Gov. Imee highlights Ilocos Norte's improved maternal health, VAWC awareness, equal opportunity on Int'l Women's Day

Mar 14, 2016 ...

The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) through its Gender and Development (GAD) office highlighted the province-wide celebration of International Women's Month on March 8, through the fifth annual Kinni-Kinni parade in Laoag City.

With the theme "Pagsayaatan ni Juana, Karaman ti Panagdur-as" ("Kapakanan ni Juana, Isama sa Agenda"), GAD Ilocos Norte conducted a series of activities including a Women's Trade Fair, health and domestic violence symposia, and self-defense trainings from March 7 to 10.

On March 8, International Women's Day, women representing the different city and municipal halls, the Ilocos Norte Electric Corporation (INEC), Ilocos Norte Water District (INWAD), Ilocos Norte Provincial Police Office (INPPO), the Zonta Club of Ilocos Norte, as well as the different academic institutions of the province gathered and paraded through Laoag City.

The parade culminated with a mini-pageant of pregnant women, crowning Kathlyn R. Acupan of Adams as Buntis Queen 2016, as well as the Kinni-Kinni Queen (Rampang Ganda) hailing from Marcos. There was also an awards ceremony recognizing Pasuquin as having the Most Attractive Delegation; Batac City as having the Best Booth during the Trade Fair; the National Statistics Office having come up with the Best Slogan, and the San Nicolas National High School as the Choral Singing Champions.

In her speech, Governor Imee R. Marcos highlighted three reasons for celebration as proofs of women empowerment in Ilocos Norte.

Referring to the United Nations initiative, the millennium development goals (MDGs) that include advocacies for women's health, she said, "Dito saIlocos, bumagsak na sa loob ng anim na taon itong mga istatistika ng mga nanay, ng mga buntis, at kanilang mga sanggol, na hindi kumakain nang sapat, hindi nabibigyan ng prenatal care at nauuwi sa mga home birth at iba pang high-risk behavior… It is a great boon and testament to our care for families and for our own health that women and children are finally the getting the attention that they deserve.

In relation to violence against women and children (VAWC), she revealed that the number of reports reaching the Philippine National Police (PNP) Women's Desks have risen, reflecting women's growing awareness of their rights, but that "we need to move forward into the millennium so that these practices, customs, and wrongfully accepted behaviors are finally put to an end."

She added, "Our program for women's livelihood is finally getting its fair share… In Ilocos Norte, we are fully aware that livelihood and employment programs for women are not merely additional income. More importantly and more frequently, they are sadly the main and single source for family income," pertaining to PGIN programs geared towards assisting women in establishing sustainable livelihoods, such as the Lacasa Loan and period livelihood trainings.

International Women's Day was proclaimed by the United Nations (UN) in 1977 primarily as the UN Day for Women's Rights and World Peace.

by Mizpah Grace Castro



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