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Sisters—perennials, millennials, or mere buds—are invited to take part in tomorrow’s observance of International Women’s Day.
In particular, there will be a forum on “Women and Democracy” to be held at the Little Theater, Miriam College on Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.
A special guest at the forum is Vice President Leni Robredo, and she will be joined by Sen. Risa Hontiveros and Sen. Leila de Lima, the last perhaps digitally. The renowned and much-missed duo Inang Laya will lend their artistry to the event. A “public conversation” with all the women present and guests will then follow.
Why should Filipino women be talking of democracy? Well, now more than ever! There is no better time, no more urgent a topic than the threats to democracy presented in these days of EJKs, “tokhang” and creeping authoritarianism, as exemplified by the arrest and detention of De Lima. If, with the exception of a few hardy champions, our legislators and officials choose to hide behind political expediency and cowardly accommodation, then Filipino women will have to take up the slack. After all, we have long been on the frontline of the battle to establish and then restore democracy on our shores, and I believe we will not shirk our duty and our mission this time around.
Celebrate International Women’s Day, tomorrow at Miriam College, and for the rest of Women’s Month in the streets, in our classrooms, in our homes. The fight continues and grows more urgent with each passing day.
Another “arena” in our battle for our rights and autonomy as women hews closer to home, in our own bodies, in fact, in each woman’s uterus, vagina, and, most important, mind and will.
Women’s groups, reproductive health advocates and even government bodies like the Department of Health and the Population Commission, have issued an urgent message directed at the Supreme Court to lift, as soon as possible, a temporary restraining order blocking the full implementation of the Reproductive Health Law.
Acting on the petition of RH opponents, the Supreme Court in 2015 issued an order preventing the DOH from distributing contraceptive implants, on grounds that these might cause abortions (a fear that has been scientifically disproved).
At the same time, the tribunal also ordered the Food and Drug Administration to go through the entire cycle of certification for ALL family planning devices and supplies, including those that have long been in use but whose licenses will soon expire.
If the TRO lasts much longer, Filipino women will soon lose all access to most forms of contraception. What this means is that our access to life-saving forms of contraception will be curtailed. Already, we are seeing an uptick not just in the number of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, but also in maternal and infant deaths.
This is why the PopCom considers the situation created by the TRO on contraceptives as a looming “public health emergency.” This is because, unless conditions change drastically, the PopCom estimates that the number of mothers dying during childbirth “may also rise by an additional 1,000 deaths a year during the next six years.”
Some people, especially the self-righteous and narrow-minded, may not consider an additional 1,000 mothers dying every year a public health crisis. (Perhaps they’re the same folks who can accept with equanimity over 7,000 EJKs in less than a year?) But I certainly do!
In addition, the PopCom sees the total Philippine population rising to more than 113 million by 2022, from its current total of 104 million. The explosion in the number of new births can be traced in part to the lack of access of women—especially younger women—to contraception. Not only would mistimed pregnancy take a toll on the health of younger (and older) mothers, it would also have adverse effects on the health and chances of survival of newborns and of their surviving siblings as well.
The PopCom in a press release says the lifting of the TRO would be a “gift of health” to Filipino women. It would also be an acknowledgment of the inherent right of women (and men) to reproductive health and to choose the life they want for themselves.
Philippine Daily Inquirer > http://opinion.inquirer.net/102234/women-democracy-bodies#ixzz4abJQoj6O
The Council of Leaders (COL) came together on November 21, 2016 to attend the Women and Gender Institute’s Young Women Leadership Training entitled “Tracing the Contour of Feminist Transformative Leadership: Perspectives of Youth Leaders”. This was done in collaboration with the Office for Student Affairs and Sangguniang Mag-aaral ng Miriam. According to the participants, they did not expect much from the training but after the workshop many participants’ expectations were fully met “because of how the speakers tackled and deconstructed leadership and women empowerment”.
They also shared that the speakers were “influential and great role models”. The training team was composed of Rina Fulo, WAGI training and research assistant, Brenda Pureza former Sanggunian President of Miriam College, and Rej Torrecampo former International Studies Society president.
The training on Gender and Leadership aimed to transform existing models of leadership to reflect the crucial role of gender equality.
Last Nov. 8, the Supreme Court decided that former president Ferdinand Marcos deserves to be given the honor of being buried in the hallowed grounds of the Libingan ng mga Bayani on the basis of a policy that allows soldiers to be buried in that cemetery. What could have been a historic opportunity to make a decision upholding human rights and justice turned into an ignominious and supreme injustice to the Filipino people.
Marcos was not an ordinary soldier; he was a tyrannical dictator who imposed martial law on the Philippines and unleashed a reign of terror for 13 years, leaving on its wake the murder, torture and rape of thousands of Filipinos who resisted the dictatorship. His ill-gotten wealth for his family and friends robbed the Philippine government of billions of pesos and continues to be the object of investigation and court proceedings here and abroad. By dismantling the democratic institutions of the country during martial law, he plunged the country into its lowest political, economic and cultural abyss.
To this day, the Marcos family has neither shown any remorse nor admitted guilt despite the global condemnation of the massive human rights violations committed by their patriarch. With arrogance and impunity, they have initiated a campaign to distort history, reinvent the Marcos years as the golden years in Philippine history, and declare Marcos as a national hero. In this project, the Supreme Court has proven to be an effective accomplice.
To honor him as a hero is mocking the thousands of victims who died and those who were tortured and continue to suffer because they fought and resisted the dictatorship;
To honor him is to say that the massive human rights violations committed by the Marcos regime with impunity; the unprecedented plunder of our country’s resources and the destruction of our democratic institutions never really happened in our recent history;
To honor him as a hero is to deny that the Filipino people exercising their sovereign will, ousted the dictatorship for his crimes against the people during the 1986 People Power Revolution;
Lastly, to honor Marcos is to dishonor the dignity, legitimacy and the very credibility of the Supreme Court itself as an institution that stands for fairness and justice.
We urge the nine Supreme Court justices who supported this decision to reflect on the impact of their decision on the thousands who died and those who are tortured and are reliving their suffering and to consider the future of the Supreme Court, whose credibility has been seriously eroded because of this unjust decision.
As an institution of learning that values VERITAS (truth), peace, justice and the integrity of creation, we will continue to promote an enlightened and critical understanding of the struggles of Filipinos against martial law and the historic redemption of our freedoms and human rights in the People Power Revolution where Maryknoll/ Miriam College was an active participant.
We promise to promote Philippine history from the prism of those who struggled to fight for democracy and not from the revisionist version of those who are now trying to systematically distort and conceal the brutal realities of the past.
We commit ourselves to always remember and never forget the bitter lessons of the past so we can continue to build a future for the next generations based on respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and dignity of the Filipino people.
PROF. AURORA DE DIOS, executive director, Women and Gender Institute;
DR. JASMIN NARIO-GALACE, executive director, Center for Peace Education;
CARLO GARCIA, executive director, Environmental Studies Institute;
NIKAELA CORTEZ, president, Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral ng Miriam
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Miriam College-Women and Gender Institute conducted a Gender Sensitivity Training for the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) last November 23, 2016 at the Learning Media Center of the Middle School. It was attended by 27 election officers and lawyers coming from the NCR region, namely Caloocan City, Las Piñas City, Makati City, Malabon City, Manila, Marikina City, Muntinlupa City, Navotas City, Paranaque, Pasay, Quezon City, San Juan City, Taguig City, and Valenzuela City.
The training team included Prof. Aurora Javate De Dios, WAGI executive director; Dr. Socorro Reyes, president of Center for Legislative Development (CLD); and Stella Eloisa Fong, program coordinator, Gender Fair Education. The participants shared that they were “truly educated” after the training, and that the lecturers, approaches, and methods of the training were excellent.
The sessions the participants found most interesting were, “The Magna Carta on Women and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) with special focus on Political Participation”, and “The use of Gender Fair Language”.
The Women and Gender Institute (WAGI) through its Gender, Peace and Security Project funded by the US Department of States conducted a training workshop on Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting for ARMM offices and LGU officials last October 19 to 21, 2016 at Discovery Suites Hotel.
Led by the training team composed of Prof. Aurora de Dios, Melanie Reyes, and Cecilia Fantastico, the workshop aimed to increase knowledge on gender and development among ARMM agency and LGU officials, identify gender issues/needs in local governance and in LGU organizations, determine the areas of opportunity where women in the community can engage with and generate inputs to ARMM agency and LGUs’ 2018 Gender and Development (GAD) plans. Other invited speakers include Luvy Villanueva from the Philippine Commission on Women who discussed economic opportunities for women and Atty. Twyla Rubin of the Commission on Human Rights who shared the Gender Ombud Guidelines in relation to mandates concerning the utilization of the GAD budget.
The training was attended by 27 participants representing ARMM’s Office of the Regional Governor, Office of the Regional Vice Governor, Department of Interior and Local Government, Regional Commission on Bangsamoro Women and the Office of Southern Cultural Communities as well as representatives from Provincial Local Government Units of Sulu, Basilan, Maguindanao, and Lanao Del Sur.
WAGI and the Women’s Peace Collective (WPC) convened a research workshop for its research project on Political and Economic Participation of Women in ARMM on October 22 to 23, 2016. The productive workshop was able to refine the research objectives, methodology and survey instrument as well as identify the research site and sample population. Participating research coordinators came from various universities and NGOs in Mindanao, such as the Western Mindanao State University, Mindanao State University, Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Al-Mujadillah Development Foundation, Inc., and Kapamagogopa, Incorporated.
The workshop is part of the Gender, Peace and Security Project handled by WAGI with support from the US Department of State.
Miriam College - Women and Gender Institute (WAGI) and the Women’s Peace collective (WPC), formerly known as the Women’s Peace Table (WPT), will be launching several publications on October 21, 2016, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Discovery Suites, Columbus, 42nd Floor, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Pasig City.
These publications are the Gender, Peace, and Security Infopack, The Peace Journey: Stories of Women from the Women’s Peace Collective (WPC), Women, Peace and Security: Increasing Participation of Women in Conflict Areas in Mindanao: End of Project Report, and the Baseline Research on the Issues and Status of Women in Mindanao. Additionally, a short video documentary presentation will be shown.
The Women’s Peace Collective (WPC) is a network of women’s organizations, professionals, community leaders, and individual peace advocates working towards peace and justice. The organization recently finished a project supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) entitled, “Women, Peace and Security: Increasing Participation of Women in Conflict Areas in Mindanao”. Through this project, WPC was able to build a national constituency for peace among women and different strategic groups (such as business, media, youth, religious, legislature, and the academe) in support of the Bangsamoro Peace agreement; develop the capacity of women peace negotiators, peace builders and peace advocates to ensure a gender responsive Bangsamoro Basic Law; and localize the implementation of the Philippine Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security (NAP-WPS) in USAID’s six selected conflict-affected areas in Mindanao namely, North Cotabato, Basilan, South Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Sulu, and Zamboanga.
For more information, please contact Ms. Jing Dacayo or Ms. Mel Reyes at telephone numbers 435-9229 and 5805400 ext. 3590, or email us at and .
STUDENTS lit candles for peace on Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City, as they urge President Duterte to stop extrajudicial killings. GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE
Students from various schools in Metro Manila plan to send a statement to President Duterte and other government officials calling for a stop to extrajudicial killings.
Around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, around 500 students from Miriam College, Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) and the University of the Philippines held a candlelight vigil on Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City, to protest the recent wave of drug-related killings sweeping the country.
The students occupied a portion of the sidewalk from AdMU to Miriam College where they lit candles to remember the lives lost in the government’s war on drugs.
Jasmin Galace, executive director of Miriam College’s Center for Peace Education, told the Inquirer that they decided to hold the activity to coincide with the celebration of the International Day of Peace.
“We will say our piece, we will speak up for peace,” Galace added.
Aside from the activity on Wednesday, she also said that Miriam College and other schools were planning to send a statement on extrajudicial killings along with thousands of signatures to Mr. Duterte.
“We want to say that there are other methodologies to fight drugs,” Galace said, adding that while they support the crusade against the drug menace, it was still important to value life.
According to her, Miriam College wanted to emphasize that its school grounds “is a zone of peace” where every human life is valued.
“We believe that political, economic and food security are also important, not just security from external threats,” Galace said.
“Maybe the government just does not have the time to sit down, process and reflect on the other methods they can use to fight illegal drugs,” she added.
SOURCE: Philippine Daily Inquirer > http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/818184/students-say-their-piece-for-peace#ixzz4L2nL1DNh
The Center for Peace Education, through its Executive Director Jasmin Nario-Galace, shared the experience of Miriam College on peace education at the 3rd Gangjoeng Peace Conference held at Gangjeong Village, Jeju Island, South Korea.
The Gangjeong Peace Conference is an annual gathering of peace educators and advocates from South Korea that is meant to give a space to peace activists to interact, network, and share their stories of peacebuilding.
More than 120 peace advocates attended the conference that had three sub-themes: peace education, non-violence and village peacebuilding. Dr. Galace was a resource person for the sub-theme on peace education.
In her presentation, Dr. Galace emphasized the various challenges to peace, both direct and structural. She suggested various pathways to the building of a culture of peace highlighting the pathway of peace education. She discussed the rationale for peace education, as well as its key themes. She shared Miriam College's whole-school approach to peace education where peace themes and values are integrated in the school's mission and vision, curriculum, extra-curricular activities, research and learning materials, among others.
Miriam College, which has mainstreamed peace education in the life of the school for the past 30 years, is recognized for its work on the field within and outside the country.
Prof. Aurora Javate-De Dios, executive director of WAGI, attended the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN People’s Forum (ASCS/APF) in Timor Leste last August 3 to 5, 2016.
The ASCS/APF is a regular forum of Civil Society Organizations in ASEAN-member states, which is held as a parallel meeting to the ASEAN Summit of Heads of State.
Prof. de Dios engaged in a conversation with women peace builders in conflict and post conflict situations in Southeast Asia. She shared the strategies used to get widespread support for the Philippines National Action Plan (NAP), including awareness raising in schools, interfaith dialogues, and capacity-building seminars. She also imparted valuable strategies on how to run and win elections.
“Women must be part of the peace process, they must be part of the decision-making, including those that are related to natural resource management,” she said.
Prof. de Dios is the Philippine representative to the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC).