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DAR lines up activities in honor of women farmers, employees

MANILA: In honor of women farmers and its women employees, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has lined up various activities in celebration of Women’s Month.

DAR’s Gender and Development National Steering Committee will pay tribute to women farmers and leaders and cite their roles, accomplishments in leadership, power, and decision-making, according to Undersecretary for Support Services Rowena Niña Taduran in a news release on Monday.

Among the activities are a fora on gender sensitivity, health and wellness activities, a food festival, bloodletting, a bazaar, and film showing on women empowerment, under the theme “Lipunang Patas sa Bagong Pilipinas: Kakayahan ng Kababaihan, Patutunayan!” (Equal Society in the New Philippines: Recognize Women’s Capabilities).

DAR Mindanao Affairs Undersecretary Amihilda Sangcopan said they will hold a short story film contest on women farmers to recognize the triumphs of women agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).

“This is our little way of honoring our women ARB
s. Rural women continue to suffer multiple burdens-the lack of access to resources, infrastructures, and basic social services. These short films will show how they succeeded against the hardships they have encountered,” she said.

Winners of the nationwide short story film contest will be shown to the public on March 11 to 15 during the DAR bazaar at the Quezon City central office while the awarding of winners will be on March 25.

Also on Monday, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda was the guest speaker at DAR’s Women’s Month celebration at its main office where she pushed for gender inclusivity in the agriculture sector.

‘Women are key players in our fight against hunger and malnutrition, yet they face systemic barriers that limit their potential. Overcoming women’s marginalization and giving them financial independence are imperatives for the entire sector to thrive,” she said.

The Philippines ranked 16th out of 146 countries in the 2023 Gender Gap Index at 79.1 percent, falling eight slots from
its ranking in 2018.

A Philippine Institute for Development Studies study found that women occupy merely 26 percent of agricultural employment in the country.

Undersecretary for Policy, Planning, and Research Office Luis Meinrado Pañgulayan assured that DAR gives equal treatment in all its programs, such as the selection process for ARBs.

Gender inclusivity key to agri sector’s growth

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda on Monday reiterated her call for concrete action to address gender-based disparities and recognize women’s contributions to agriculture.

“Women are key players in our fight against hunger and malnutrition, yet they face systemic barriers that limit their potential,” Legarda said in a keynote speech during the National Women’s Month celebration kick-off at the DAR Central Office.

“Overcoming women’s marginalization and giving them financial independence are imperatives for the entire sector to thrive,” she said.

Legarda said that while the Philippines remains a leader in gender e
quality in Southeast Asia, ranking 16th out of 146 countries in the 2023 Gender Gap Index, the country fell eight slots from its 8th-ranked placement in 2018.

In the agricultural industry, the Philippine Institute for Development Studies found out that women occupy merely 26 percent of the agricultural employment in the country.

Usually a male-dominated field, Legarda said women are burdened with unpaid home duties such as food preparation and relegation to lower-paid work in the sector and not normally considered in work such as land preparation and use of farm equipment.

“Even with these laws in place, it is crucial to keep a tight watch on the implementation, to acknowledge the evolving needs of women in a globalized world, and to remain committed to enhancing our policies and programs towards gender equity,” she said.

Legarda authored and sponsored the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, the Magna Carta of Women, and the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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