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23 March 2016 – The Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver held a program on 22 March 2016 to celebrate the 2016 International Women’s Day, 2016 National Women’s Month and the 12th Women with Disabilities Day 2015 National Women’s Month.
Consul General Neil Frank R. Ferrer, in his opening remarks, noted that Filipino communities commemorate these events as a commitment to protect the dignity and promote equal rights for men, women and children. The observance of these events is a way to communicate the continued efforts of the Philippine government to shape a society where every member has the ability to contribute to the nation’s progress, especially women.
Consul General Ferrer underscored that this year’s National Women’s Month theme, “Kapakanan ni Juana, Isama sa Agenda” and that of Women with Disabilities Day, “Kapakanan at Karapatan ni Juanang Maykapansanan, Isama sa Plano ng Bayan!” share the same message, i.e., promoting the rights of Filipino women in all sectors, as a means to bridge the gender gap. The undersigned also highlighted the last Monday of March as a day reserved to recognize the contributions of women with disability in nation-building. With Proclamation No. 744, “Declaring the Last Monday of March of Every Year as Women with Disabilities Day”, Filipino women with disabilities, are ensured equal access to health services, education, training and employment, and protection from sexual and other forms of abuse.
Consul General Ferrer also shared with the participants that last January, the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) issued an initial report, “The State of the Filipino Women Report”, which will chronicle the programs, projects and activities of the current administration, in promoting gender equality and women empowerment in the Philippines. According to PCW, the full report will be completed in May.
The Consulate General’s observance of the aforementioned events also featured a lecture and sharing of experiences on various health issues and concerns affecting Filipino women migrants, immigrants and temporary foreign workers alike, in British Columbia by Ms. Bella Cenezero, a Program Director of Parent Support Services Society (PSS) of BC, and women’s advocate. Ms. Cenezero manages the Support Circles and Community Development Program of PSS and works closely with community partners, volunteers and families of diverse backgrounds.In her lecture, Ms. Cenezero shared the emergent trends among Filipino migrant families in BC, i.e., increasing physical, mental and emotional health concerns among Filipina women; grandparents, particularly grandmothers raising their grandchildren; problems on alcoholism and drug addiction among Filipino youths, amongst others. Ms. Cenezero also addressed the queries from the audience regarding the lack of counselling support services in some areas of BC where there is a sizeable Filipino community, and as well as offers of assistance from various Filipino community organizations. END
The Philippine Consulate General is located at the World Trade Center Office Complex, 999 Canada Place, Suite 660 Vancouver, B.C. V6C 3E1
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except on Philippine & Canadian holidays.
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