Fairtrade Small-scale producer organizations in the Philippines celebrate March as the National Women’s Month and promote ways to address inequalities in trade the Fairtrade way!
In the Philippines, the National Women’s Month in March is dedicated to highlighting the achievements of women and for discussing continuing and emerging women’s empowerment and gender equality issues and concerns, challenges, and commitments. It celebrates the extraordinary roles played by ordinary women in society, in their everyday lives.
The 2021 National Women’s Month Celebration serves as a platform to discuss and address the issues that women continue to face so empowerment can be fully achieved. The campaign is also a call for concrete, sustainable, and inclusive actions towards gender equality.
With an aim to inspire and empower women and girls in the Fairtrade communities to be agents of change for promoting gender equality and economic empowerment of women, the Fairtrade organizations in the Philippines along with 160 men, women, children, and youth joined the International Women’s Day and National Women’s Month campaign.
There were several programs planned throughout the month to promote the campaign. Awareness sessions on gender sensitivity were organized for briefing the participants on Fairtrade principles for addressing gender inequalities in trade. There were community-inclusive social programs such as community feeding day, environmental clean-up drive, writing of inspirational stories, joining the Fairtrade NAPP Purple Monday Campaign followed by some exciting activities such as free haircuts and distribution of planting starter kit.
The takeaway of the campaign was the ‘Call to Action’ by the participants for a few important activities as a response to promoting gender equality and women economic empowerment in their communities as below:
- To create women-led enterprises and provide seed capital, coaching, and mentoring for women’s economic empowerment to contribute to the increase of household income.
- Lobbying to access livelihood programs and job creation for women in rural communities.
- To address gender-based violence in the community and seek justice for the victims of abuse.
- To build women’s confidence to speak up and stand up for their rights. Women have an equal right to be heard and to express themselves.
- To provide educational and technical capacity-building training for women to manage livelihood/business in the future. Women are capable, smart, and good leaders if they are given the opportunity and access to resources equal to men
- To provide access to free medical and health services for women: mothers, girls, and the elderly.
- To advocate for equal rights and opportunities, address gender-based violence, and give women the opportunity to lead.