THE head of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VI called for a more gender-sensitive implementation of programs and projects.
“We have to be gender sensitive. We have to see things through the lens of being more sensitive to varying gender preference,” said DSWD Regional Director Rebecca P. Geamala before different National Government Agency and Provincial representatives.
Geamala graced the opening of the Mid-year Program Review and Capacity Building of the Inter-Agency Committee for Women and Children at Damires Hills, Tierra Verde, Janiuay, Iloilo, which opened on June 6 to 8, 2018.
The activity was attended by representatives from Department of Justice, Non-Government Organizations, National Government Agencies, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Offices (PSWDOs), National Anti-Poverty Commission and City Social Welfare and Development Offices. Leading the meeting was DSWD as chair of the Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children (RSCWC) along with representatives from Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (RJJWC) and the Philippine Inter-Agency Council Against Child Pornography and the Regional Inter-agency Council Against Trafficking (RIACAT).
“In the implementation of shelters for calamity victims or relocation sites, for instance, putting partition for women, boys and girls are important,” said Geamala.
“We want to protect women and children. We do not want them to be exposed to more risks of being abused,” she said.
Geamala’s statement was timed with the onset of the rainy season.
It has been noted that in disasters, women and children are more vulnerable to risks of being abused and exploited.
During the response after typhoon Yolanda, Geamala said that gaps noted after the onslaught of the storm included the mixed population of men and women in evacuation centers, which left women and girls prone and vulnerable to abuse because they lived under one roof.
“Another is that it took weeks for breastfeeding sites to be put up thus lactating mothers did not have the privacy when they had to breastfeed their babies. And generally, in times of disasters, women and children are vulnerable to abuses. When houses are destroyed and they have nowhere to go, it is the women and children who suffer the most,” Geamala said. (DSWD-6)