Embracing Gender and Development with its Challenges, Part 1

It was a privilege to be a participant to the Training on Gender Analysis and Planning for CDA Technical Personnel held on May 23-26,2018 at the Baguio Crown Legacy Hotel, Baguio City sponsored by the Gender Equality Resource Center, Inc. and Cooperative Development Authority with support from We Effect-Philippines.

The training aimed to equip technical staff of CDA to be able to define and understand basic gender concepts and relate with life situations; Explain policy guidelines on mainstreaming gender and development on cooperatives through the CDA M.C. 2013-22 “Guidelines on Mainstreaming Gender and Development (GAD) in Cooperatives” and CDA M.C. 2017-04 “Tool for Assessing Progress of Gender Equality in Primary Cooperatives as Supplemental to CDA M.C. 2013-22”; and, learn necessary skills on gender analysis and technical support for GAD in cooperatives.

We thank the event organizers as it served as reunion for CDA personnel from various parts of the Philippines especially for those employees that are due to retire 2-3 years from now.

Personally, it reinforced my orientation rooted on concern for the poor, oppressed, depressed, and suffering. My involvement on development work for the past 29 years allowed me to appreciate issues and concerns related to women, children, youth and persons with disabilities.

Having been involved in non-government organization; semi-government and public service taught me the need to respect every human being regardless of sex, gender, race and religious belief. Often, interactions with people from different backgrounds require skills. The common ground is to know their culture as a people. This provides every worker or person ability to handle issues and concerns related to development work.

As the resource speakers discussed on the basics on gender equality, I personally reflect how my previous exposures molded me to embrace realities of life especially when working with people from diverse culture. Having imbibed the importance of gender sensitivity allows me to easily mingle with people regardless of status in life.

I do believe that embracing gender and development is not an easy job. It requires higher degree of commitment starting from acceptance of gender roles and responsibilities coupled with paradigm shift that men and women have equal rights. Please don’t get me wrong when I refer to equal rights, I am more inclined on the positive aspects of life with emphasis on moral grounds. In some trainings and previous encounters with women advocates, some actions and perspectives in life seems not to conform to the idea behind the advocacy for women empowerment. To some advocates, they assert that if men can smoke, drink, etc. why can’t women do such? I firmly believe that empowerment is not a race towards display of arrogance and immorality. But it is more on correcting the system affecting the family and the community.

To be continued…

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