GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT CORNER
Gender equality as the goal; gender mainstreaming as the strategy.1
Gender Mainstreaming or Gender and Development (GAD) mainstreaming is the major global strategy for ensuring that the government pursues gender equality in all aspects of the development process to achieve the vision of a gender-responsive society where women and men equally contribute to and benefit from development. Its importance has been extensively discussed since governments committed to this concept in the Beijing Platform for Action during the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in 1995.
It endeavors to look more comprehensively at the relationship between men and women in their access to and control over resources, decision making, and benefits and rewards within a particular system—it may be an organization, a government or an entire society.2
The process of gender mainstreaming necessitates the transformation of institutional structures, culture and practices wherein gender concerns become central instead of remaining as peripheral issues and concerns.3
What is the Mainstream?
The “mainstream” is an inter-related set of dominant ideas, values, practices, institutions and organizations that determine “who gets what” within a society. The ideas and practices with the mainstream tend to reflect and reinforce each other and thus provide a rationale for any given allocation of societal resources and opportunities.4
Becoming part of the mainstream means:5
• women and men have equitable access to resources, including opportunities and rewards. It implies equal participation in influencing what is valued in shaping options within society.
• sharing equitably in the benefits of development.
• offers the opportunity to influence who does what in a society, who owns (and can own) what, who has access to jobs and income, who controls the society’s resources and institutions, who makes decisions, who sets priorities.
Entry Points of Gender Mainstreaming
GAD mainstreaming requires interventions from different stages of development planning processes, from planning to programming, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. There are four critical entry points to GAD mainstreaming, namely: policies, programs and projects, people, and enabling mechanisms. These are not in any order of importance. A government agency has the option on what entry point to use first. They may opt to adopt strategies that characterize more than one entry point.
This refers to the official statements and pronouncements of support for gender mainstreaming issued by the organization. These may be in the form of department orders, special orders, administrative orders, memoranda, and executive orders that spell out the commitment of an organization to pursue gender mainstreaming. It also includes national and sectoral plans, specific guidelines, manual of implementation and the GAD Framework/Strategic Plan. Through these issuances, the organization expresses its recognition and acceptance of gender mainstreaming as a critical and legitimate concern, even in broad or general terms.6
This refers to the relevant stakeholders who assume the task of gender mainstreaming. The following are critical to the success of gender mainstreaming: GAD champions among top management who actively support the gender mainstreaming program; recognition of GAD Focal Point System and staff members as GAD experts; internal and external clients who are able to participate in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programs, activities and projects.7
As an entry point, people shares four complementary and distinct roles8:
The Sponsor. “The individual or group who has the power to sanction or legitimize change.” Sponsors consider the potential changes facing an organization and assess the changes and opportunities. They decide which changes will happen, communicate the new priorities to the organization, and provide the proper reinforcement to assure success. They are also “responsible for creating an environment that enables these changes to be made on time and within budget.”
In gender mainstreaming, the sponsors are the heads of the organizations. They express support to gender mainstreaming by issuing policies or installing the necessary enabling mechanisms such as approving the organization’s GAD Plan and Budget. They also set the direction of the overall gender mainstreaming efforts of the organization
The Change Agent. “The individual or group who is responsible for actually making the change. The agent’s success depends on the ability to diagnose potential problems, develop a plan to deal with these issues, and execute the change effectively.”
The primary change agents are usually the GAD Focal Point System Members because they facilitate the implementation of gender mainstreaming in the organization.
The Target. “The individual or group who must actually change or those who will benefit from development.”
The term “target” is used because these people are the focus of the change effort and play a crucial role in the short- and long-term success of an organization’s gender mainstreaming efforts.
To increase the likelihood of success, they must be educated to understand the changes that are expected to accommodate. They must also be involved in the implementation process. The targets of gender mainstreaming are people in the bureaucracy, the field workers and the clients of the different organizations. The officials and members of the bureaucracy are given GAD capability programs to engage in the gender mainstreaming efforts.
The Advocate. “The individual or group who wants to achieve change but lacks the power to sanction it.” The presence of GAD advocates determines the success rate of sustaining GAD mainstreaming initiatives. The presence of GAD advocates helps lay a solid foundation built on appreciation of GAD as a rights-based approach to development. Rights-based approach means achieving a positive transformation of power relations among the different development actors.
Programs and Projects (PAPs)
This refer to the flagship programs or activities and projects that serve as a strategic entry point to gender mainstreaming in an organization. It is the most practical entry point since it involves the actual implementation of the mandate of an organization. PAPs can be review and issuance of revised GAD policies, application of gender analysis tools, and conduct of GAD advocacy and regular updating of GAD mechanisms such as the GAD database.
This refer to the systems and mechanisms installed in the organization and the funds allocated for GAD activities such as the GAD Focal Point System and Knowledge Management System.
The success of any gender mainstreaming efforts depend, to a large extent, on the resources allocated and the mechanisms that are institutionalized to implement it.
Enabling mechanisms can be GAD Funds Audit of the Commission on Audit, which greatly helped in ensuring the institutional compliance to the minimum 5% utilization of the GAD budgets of government agencies and local government units.
Levels of Gender Mainstreaming
In the course of implementing gender mainstreaming, an organization may progress through the following levels:9
Level 1: Foundation Formation
This is the initial stage, where the level of gender awareness of an organization is heightened through raising people’s awareness and generating support for gender mainstreaming. The challenge at the onset of any change effort is getting people to understand, appreciate and imbibe the need for change. This level also sets the tone for appreciating value-added in committing to GAD as one of the priority thrusts of the organization.
Level 2: Installation of Strategic Mechanisms
This marks the transition of the organization toward gender mainstreaming. Some of the enabling conditions created and established by top management to support GAD are:
• Putting key people, necessary policies, support structures, systems and mechanisms in pace to facilitate and sustain gender mainstreaming
• Initial application of GAD concepts and tools
Level 3: GAD Application
This is the period where GAD-related activities are already institutionalized within the organization. Interventions are usually based on a strategic GAD agenda that guides GAD planning and budgeting implementation. The GAD planning and budgeting have become more strategic in terms of applying gender analysis in regular programs that result in either increased attribution of the GAD budget and/or more gender responsive programs.10
Level 4: Commitment Enhancement and Institutionalization
In this level, the organization has already institutionalized gender mainstreaming and is focused on sustaining its efforts. It also challenges other organizations to continuously evaluate and improve their efforts. After all, the long-term goal is to improve the government’s ability to respond to gender issues and concerns on a sustained basis.11
Level 5: Replication and Innovation
When an organization reached this level, it means that GAD has been fully mainstreamed into its mandate and is being recognized by others as a model in gender mainstreaming. The GAD Focal Person System members of the organization do not only serve as internal experts but are also invited by other organizations as GAD technical assistance providers. GAD-related mechanisms established by the organization are also certified as learning hubs by national and/or international organizations.12
GENDER SENSITIVITY TRAINING (GST) /VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND THEIR CHILDREN (VAWC) SEMINAR FOR MARKET VENDORS AND STAKEHOLDERS
LGU-Compostela GAD Focal Point System conducted a 1-day capacity development on Gender Sensitivity and VAWC for Market Vendors & Stakeholders scheduled last August 10, 2023, to increase awareness of Market Vendors and Stakeholders on Gender Sensitivity and VAWC per JMC NO. 2013-01 by PCW-DILG-DBM-NEDA – Guidelines on the Localization of Magna Carta of Women, and Republic Act No. 9262 – Violence Against Women and Their Children (VAWC).
The JMC NO. 2013-01 by PCW-DILG-DBM-NEDA – Guidelines on the Localization of Magna Carta of Women recognize the fundamental equality of women and men before the law as provided in the 1987 Philippine Constitution; Pursue women’s empowerment and gender equality; and Promote the general welfare, provide basic services and facilities and implement programs, projects, and activities (PPAs) as provided Pursuant to RA 7160 and other issuances;
Likewise, Republic Act No. 9262 (VAWC) values the dignity of women and children and guarantees full respect for human rights. The State also recognizes the need to protect the family and its members particularly women and children, from violence and threats to their personal safety and security. Towards this end, the State shall exert efforts to address violence committed against women and children in keeping with the fundamental freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution and the Provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination Against Women, Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international human rights instruments of which the Philippines is a party.
TRAINING SEMINAR ON GENDER MAINSTREAMING CONCEPTS AND PROCESSES AT THE LOCAL LEVEL FOR LGFPS AND LEGESLATIVE BODY
A 2- day activity on Gender Mainstreaming, Concepts & Processes for the newly constituted LGFPS (Department heads and their respective GAD TWGS, representative from Academe & CSO), and the honorable Sangguniang Bayan Members scheduled last June 26-27, 2023 to provide adequate knowledge for newly constituted LGFPS elected/re-elected local officials on Gender mainstreaming concept and processes.
Gender mainstreaming has been identified universally as a strategy in achieving gender equality. Mainstreaming gender equality is a commitment to ensure that women’s, as well as men’s concerns and experiences are integral to the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of all legislation, policies and programs so that women and men benefit equally, and that inequality is not perpetuated. The main purpose of gender mainstreaming is to institute gender equality for men and women – the ultimate goal of the whole process.
LGU-GAD FOCAL POINT SYSTEM 2ND QUARTER MEETING
LGFPS quarterly meetings were conducted for the update and implementation of GAD PPAs, discuss other GAD related matters, and strengthen the GAD Focal Point System.
The 2nd quarter of CY 2023 meeting was presided by the LGFPS Co-Chair, Jason James S. Ebdao, with the following agenda to wit:
- DILG Endorsed GAD Plan and Budget, 2024;
- CY 2023 Revised schedule of activities; and
- Other matters.
TRAINING WORKSHOP ON THE PREPARATIONOF GAD PB AND GAD AR
A 1-day activity on Training Workshop in the Preparation of GAD-PB & GAD AR was conducted to hone the skills of LGU-GAD Focal Point System especially the TWGs in the preparation of GAD Plan & Budget, and GAD Accomplishment Report scheduled last March 9-10, 2023 at the Congressional Office Function Hall, Poblacion, this municipality, with the technical assistance provided by the DILG Technical Team of DILG Provincial Office, Nabunturan, Davao de Oro.
2023 NATIONAL WOMEN’S MONTH CELEBRATION
LGU- Compostela joins the CY 2023 NATIONAL WOMEN’S MONTH CELEBRATION with the theme, “WE for gender equality and inclusive society”. On March 13, 2023, convocation, the NMYC All-Women Cast Lupang Hinirang Video was used during the flag raising ceremony. Right after, a short information on the theme was provided wherein:
WE stands for Women and Everyone, emphasizing the role of women themselves and everyone in the pursuit of gender equality. WE, also stands for Women’s Empowerment, which can only be achieved when agencies, mechanisms, institutions, private partners, and duty-bearers from the national to the local level provide women equal rights and opportunities, and women take these opportunities to further themselves. With women and everyone in synergy, WE can make gender equality a possibility.
Gender Equality. Gender equality is the first half of the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE) advocacy, and it is the ultimate goal when we advance the rights of women. The term gender equality is also preceded by the word “for”, signifying our call to women and everyone to vote for, take action on, and promote equality and inclusivity.
Inclusive society. This is a call not only for a gender-responsive society but an inclusive one. A society that overrides differences in SOGIE, class, ability, generation, status, and culture; a society where every individual, each with rights and responsibilities, has an active role to play. Equality and inclusion go hand-in-hand in the (GEWE) advocacy.
LGFPS 1ST QUARTER MEETING @ CONGRESSIONAL OFFICE-FUNCTION HALL
Presentation, Review, and approval of Gender and Development (GAD) Accomplishment Report, 2022
Submission of GAD Plan & Budget proposal for CY 2024
Approved GAD Activities for Calendar Year 2023 Implementation
Women’s Month Celebration
Capacity Development on GAD Basic Concept for Local Legislators and Newly Reconstituted GAD Focal Point System
Capacity Development on GAD Basic Concept for Local Legislators and Newly Reconstituted GAD Focal Point System held on December 14-15, 2022 at the Cocos Hotel, Poblacion, this municipality with 41 (M20 F21) participants. This activity will aid our local legislators and department heads in promoting that gender and development be mainstreamed in local planning and policy making.
Right after the activity on the second day, there was a GFPS 4th quarter meeting with the following agenda:
Presentation of Accomplishment Report for CY 2022 re: GAD-Funded PPAsSubmission of GAD Accomplishment Report 2022 and Proposal for CY 2024 GAD Plan and Budget
Approved Activities for Calendar Year 2023
Trainers Training on GST for LGPS TWGs
In line with the JMC NO. 2013-01 Guidelines on the Localization of Magna Carta of Women, LGU- Compostela GFPS facilitated a Trainers Training on GST for LGPS TWGs participated by 21 (M7 F14) TWGs dated December 6-7, 2022 held at the Cocos Hotel, Poblacion this municipality.
This activity help or TWGs to deepen their knowledge and build competencies to provide technical assistance on GST activities conducted in the local level. A GAD expert was invited on this activity as the resource person..
Magna Carta for Women, Sexual Harassment, and VAWC
With the commitment to increase awareness on Gender equality and women empowerment, GFPS of LGU Compostela is consistent in providing additional knowledge on the Magna Carta for Women, Sexual Harassment, and VAWC to permanent and Job-Order employees through a capacity development with the competent resource speaker.
This activity was conducted in 2 batches dated September 23, 2022 at Patrick Carenderia Function Hall, Poblacion, this municipality in line with the celebration of Civil Service Month participated by 46 (M18 F28) Job Order LGU employees;
and on November 10, 2022, in support to the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence against Women (VAW) from November 25 to December 12 participated by 42 (M23 F19) Job Order and Plantilla LGU employees, this was conducted at the Congressional Office Function Hall, Poblacion, this municipality.
LGFPS 3RD QUARTER MEETING ON 08.19.2022 @ SENEN B SUAREZ CULTURAL CENTER
- Presentation of Report for CY 2022 Gender and Development (GAD) Program Implementation
- Construction of Real Property Record Facility Reversion of Fund
- Endorsing the Reversion of GAD Fund, FY 2022 re: Construction of Real Property Records Facility into Purchase of Sanitary Landfill Site of the Municipality of Compostela to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for appropriate action.