2nd Regional GAD Summit: Sustaining Gender and Development Mainstreaming
June 8, 2018

In its aim to intensify gender advocacies among stakeholders, the Gender Research and Resource Center (GRRC) of the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU), in collaboration with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Regional Gender and Development Council-IX (RGADC-IX), successfully conducted Regional Higher Education Gender and Development Summit last March 1-3,2018 at the Palacio del Sur, this city.

The three-day summit aims to map out the prevailing struggles of women, youth, children and the marginalized sector and to draw mechanisms in order to advance their rights and lessen gender-based violence coming from sexism, stereotyping, biases and discrimination.

The summit also seeks to showcase the best practices on mainstreaming GAD among various private and government sectors in the region. Participating agencies also displayed their gender-responsive research and extension products as well as services in their respective booths. Several discussions focused on strengthening the advocacy and mainstreaming of GAD in the agency programs and activities to ensure equality among all genders and to guarantee that inequality is not perpetuated.

Gender mainstreaming is a strategy in making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the policies in all political, economic and societal spheres so that it would deliberately address gender issues and concerns affecting the full development for all stakeholders.

To further achieve inclusive development, GAD advocates, like the University Gender Research and Resource Center, ensure that all strategies, programs, projects and activities, are responsive to gender needs. By ensuring that men, women, and LGBTs are able to fully participate in and benefit from the country’s development, we are also ensuring that the country’s growth will be more rapid and sustainable. In the region and the country, gender-responsive strategies have been identified and are being implemented, particularly in the areas of social welfare, financial inclusion, access to justice, peace-building in conflict-affected areas, human trafficking, security sector reforms, and management of the environment and natural resources.

Zamboanga City Mayor Ma. Isabelle ‘Beng’ Climaco-Salazar graced the event by giving an inspirational message that centers on women empowerment. Also present were CHED-IX director Dr. Juanito R. Demetrio; RGADC-IX Chairperson Hon. Jose J. Suson; CHED GAD chair Atty. Carmelita Yadao-Sison; Philippine Council for Women (PCW) Executive Director Dr. Emmeline L. Versoza; and former PCW Chairperson Remedios I. Rikken.

The implementation of the Gender and Development policies has been a welcome development in the Western Mindanao State University. It has built and elevated the level of awareness of the University constituents about a gender-sensitive and responsive environment. GRRC’s dynamic director Prof. Rosalyn Romo-Echem together with college and admin GAD coordinators represented WMSU. (Liezel M. Parreño, WMSU-PAO)