The National Women’s Month Celebration (NWMC) every March is part of the worldwide observance of the International Women’s Day.
The following issuances serve as legal bases for the annual national activity:
- Proclamation No. 224 s. 1988 declaring the first week of March each year as Women’s Week and March 8 as Women’s Rights and International Peace Day
- Proclamation No. 227 s. 1988 providing for the observance of the Month of March as Women’s Role in History Month
- Republic Act (RA) 6949 s. 1990 declaring March 8 of every year as National Women’s Day.
In 2017, the PCW Board Members and Inter-Agency Technical Working Group identified the NWMC theme “We Make Change Work for Women”, which shall be used from 2017-2022. It highlights the empowerment of women as active contributors to and claimholders of development. This pursuit of development is also anchored on the commitment of “Malasakit at Pagbabago” or True Compassion and Real Change.
Elements of the Theme
The 2017-2022 NWMC generally aims to:
- inform and engage women as stakeholders of government programs and services – to promote citizen-centric governance and make “change” a conscious effort to know, understand, and provide what ALL citizens need
- create and facilitate platforms to discuss good practices, gaps, challenges, and commitments in pursuing gender and development (GAD) – to strengthen implementation of the Magna Carta of Women
- inspire and empower women and girls to be agents of change – to contribute in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of all women
Thus, government agencies and local government units shall ensure that their programs and activities for the NWMC contribute in achieving these objectives and the focus of the 2020 celebration.
Focus for 2020
Year 2020 is a turning point in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE) in the Philippines. It marks the 45th founding anniversary of the Philippine Commission on Women, which is the national machinery on women, and the 25th year of the BPfA which is a global roadmap for the empowerment of women and girls. It is also pivotal for the 40th anniversary in 2021 of taking into force of the CEDAW, considered as the international bill of rights of women and translated into a national law through the Magna Carta of Women (R.A. 9710 or MCW). 2020 also marks the 5th year of the SDGs; the 10th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security; and the 25th year since the gender and development (GAD) budget policy was introduced through the 1995 General Appropriations Act (R.A. 7845).
Thus, under the banner theme, “We Make Change Work for Women,” the 2020 NWMC shall celebrate and take stock of the progress made to advance GEWE in the country. In line with the global multi-generational campaign of UN Women, “Generation Equality: Realizing women’s rights for equal future,” the celebration shall also endeavor to bring together women and girl leaders from various generations towards a collective agenda of empowering all women and girls.
Government agencies, local government units, state colleges and universities, and other stakeholders are strongly encouraged to get the youth involved in their women’s month activities.
Suggested Activities for Stakeholders
Stakeholders from both the government and the private sector are enjoined to participate in activities that are open to the public; or initiate their own activities in line with the objectives and focus of the 2020 NWMC.
Production and Distribution of IEC Materials
Briefers on the 2020 National Women’s Month Celebration, BPfA, CEDAW, Magna Carta of Women and other laws and agreements protecting the rights of women will be available for download in the PCW website, so agencies and other participating stakeholders can produce and distribute.
Serbisyo para kay Juana encourages agencies and organizations that offer direct services, transactions, and products to the public to give privileges like freebies and discounts to women on International Women’s Day (March 8) and/or other dates in March. This aims to bring the celebration to every Juana and make them feel appreciated, supported, and empowered.
Forum, Workshop, Lecture, Contests
Agencies and non-government organizations can hold forums, workshops and lectures that discuss gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as issues still surrounding efforts for these together with actions that can be taken. In-depth conversations on the BPfA, CEDAW, Magna Carta of Women, and other women’s laws relevant to the agency/LGU can also be explored. Essay-writing and poster-making contests can also be conducted.
Agencies and LGUs may organize their own film showing, provided that their respective GAD Focal Point systems were able to screen the films to ensure that featured films tackle women's empowerment, gender equality, or issues confronting women in the marginalized and vulnerable sectors.
To spread the advocacy online, the hashtag #WomenMakeChange shall be used in all posts related to the celebration. Agencies and private entities can also post on their website and respective social media accounts information, photos, videos, articles or activities in line with the NWMC. Participating agencies can also send their pictures and captions to PCW’s official Facebook account and get a chance to be featured as one of the #WomenMakeChange supporters.
PCW Initiated Activities
“Babae, Pambihira Ka” : 2020 Women’s Month Generation Equality Caravan. The Women’s Month Celebration goes National, at its core of the word. The PCW will bring the celebration to Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. The three legs will feature a “fireside chat” that cuts across generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z. The PCW will bring speakers of different ages who are immersed in working for gender equality and women’s empowerment and the participants, who are college students, will have the opportunity to ask them questions, and vice versa, thus opening the conversation, which signifies equality. More than lectures, it is about sharing; More than discussing, it is about relating.
#JuanaSays Online Advocacy. First initiated by the PCW in 2015, #JuanaSays is an online advocacy effort providing a daily dose of inspirational quotes from Filipino women whose work and contributions have created positive changes in their respective fields. Female personalities who are invited to share their inspiring words include heads of government and non-government agencies and private corporations/companies; trailblaizers in arts, media, sports, and the entertainment industry; pioneers in science and technology; and champions of women’s rights from various sectors (e.g. rural, IP, Moro, youth, formal employment, entrepreneurs), among others.
Song-writing contest (BPfA). The MusikJuana Songwriting Competition will be launched in time for the National Women’s Month Celebration. The competition aims to search for a musical piece that will help popularize the contents of the BPfA, particularly the 12 areas of concern. The mechanics of the competition will be issued in March and the deadline of the submission of entries will be on June 30, 2020. Winners will be announced and awarded in September, in line with the BPfA anniversary.
Campaign Collaterals.Stakeholders are encouraged to reproduce and distribute the collateral materials released by the PCW for the celebration as part of their IEC material production and distribution activities.
- BPfA exhibit. The exhibit will feature all areas of concern and information on the status of each.
- BPfA brochure. The briefer will include the basic provisions of this landmark document, progress over the years, as well as the information on the anniversary theme “Generation Equality: Realizing women's rights for an equal future”.
- NWMC briefer. This details the activities for the 2020 NWMC, theme, and other pertinent facts and issues concerning women.
- 2020 NWMC Streamer
- T-shirt Design
- Button pins