Executive Director Sarah Gutierrez-Cayona shares her observation on women’s role in the community during the agency’s Gender and Development policy forum on September 20, 2018.

Aimed to abreast PCAF women partners and other stakeholders on women empowerment and gender equality, the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF), through its Gender and Development (GAD) Focal System organized a policy forum on September 20, 2018 at Apacible Conference Hall A in Diliman, Quezon City.

Initiated by the Policy Development and Coordination Division of PCAF, the activity was collaborated with the Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. It served as venue for women leaders to express prevailing gender issues in agri-fishery and propose resolutions for gender-responsive programs.

PCAF Executive Director Sarah Gutierrez-Cayona and Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Operations Engr. Ariel Cayanan welcomed the participants and shared their personal observations on Filipino women’s contributions to the community.

Professor Maria Socorro Diokno, Secretary-General of Free Legal Assistance Group presented her study entitled “Monitoring the Right to Adequate Food in the Philippines.” Diokno emphasized that the basis on the right to adequate food includes availability, accessibility, adequacy and safety.

“Karapatan ng bawat lalaki at babae, bata man o matanda na may access sa sapat na pagkain o mga pamamaraang kinakailangan para madaling maka-access ng pagkain” highlighted Diokno’s findings. The study surveyed 275 households representing 1,338 individuals in four selected areas in the Philippines.

Furthermore, Daryl Leyesa, Women Coordinator of Centro Saka discussed key findings and recommendations on the result of case study on the situation of rural women since the implementation of magna carta of women.

The research study conducted focused on the over-all welfare and condition of rural women. It aimed to organize and analyze statistical data and map out policies and programs for the improvement of the welfare of rural women.

Meanwhile, Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) Sectoral Coordination Division Chief Macario Jusayan introduced GAD, its legal mandates and gender mainstreaming strategy in the agriculture and fisheries sector.

On PCW’s recommendation based on gender mainstreaming evaluation framework which is to establish mechanism on women participation, Leyesa clarified the reactivation of the inter-agency committee on rural women. 

Elgie Namia, member of PCAF’s GAD Focal System narrated that the agency planned to create a Committee on Women under the National Sectoral and Strategic Concerns Committees to be replicated in the local level through the Agricultural and Fishery Councils.     

A motion raised by Arsenio Tanchuling to create a technical working group who will conduct a gender analysis on policy resolutions of PCAF’s advisory special bodies prior to the endorsement to DA Secretary was agreed upon.

Representatives from the Department of Agriculture (DA) GAD Focal System, DA-Planning and Monitoring Service, Agricultural Training Institute and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources presented sex-disaggregated data of their respective programs, activities and projects.

Tanchuling lauded the DA offices and attached bureaus for the provision of sex-disaggregated data. According to him, “the data can be used as reference of concerned stakeholders in identifying gender-responsive programs for farmers and fisherfolks.”     

Culminating the whole-day activity, Vice-Chairperson of PCAF-Committee on Food Staples Romeo Royandoyan imparted his outtakes on the directions and key points for gender mainstreaming in the agriculture and fisheries sector. – JD