COMPOSTELA, Compostela Valley (DSWD XI) – A symposium on Gender and Development (GAD) was recently conducted by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for Pantawid Pamilya couples here.

“This is a continuous effort in mainstreaming GAD as a strategy to promote both women and men human rights and eliminate gender discrimination,” Pantawid Regional GAD Focal Ella Charise M. Antepasado said.

Representing every barangay, the couple participants were oriented on their different rights, having been victims of gender inequality one way or another.

“Pantawid beneficiaries are the poorest families in the country and most vulnerable to abuse and discrimination. It is important for our beneficiaries to know that GAD is not a war of the sexes, that right to life should not be interpreted narrowly, and that they should know the right to the basic necessities of a dignified life,” Antepasado pointed out.

For Hejiara Malawani Gurodato, 31, Pantawid beneficiary of Barangay Poblacion, the symposium was a great help to her because she was enlightened of her right as a woman. She also said that everyone especially the couple should be empowered nowadays and not be stuck with the traditional way of living.

Gurodato belongs to the Maranao tribe and has three children benefiting from Pantawid Pamilya.

The symposium is gender-awakening for the couples especially on shared responsibilities in parenting, reproductive rights of women, basic rights of individuals to decide freely, right to be free from all forms of violence, and many others.

“I have many realizations because of this symposium especially in handling relationships with my wife and children,“ Ruben Dico of Barangay Ngan shared.

“We hope that all Pantawid Pamilya couples especially the husbands will be able to know and appreciate the importance of gender and development. Development is for everyone and all has the right to equal opportunities to achieve a full and satisfying life,” Antepasado added.

To date there are 234,705 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in Region XI. (DSWD)