The world of today strives to begin a world of reality. For many centuries, it has been a norm for women to be only a subordinate of men. Hence, women suffered inequality beyond compare. They have been the loud voices unheard in the society.

As the modernization touches every sector in the industry, household and cultural beliefs, the society begins to maximize every able being for the purpose of progress. Both men and women are now recognized as vital assets in the community. The government is eager to enhance the life of both men and women by eliminating social norms affecting gender which can deter to the development of both sexes. Laws, regulations and issuances are being provided to ensure that this goal be attained at the shortest time possible. In fact, enshrined in Art. II Sec. 14 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, “The state recognizes the role of women in nation-building, and shall ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men”.

To create a gender healthy environment, the Metro Bangued Water District GAD Committee organized a seminar on Gender and Development (GAD). The seminar was held at the MBWD Motorpool Zone 6, Bangued Abra at 8:00 in the morning, April 14, 2023 which was participated by all MBWD employees.  The said seminar aimed to promote understanding and open-mindedness among MBWD employees, for them to examine their personal attitudes, beliefs, and behavior, and to instill empathy into the views about themselves and the other sex. This is in consonance with the MBWD GAD objective “…to achieve the equality of both men and women and their right to enjoy equal conditions realizing their full potential as active agents of societal progress.”

The seminar was started with a prayer, the singing of the National Anthem followed by a short opening message by the General Manger Kathleen Maria Balbin-Tawantawan. The first speaker, Ms. Moilin B. Balaoro, focused her talk on equality of opportunity and treatment in employment. She reiterated that all employees, regardless their sex, ethnicity, religious belief or any other personal characteristic, can participate in and contribute to the labor market according to their capacity, without interference of discrimination or bias. The second speaker, Ms. Josephine Santos, talked on Workplace Gender Discrimination. She mentioned that Gender Equality is the most common issue which has come across at the workplace in which women are treated inferior than the other men employees. It is very casual that women are also capable of doing a particular job as men. Gender discrimination in workplaces are fallacious assumptions and must be stopped because women are just as productive as a male employee in doing an allotted task. Females should not be treated inferior than male, mostly when they have the similar, if not better capability to do workloads as the males. As her saying goes “Kung Kaya ni Juan, si Juana di pahuhuli.”

After the talk of the speakers, the participants were given the opportunity to ask questions and to give opinions and reactions in relation with the topics discussed. 

The participants left the venue equipped with knowledge about gender and development and fortified with information in the practical application of gender related concerns and issues in the workplace.