The 2023 National Women’s Month Celebration marks a juncture in the advancement of women’s rights as it launches a new recurring theme from this year to 2028: WE for gender equality and inclusive society. It sparks a renewed commitment to the advocacy and banks on the gains achieved during the 2016-2022 theme, WE Make CHANGE Work for Women, which emphasized the need for compassionate and harmonized networks towards gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE).
The new banner for this annual campaign is both a positive affirmation and a call to action. It is a testament to the milestones achieved in closing gender gaps in the country and in gathering more support for the advocacy. The Gender Development Index (GDI), which measures gaps in achievements in three basic dimensions of human development (Health, Knowledge, and Living Standards), shows that the Philippines has been improving in the pursuit of gender equality. The country currently has a GDI value of 0.990. +0.004 points higher than in 2021. The closer the ratio is to 1, the smaller the gap between women and men in the country, placing the Philippines in Group 1, which is composed of countries with high equality in Human Development Index achievements between women and men.1 Over the years, the Philippines has been improving its GDI Value, only falling slightly in 2017 with 0.981 in comparison to 2016’s 0.982. But overall, the Philippines has improved, seeing the comparison from 2009 with 0.943 and 2021 with 0.990, figures show a +0.047 difference within the period.
The recurring theme also aligns with the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 , which aims for “deep economic and social transformation to reinvigorate job creation and accelerate poverty reduction by steering the economy back on a high-growth path.” The plan also highlights that growth must be inclusive, building an environment that provides equal opportunities to all Filipinos and equipping them with skills to participate fully in an innovative and globally competitive economy.
We begin this new era of the National Women’s Month Celebration with the hope and ambition that WE are all for Gender Equality, WE are all for an inclusive society.
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 GEWE advocacy, and it is the ultimate goal when we advance the rights of women. Thus, the theme bearing this is a call for urgent action to double the efforts toward this absolute aspiration. In the Global Gender Gap Report, at the current rate of progress, with the global gender gap being closed by only 68.1%, it will take 132 years to reach gender equality worldwide, a stark difference from the figure of 99.5 years in the 2020 report. Hence, this means that none of us, or most likely many of our children, will see gender parity in our lifetimes. But not all hope is gone because our right for gender equality today is for a better and more inclusive tomorrow, albeit not in the next generations.
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.
- To inform and engage women and everyone to push for gender-responsive government programs and services that empower women to contribute to nation-building;
In line with the UN Women’s International Women’s Day theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”, the 2023 National Women’s Month Celebration will call for the empowerment of women and girls toward maximizing their benefit from innovation and technology and bridging the gender gap in ICT and connectivity. This is also in line with the priority theme of the 67th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW67), “innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.” aims to:
This sub-theme also zeroes in on Strategic Goal Area 5 of the Updated Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) Plan 2019-2025 on the “Expanded opportunities for Women’s Participation, Leadership and Benefits in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), ICT, Infrastructure, and Energy.” Over the years, there have been strides in this goal, including women in micro, medium, and small enterprises (MSMEs) being assisted with technological innovations to improve their products, services, operations and increase their productivity and competitiveness as well as the increased awareness of women and girls about cyberbullying and online sexual abuse. However, there are still emerging issues that must be given attention and action in terms of bridging the digital divide, enrolling and supporting more women in these industries, ensuring a gender-responsive recovery program in the STI and ICT sector, and making these industries safe for and beneficial to women.
International Women’s Day Celebration with the theme DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality
The PCW, in partnership with UN Women, will jumpstart the 2023 National Women’s Month Celebration on March 8, International Women’s Day, with the theme DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality. The event shall gather advocacy partners, policymakers, GADvocates in technology, innovation, and ICT, government GAD workers, and the private sector in a full day of sharing and learning. Discussions will revolve around the policies that must be pushed and issues that must be addressed in terms of women’s involvement and contribution to the technology and digital realm.
The IWD event will also serve as the venue for the NWMC Media Conference, which will inform media partners as to the status of women and will serve as the venue for the discussion of pressing gender issues.
Launching of the Pulso para sa Kababaihan, Tungo sa Kaunlaran Report
In 2022, the PCW launched the Pulso para sa Kababaihan, Tungo sa Kaunlaran Online Poll, aiming to set a roadmap for future leaders through getting the pulse of Filipinos on priority issues that must be addressed. Based on the Updated GEWE Plan Results Matrices, it laid down specific targets aimed at addressing gender issues in the following areas: Trade, Industry and Services; Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (AFF); Labor and Employment; Health and Nutrition; Education; Shelter; Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and the Justice System; Women, Peace, and Security; Disaster Risk Reduction and Management; Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) and Information and Communication Technology (ICT); Infrastructure and Transportation; Energy; Women and Politics; Women and the Civil Service; Gender Norms and Culture. Garnering almost 5,000 responses from all over the Philippines, the results show a snapshot of what should the agenda ng kababaihan include in the perspective of citizens
This 2023, the PCW will release the Pulso Report which details the online poll results and which will serve as a guide for sitting officials but also for government agencies, private organizations, and GEWE advocates in crafting programs, activities, and projects.
NWMC DigitALL Forum Series
ChatGE: Talk about Gender Equality (March 15)
In a truly digital fashion, PCW will launch an online series revolving around digital and technology vis-a-vis the quest for gender equality. On March 15, 2023, the online forum will showcase the government’s efforts to increase the visibility of women in these industries. This event will inform women about the programs, activities, and projects the government provides and that they can avail themselves in order to be included and respected.
Safe in Tech, Innovation, and Cyberspace (March 22)
The increasingly ICT-driven world breeds various forms of risks in technology, innovation, and cyberspace. Hence, this forum will look into the vulnerabilities women and girls are exposed to and discuss possible safeguards, solutions, and security mechanisms.
KasamaALL: Inclusivity in Innovation and Technology (March 29)
True to the sub-theme for this year, the third and culminating episode of the DigitALL Forum of the online forum series will feature the opportunities for women in technology as well as the call for their increased participation in these industries.
Now in its 9th year, the #JuanaSays 2023 will feature a daily inspiring quote from women in technology, ICT, and innovation. With the statement cards, women and girls will get a dose of motivation to pursue careers and rally behind women’s rights in these fields.
Drumming up support for the advocacy, the online campaign will show our hope that #WEcanbeEquALL. This new hashtag motivates women and everyone (WE) to push for equality and inclusivity where ALL, regardless of gender, ability, status, and situation, are respected and afforded their rights. With our battlecry #WEcanbeEquALL, no one should be left behind.
2023 NWMC Sticker Pack
Sharing the advocacy by maximizing digitALL platforms, PCW will release an online sticker pack that can be used on a daily basis, featuring positive messages on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Share about NWMC in Flag Raising Ceremonies
Advocates in the public and private sectors are encouraged to include the NWMC announcement in their respective Flag Raising Ceremonies on February 27, 2023, or March 6, 2023. The use of the All-Women Cast Lupang Hinirang Video in NWMC activities is also encouraged.
NWMC Banner of support
Support the National Women’s Month Celebration by displaying the campaign banner in front of offices and uploading it on the official website and social media accounts.
#PurpleWednesdays and #PurpleYourIcon
Make your support visible! Wear anything purple on all the Wednesdays of March to signify support for women’s empowerment and gender equality. Participants can also light up or decorate offices or landmarks in purple to spark interest and discourse on the celebration and what it stands for.
GAD Forum / GAD Agenda Setting
Government agencies and local government units (LGUs) can organize virtual or hybrid activities where they can discuss gender issues that they can help resolve or minimize, given their mandates, and assess internal gender concerns that need attention. Agencies with mandates relative to technology, innovation, and ICT are encouraged to assess the implementation of gender-responsive programs, activities, and projects and plot more actions that can be conducted.
Agencies and LGUs can produce and/or distribute information materials (online and print) featuring the list of their gender-responsive programs and services benefiting women, as well as simplified steps and requirements to avail of such. Agencies with major programs and services for the public relative to the Covid-19 recovery process are enjoined to share the number of their women beneficiaries as they encourage more women to participate in their programs. Participating agencies and stakeholders can also produce and distribute different IEC materials on the National Women’s Month Celebration and laws on women.
Musika ng Kababaihan Wednesdays (#MNKWednesdays)
Share the advocacy through music! Play the songs from the MusikJuana Songwriting Contest 2021 and other PCW advocacy songs in office premises, public and private establishments, parks, and even on social media every Wednesday of March. Get these hymns of women’s empowerment here.
Participation in the NWMC DigitALL Forum and online advocacy
All agencies and advocacy partners can watch the livestream of the NWMC DigitALL Forum, which focuses on this year’s sub-theme: DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.
Participants can also support the campaign online by posting about it, sharing posts from PCW’s official social media accounts, and developing agency-fit NWMC campaigns. Participants can also use the NWMC Advocacy Profile Photo and other online materials under the hashtag #WEcanbeEquALL.
As a special way to honor women in their month, the PCW encourages government agencies and private organizations offering direct services, transactions, and products to the public to offer freebies, discounts, special lanes, and other promos for women and girls on International Women’s Day (March 8) and/or other dates in March as a form of appreciation for women’s various contribution in the society. Stakeholders who wish to have their #SerbisyoParaKayJuana activities included in PCW’s list for announcements are requested to send details to e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posting of Stakeholders Calendar of Activities and Activity Photos
Girl Child Week and Women With Disabilities Day Celebration
Everyone is encouraged to join the Girl Child Week, observed every fourth week of March, which is led by the Council for the Welfare of Children, as well as the Women with Disabilities Day celebration spearheaded annually by the National Council on Disability Affairs.
Observance of Health and Safety Protocols
With the country still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, PCW reminds all stakeholders to observe relevant health and safety protocols in conducting physical gatherings in their respective areas.
Human Development Report 2021/2022: Uncertain Times, Unsettled Lives: Shaping our Future in a Transforming World. (2022). United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved here on January 31, 2023.