Trade fair, self-defense training to begin prov'l Women's Month celebration

Mar 03, 2017 ...

Under the Provincial Gender and Development (GAD) Office, Ilocos Norte's 2017 celebration of National Women's Month will start with a women's trade fair and self-defense training for female students.

Students in Grades 10 and 11 from the First-District towns of Bacarra, Piddig, and Vintar will be participating in self-defense trainings held in the Vintar Auditorium at 1:00pm on March 6-7.

Likewise, Second-District towns of Currimao, Pinili, and Badoc will simultaneously undergo such training in the Badoc Auditorium.

Twenty policewomen from the Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office (INPPO) will be acting as trainers for the student participants, estimated at 100 per district.

Governor Imee R. Marcos last year concluded that "tumatapang na lalo ang Juanang Ilocano" as it was a banner year for reporting of domestic violence and sexual harassment.

She reminded however that despite this being a testament to increased awareness of women's rights, "we still need to move forward into the millennium so that these practices, customs, and wrongfully-accepted behaviors are finally put to an end."

Meanwhile, Ilocano women entrepreneurs will be showcasing their products at the Provincial Capitol parking lot from March 6-10, at the same time vying for the "Best Booth" award.

Also among them will be beneficiaries of PGIN's Lacasa loan program which provides additional capital to women entrepreneurs. The program aided over 600 Ilocano women in 2016 alone in strengthening their small businesses, thus allowing them to provide more for their families.

Mrs. Nelinda A. Erice, head of GAD, shared her observation through decades of work that more and more Ilocano women have joined the workforce.

"These show that women are not being left in the home nowadays. We are going out because the province has recognized our important role as partners in any developmental aspect of society," Erice shared.

Governor Marcos had also said, "In Ilocos Norte, we are fully aware that livelihood and employment programs for women are not merely additional income. More frequently they are the main and single source for family income."

In addition to the Lacasa loan, the GAD office regularly conducts parent education programs in barangay communities; school symposia on teen pregnancy, rape, and sexual harassment; and seminars on fertility awareness.

Other Women's Month activities in Ilocos Norte this year include the National Buntis Day Celebration and Kinni-Kinni ("kembot" or "swaying hips") Parade on March 10 and women's fora this March 14-22.

by Mizpah Grace Castro

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