March 24, 2023

The health, welfare, and education of women will be the highlight of the 2023 National Women’s Month celebration of the city next month with the theme, “We are for gender equality and inclusive society.
The celebration started earlier through the search for Outstanding Women Leaders (OWLS) of Baguio 2023, with the board of judges validating five ladies for the award.
The search for OWLS is on its 17th year with women awarded for being exceptional in arts and humanities, education, justice and law, agriculture, business and other fields of endeavor.
From February to March, the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) and Special Services Division-City Mayor’s Office have been conducting assessment of the violence against women desk functionality in all barangays.
The result will be released once the 128 barangays have been assessed, Executive Assistant Benjamin Macadangdang said during the steering committee meeting.
City Hall employees shall undergo an orientation on understanding gender-based violence at the multipurpose hall on March 8, City Social Welfare and Development Officer Myrna Valencerina said.
A training on gender mainstreaming in the barangay through the Kalipi Organization and the Office of Councilor Betty Lourdes Taband ; and a women’s health forum are scheduled on March 10, the latter at the Health Services Office conference hall.
A garden-to-kitchen cooking contest will be held for Kalipi members at the CDRRMO building at the City Engineering Office compound through the efforts of councilors Elmer Datuin and Leandro Yangot, Jr. on March 17. The ingredients for the prepared meal should be from the ladies’ local gardens.
A lecture on the Safety Space Act to Women with Disabi-lity through the Person with Disability Affairs Office will be held at the city multipurpose hall on March 20, while a gender-based violence forum will be held through the CSWDO unit offices in the barangays from March 20 to 24.
A two-hour taebo and Zumba, starting 6 a.m., March 25 at Burnham Park will be offered for active persons through the Office of Councilor Elmer Datuin, who is the council committee chair on women, social services and urban poor.
The Women with Disability Day will be observed on on March 27 at the city multipurpose hall, with a seminar on VAWC for women with disability on March 31, according to PDAO head Sam Aquino.
Guidelines are being crafted for women officers for a day in the barangays, by the SSD-CMO, Barangay Council and Kalipi, for women to experience serving their respective areas of responsibility.
For the whole March, papsmear and visual inspection acetic acid for women wll be offered free at the HSO which is a regular activity during Women’s Month, according to Population Commission Officer and Nurse Rowena Rabanes.
A livelihood fair is also being organized for women’s organizations, in coordination with the office of Councilor Datuin and the Kalipi Federation, the date and venue to be announced later.
Girl Scouts of the Philippines Baguio Chapter also stepped up with a “Keeping our Girls Safe Forum” in coordination with the Balikatan sa Kaunlaran and Tabanda, its president.
In keeping with the times, a digitalization program called Digit-all, Innovation and Technology with gender equality is undertaken with support from the office of Tabanda, and a computer literacy training from the Department of Information and Technology Benguet, Kalipi and Balikatan sa Kaunlaran groups.
Two baking sessions with dates to be announced later will be at the Baguio City School of Arts and Trades in coordination with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. The endeavor is through the efforts of the Balikatan and Kalipi groups, and Tabanda’s office.
Purple Wednesdays on March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 shall also be observed, Datuin said, as wearing something purple symbolizes strength, power, justice and dignity, and being loyal to the cause. The colors green and white may also be added as they symbolize equality.
The program, parade, and OWLs awarding ceremonies schedule will be announced later by a steering committee composed of Dona Digna Rosario as president of the OWLs and representatives from the Baguio City Police Office, the barangays, the academe, civil society organizations, and other offices. – Julie G. Fianza