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In celebration of Women’s Month 2014, the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) held two technical learning sessions on gender-oriented policy researches and gender-sensitive governance last March 20, 2014 at the Migration Information Resource Center (MIRC), DOLE Building, Intramuros, Manila.

The technical learning sessions discussed on the women’s issues and concerns that could be mainstreamed in the labor and employment policymaking processes and integrated into the DOLE’s Gender and Development (GAD) programs.

In her opening remarks, ILS Executive Director Cynthia R. Cruz told the participants that there is a need to rethink how GAD programs are being implemented in the Department to ensure that their objectives are achieved, especially in empowering not only women but also balancing it with the welfare of men.

Dr. Jean S. Encinas-Franco, a Political Science Professor at the University of the Philippines-Diliman and a gender expert, discussed the key principles on mainstreaming gender issues in policy research. In her discussion, Dr. Franco emphasized the need to have a gender lens to ensure that employment policymaking is sensitive to the gender needs of the labor force.

Meanwhile, Ms. Paula Bianca P. Lapuz, a development specialist and advocate from the Transparency and Accountability Network (TAN), discussed gender issues in governance and development. Ms. Lapuz discussed the legal milestones and legislative achievements of the Philippines in terms of promoting and defending the rights and dignity of women. She also cited the high economic and political participation of women in the Philippine society, but likewise highlighted the need for women to continually involve themselves in gender issues and development.

The open forum provided the participants with opportunities to rasie various questions, insights and comments, which ranged from clarifying gender conceptions to the need for more gender-sensitive programs in government and balancing the interests of women while at the same time, protecting the dignity and integrity of women in the workplace against harassment and discrimination.

To close the event, Ms. Mary Grace L. Riguer, OIC-Deputy Executive Director of the ILS, gave the synthesis and closing remarks wherein she reiterated the importance of continually promoting and improving gender and development policies and programs in government.

Among the participating agencies of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) were the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC), Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC), Bureau of Local Employment (BLE), Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC), Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC), Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC), DOLE-Planning Service, DOLE-Human Resource Development Service, and the DOLE-Labor Communications Office.

(For more information on this press release please contact Mr. Bryan M. Balco, Advocacy and Publications Division, Institute for Labor Studies, Telephone Nos. 527-3490/527-3447