DAGUPAN CITY – The city of Dagupan has joined the nation in celebrating National Women’s Month this March, following a kick-off program held in conjunction with the regular flag raising ceremony at the city plaza on March 4.
More than 300 government employees, barangay workers and members of various women’s groups and non-government organizations attended the program which formally opened with PNP Dagupan’s demonstration of self-defense strategies for women.
Also present were Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) City Director Melinda Buada, Councilors Maybelyn Dela Cruz-Fernandez and Marvin Fabia and city department heads.
In the same occasion, Gender and Development Focal Person Dr. Lydwina Balingit-Bernardo detailed the updates and accomplishments of the city’s Gender and Development Focal Point System (GFPS) for the past year.
She added how the GFPS worked closely with the Sangguniang Panlungsod for the approval of two ordinances in support of women and their rights, namely Ordinance No. 2146-2018 or the “Anti-Street Harassment Ordinance” and Ordinance No. 2143-2018 or the “Gender and Development Code of Dagupan City”.
She also underscored the importance of observing National Women’s Month in the city, especially with the local government making strides in uplifting Dagupeño women.
“Women are usually perceived to be weak and that often leads to discrimination in the workplace and other areas. That is why we want to stop these kinds of misconceptions. Here in Dagupan, our mayor is the perfect example of an empowered woman whose leadership brought much progress and development to our city. And we want to maintain that.” added Dr. Balingit-Bernardo.
Meanwhile, Fernandez touched on common discriminations in society, which depicts women as weak and vulnerable and urged those in attendance to learn more about women in history so that the “cultural impressions of women will be changed.”
The mayor also detailed the programs of the city government which catered to the women and mothers of the city such as establishing Samahan ng mga Kababaihan sa Dagupan (SAKADA), providing livelihood opportunities for solo parents as well as the construction of a lying-in clinic which will be open 24/7 for birthing mothers.
The lying-in clinic is set to be formally opened on March 14. It will also house machines for diagnostic services such as X-Rays, electrocardiograms (ECG) and Ultrasound which can be availed by Dagupeños for free.
The other activities lined up in the city for Women’s Month Celebration includes “Batik Ulopan Laban sa Karahasan” amazing race on March 8; free pampering for 100 women on March 12; “Araw ng Mga Kababaihang Manggagawa ng Dagupan” on March 22; and skills training for selected solo parents on March 26.
All government employees are also encouraged to wear violet shirts every Friday to show their support for women this March. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)