confident that it would help to spread the ideals of sustainable development and lasting peace as partners, propelling our country to greater heights. Unity in differences is the ultimate goal of GPW Philippines.

 

Let us all work together to economically empower as many women to be the greatest multipliers of prosperity, rather than the greatest victims of poverty. Most of all, let us emerge as partners in social, political, and economic developments as WE MOVE ON, TO MAKE THE DIFFERENCE.

The above is a prepared presentation for the Global Peace Convention 2017. Changes in actual delivery may not be reflected.

 

The above is a prepared presentation for the Global Peace Convention 2017. Changes in actual delivery may not be reflected.

Session: 
Session 3 - Best Practices and Models