“We must be able to see the significance of gender equality in implementing our programs to all members of the academic community,” says Dr. Vanessa Barcarse, Senior Education Program Specialist for Human Resource and Development, during her discourse on Gender and Development (GAD) at Island Cove, Kawit, Cavite held last December 18.
The City Schools Division of Dasmariñas (CSDO) members participated in this two-hour long talk which aimed to promote consciousness and responsiveness on gender equality especially in the Department of Education. Among the highlights of Dr. Barcarse’s exchange were the gender equality milestones of the division, the pertinent issues on gender awareness, and the campaign on anti-violence against women and children. She stressed that there must be a fair division of male and female individuals in conducting specific education programs and activities. The participants agreed to the notion that the CSDO is so far a gender responsive team. CSDO has initiated gender-sensitive programs as top priority and has served as model advocates of gender equity among school heads, teachers, and students. Dr. Barcarse has challenged the team to being gender accountable as it is the highest form of realization in gender equality.
Issues concerning gender were also discussed. As reported, culture and society significantly molds an individual in his/her gender preference. It was also noted that stereotyping, or creating a standard of what men and women should be, is a situation that perpetuates from the family to school and to work place. One step thought is the contextualization of learning materials in such a way that gender roles are not weighed down. Dr. Barcarse emphasized that gender roles can always be switched and that men and women should not be limited to being the breadwinner and housewife, respectively. Still, there are struggles from both male and female that need to be addressed thus, the Department of Education from the national to the division level works to develop empathy among its fellows.
Also, Philippine Commission on Women marked an 18-day campaign to end the Violence Against Women and Children. CSDO advocated this cause through a seminar conducted by the City Social Welfare Development office and Women’s Desk-Philippine National Police during its kick-off last November 28. The personnel put on an orange t-shirt which brands “VAW-free community starts with me” as a sign of their support to the advocacy.