Women's Month Celebration 2009

Babae, Yaman Ka ng Bayan!

This year's theme highlights the critical role of women in nation-building and recognizes that women are an important resource who can contribute to the reduction of poverty. Considering the present global financial crisis, it is timely to tap half of the country's resource, the women, and create a gender-responsive environment to encourage and support them to venture into high-value and more meaningful economic activities and enterprise development.

I. Background

The observance of International Women's Day (IWD) was a result of the organizing activities of women in the early 20th Century. Between 1909 and 1911, working women in the United States of America participated in organizing strike activities of the National Women's Trade Union League and other concerned groups. They were protesting against low wages, lack of protective legislation and the very poor working conditions to which women workers were subjected during that time.

The demonstrations were an offshoot of the tragic March 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City, which took the lives of more than 140 working girls, mostly Italian and Jewish immigrants. Subsequently, the inhumane working conditions and other unfair labor practices leading up to the disaster were invoked during observances of IWD.

In Europe, Clara Zetkin and the Socialist Women's International demanded that March 8th be the International Women's Day, celebrated each year to recognize working women around the world. The celebration of IWD has since stimulated major historical events. For instance, IWD was the inspiration for the general strike which began the Russian Revolution in St. Petersburg in 1917 when 10, 000 women textile workers demonstrated.

It is due to such history of women organizing around the world that IWD was officially recognized by the United Nations to celebrate women's contributions to all societies.

II. Legal Mandates

In the Philippines, the passage of the following laws during the term of President Corazon, the first Filipino woman president, serves as legal bases for the celebration of the National Women's Day/Month:

  • Proclamation No. 224, "Declaring the First Week of March of Every Year as Women's Week and March 8, 1988 and Every Year Thereafter as Women's Rights and International Peace Day." . Signed by former President Corazon C. Aquino on March 1, 1988, it affirmed our solidarity with the United Nations and recognized Filipino women's contribution in the struggle for national independence, civil liberties , equality and human rights.
  • Proclamation No, 227, "Providing for the observance of the Month of March as 'Women's Role in History Month'." Signed by President Aquino on March 17, 1988, it reinforced the earlier proclamation by emphasizing the role of Filipino women in the social, cultural, economic and political development throughout our history. It provided for a month-long nationwide observance with appropriate ceremonies and activities to be spearheaded by the NCRFW.
  • R.A. 6949, "An Act to Declare March Eight of Every Year as a Working Special Holiday to be Known as National Women's Day". was signed by President Aquino on April 10, 1990. The law further strengthened the impetus for the celebration by declaring every March 8, as a special working holiday and enjoining employees from the government and private sector to participate in activities conducted by their offices.

III. Theme

The 2009 Women's Month theme is "Babae, Yaman ka ng Bayan!"

The theme highlights the critical role of women in nation-building and recognizes that women are an important resource who can contribute to the reduction of poverty. Considering the present global financial crisis, it is timely to tap half of the country's resource, the women, and create a gender-responsive environment to encourage and support them to venture into high-value and more meaningful economic activities and enterprise development.

The theme also supports the fulfillment of the country's international treaty obligations, particularly Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Millennium Declaration, and International Labour Organizations (ILO) conventions. It is also in cognizant of the Arroyo Administration's Ten-Point Agenda and the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) 2004-2010 which identifies the creation of three million enterprises and ten million jobs, with women as the main target of micro-finance initiatives.

IV. Objectives

The objectives of this year's celebration are as follows:

  • to serve as a venue for sharing of inspiring stories of women entrepreneurs, lessons learned and good practices in entrepreneurial activities; and
  • to serve as a channel for the nationwide campaign to promote women's economic empowerment and rights through entrepreneurship.

V. Proposed Major Activities

  1. Event: "Go Negosyo: Babae, Yaman Ka ng Bayan"
  2. Date and time: March 2, 2009, 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  3. Venue: World Trade Center, Pasay City
  4. The Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) in partnership with NCRFW is organizing the Go Negosyo Women Entrepreneurship Summit, which is considered the biggest women event of the year. Pinay entrepreneurs who ventured into the world of business and improved their quality of life despite the numerous challenges they faced will share their stories and inspire other women. Participants will have the chance to be mentored by some of the country's successful women entrepreneurs. Government officials will discuss how they plan to help women in micro small and medium-scale entrepreneurs.
  5. The event will gather at least 3,000 participants from women's organizations, microenterprises, NGOs, academe, private sector and government. Mini lectures and fora on negosyo basics ranging from best marketing practices for small enterprises, entrepreneurial financial management, leadership styles, competitiveness in the export market, technology utilization to tips and advice on concerns that women entrepreneurs face: health and wellness, fitness, family life and work balance will be conducted.
  6. Different products and services relating to the needs and wants of women consumers will also be showcased through the booths and exhibits.
  7. Launch of the NCRFW Gender and Development (GAD) portal - March 2, 2009
  8. Signing of the Magna Carta of Women

For details, please contact the Information Resource Management Division (IRMD) at telephone numbers 7358509 and 7354767 local 131 or through email at ird@ncrfw.gov.ph.

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