By Florante Nicolas, PGIN- CMO
The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) along with the province’s gender advocates has lined up several activities today to highlight the month- long celebration of International Women’s Month this March.
The celebration is anchored on the theme “Rampang Ganda: Kinni-kinni for Women’s Rights” where a walk for a cause took place from the southern approach of the Gilbert bridge up to the provincial Capitol stage in Laoag City.
‘Kinni-kinni’ is an Iluko word which means graceful or charmingly walking in the street that traditionally connotes engaging, leisurely, and sometimes scandalous for some Ilocano conservatives.
The said activity was participated in by different women’s groups and gender advocates, non- government organizations and other groups in the public and private sectors.
Shortly after the walk, a program dedicated to all the women and their accomplishments ensued at the Capitol stage where the top 10 ‘Rampang Ganda’ awardees and Outstanding Ilocanas in various fields and professions were cited and awarded by no less than Gov. Imee R. Marcos.
Also during the program, 32 livelihood financial loans and 356 i-cards (Cooperative Insurance System of the Philippines) were distributed among indigent and entrepreneur women respectively as assistance.
In her message, Marcos stressed the roles and importance of women in nation building and development and shared that every woman is guaranteed an equal right to acquire productive employment, political placement, among other roles warranted by their capabilities.
“Beginning today, we shall intensify our efforts to fulfill our duties under the law, to recognize, respect, protect, and promote all human rights and fundamental freedoms of women,” the governor added.
The governor also reiterated that all women especially those on the marginalized sector must be given equal treatment to participate in the economic, social, political, cultural, and other fields without distinction or discrimination on account of class, sex, gender, language, ethnicity, religion, ideology, disability, education and status.
To reinforce these advocacies, a covenant was signed by Governor Marcos and the women’s groups to symbolize their dedication to lead in the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, promote equal protection of rights, and remove all obstacles to gender equality for the advancement and empowerment of women.
In conjunction to the celebration, a whole- day seminar for pregnant women dubbed as ‘Buntis Congress’ was also conducted by the Gov. Roque Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital (GRASMH).
Around 160 pregnant women participated in the congress where matters on pre- natal and maternal care, as well as access to quality health care, among others were discussed.
The celebration of the Women’s Month in the Philippines provides a venue to give due recognition to the immense contribution of Filipino women in the country and their achievements.