Gender And Development Summit Opens

MANILA, Philippines --- Reaffirming the commitment to removing gender disparity and enhancing women empowerment in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will spearhead today the 2nd Higher Education Summit on Gender Issues at the University of the Philippines (UP) Bahay ng Alumni in Quezon City.

The two-day conference, with the "Mainstreaming Gender and Development in Higher Education," is organized by the CHED with co-convenors Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), Civil Service Commission (CSC), Miriam College Women and Gender Institute, St. Scholastica's College Institute for Women's Studies, and the U.P. Women's Studies Center.

Expected to participate in the conference are CHED Chairperson Dr. Patricia Licuanan, PCW Chairperson Remedios Rikken, CSC Chairperson Dr. Francisco Duque, CHED Commissioner Dr. Ma. Cynthia Rose Bautista, CHED Executive Director Julito Vitriolo, CHED Director for Legal Service and Chair of GAD Summit Carmelita Yadao-Sison, COCOPEA President Dr. Jose Paolo Campos, PASUC President Dr. Ricardo Rotoras, representatives from private and public HEIs and other CHED officials and guests.

An exhibit of selected best Gender and Development (GAD) programs in the 17 regions will also be held.

One of the highlights on the first day of the summit is the report of the 17 Regional GAD Summits. Other topics to be tackled at the conference include "Sustaining Gender Equality and a Safe Environment for Women and Other Gender" by Prof. Carol Sobritchea ,Dean of U.P. Asian Studies Center; "The Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures in the University of the Philippines" by Evelyn Battad, a U.P. College of Law Professor and former U.P. General Counsel; "Perspectives of the Civil Service Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy in Case Decisions" by Ariel Villanuevar; St. Scholastica's "Anti-Sexual Harassment Policies and Procedures" by Prof. Rebecca Padilla-Marquez, Dean of Student Affairs, St. Scholastica's College.

On the second day, parallel sessions on "GAD Planning and Budgeting"; "Designing Gender Responsive Curriculum"; "Addressing Issues of Masculinities and the Other Genders" will be conducted as well as regional cluster meetings to be convened by lead regional directors.

According to Licuanan, last year's summit provided a situationer on the awareness of and good practices in school policies, curriculum and research development, programs and services pertaining to gender and development.

It also reiterated the importance of the strategic role of higher education in capacity building and empowerment of women through appropriate gender and development activities as enunciated in the Magna Carta for Women (RA 9710) and its Implementing Rules.

It also identified the various GAD activities of higher education institutions that contribute to the proper institutionalization of Gender and Development programs and effective utilization of the GAD Budget in State Universities and Colleges to develop and maintain GAD projects that would effectively assist the constituencies of the localities where they are situated.

It also gathered the commitment to a Medium Term Action Plan to be implemented by all higher education institutions.

This year, CHED will lead the crafting of the GAD Action Plan for 2013 and the Statement of Commitment and Pledge of Advocacy for GAD in HEIs to be participated in by all summit participants to be led by chairpersons of convenors and co-convenors.

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