By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

PURSUING GENDER EQUALITY. Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah Pangandaman delivers a keynote speech during the inaugural gender and development (GAD) conference of Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on Wednesday (March 20, 2024). In her speech, Pangandaman urged government agencies to work together to achieve gender equality and women empowerment. (Screenshot from DBM’s Usapang Budget Natin Facebook page)

MANILA – Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah Pangandaman on Wednesday urged the government agencies to continue working together in pursuit of gender equality and women empowerment.

During the inaugural gender and development (GAD) conference of the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG), Pangandaman said the Philippines is making notable strides in advancing women’s rights across various sectors.

Pangandaman, however, said the government still needs to work harder to empower women and make sure that they are given equal opportunities.

“Our commitment to gender equality is reflected in many of our laws which encourage woman’s active participation in society and the protection of their rights,” she said in a speech delivered at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

“While we have achieved substantial milestones in gender and development, we acknowledge that much work still needs to be done. We are fully committed to continuing our efforts, striving to do even better and creating (a) more inclusive and equitable society,” Pangandaman added.

Pangandaman hoped that the GCG’s first GAD forum, which carries the theme, “We GADher Together, We GatHER to Empower,” would pave the way in identifying concrete actions to drive meaningful change for women.

She said it is the government’s obligation to challenge outdated norms, advocate for justice, and implement innovative solutions to address pressing issues confronting women.

“The dedication to gender equality and inclusive development is admirable and I am honored to be involved in this initiative,” Pangandaman said. “Women empowerment, a subject close to my heart, is crucial in achieving gender equality. It is a vital aspect of building a more prosperous, equitable and sustainable Philippines.”

Pangandaman said collaboration among government agencies is key to creating an environment that fosters equal opportunities for all “where barriers are removed and everyone is empowered to drive”.

She also called on her fellow female workers in government to stand united to achieve equality and justice for all.

“As we reflect on the progress we have made and the challenges that lie ahead, let us continue to support one another for every act of self assertion, we pave the way for the empowerment of women,” Pangandaman said.

“Let us join hands and pledge ourselves to build a future where the promise of equality is not just a lofty ideal but a tangible reality for generations to come,” she added. (PNA)