The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 joins in the celebration of the 2020 National Women’s Month with the theme: “We Make Change Work for Women.” The event recognizes the importance of women empowerment to attain their full potentials in becoming effective contributors for the country’s development.
DENR 6 recognizes women as leaders, caretakers and educators in protecting and conserving the environment and natural resources. It also considers women as catalysts in the mitigation of climate change and in disaster risk reduction which is apt to the theme: “Women Can Make Change in Climate and Disaster Resiliency.”
In line with the month-long celebration, DENR Region 6 recently conducted the Gender and Development (GAD) Forum. Invited speakers were Director in the Office of the Ombudsman in Region 6 Atty. Pio R. Dargantes and Expertpanel Consultancy, Inc. President and Executive Director of, Estela F. Paredes and Paredes discussed the basic gender concepts and salient features of Republic Act No. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women.
Dargantes discussed gender sensitivity in recognizing women and their roles in nation building, and equality of women and men.
Paredes, on the other hand, differentiated sex and gender, terms that are often used interchangeably. Sex is an identification of the biological differences in a human body based on their reproductive function. Gender is psychological and sociocultural characteristics whether feminine or masculine.
The lecture discussed gender biases, which like inequality, affects men and women but affects mostly women. It also tackled the Magna Carta of Women, a comprehensive law on the human rights of women that seeks to eliminate discrimination against women by recognizing, protecting, fulfilling and promoting the rights of Filipino women, especially those in the marginalized sectors.
Women who made valuable contributions to the DENR in mitigating the effects of climate change and in protecting and conserving the environment and natural resources are Loren Legarda and Josephine Ramirez-Sato.
Legarda worked for the enactment of environmental laws including the Clean Air Act, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, and the Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act. She was the founder of Luntiang Pilipinas (Green Philippines), an environmental foundation that aimed to plant two million trees across the country.
Ramirez-Sato, during her term as Governor of Occidental Mindoro, banned all mining activities in the province for 25 years. She co-authored the 2018 Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (ENIPAS) Law to ensure livelihood for the locals while they protect wildlife habitats.
“Women are also the strong advocates and contributors to climate action and sustainability. The Philippines is one of the best countries where women enjoy equal rights with men,” said Francisco E. Milla, Jr., Regional Executive Director of DENR Region 6.# DENR6