The Right to have a comfortable and peaceful life by being economically stable!
It is one of the many outputs women and men participants of the “Barangay Women’s Rights Advocacy Forum” expressed. In connection to the Women’s’ Rights Celebration that is done every month of March, Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance (ZABIDA) extended the Women’s rights advocacy by conducting the activity to the partner organization’s Katilingban para sa Kalambuan Inc. (KKI) and Reach Out to Others Foundation (ROOF) to eight (8) partner barangays in Zamboanga City namely; Patalon, Calarian, Salaan, Guisao, Manicahan, Ayala, Bunguiao and Manicahan.
On the forum, partner government agencies from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of trade and Industry (DTI) that strongly supports and journeys with the organization’s endeavors that shares the same mandate, “to help uplift the quality of life of the marginalized sectors”. Women participants were then enlightened on the different programs from the two agencies that shared the programs of the government to the vulnerable sectors that highlighted “Opportunities for Women Empowerment”.
DOLE Supervising Labor and Employment Officer, Makaraya U. Adil urged the women, especially the skilled and small-time business entrepreneurs to avail these opportunities.
“You can come to our office and ask for the details on how to avail the programs that are meant for you,” Mr. Adil said. “The government agencies like us are mandated to help uplift and empower the communities,” he reiterated. Mr. Adil told the participants that through these programs, “the government envisions the marginalized communities to be economically stable, thus, as an impact, the rate of poverty will be decreased and most of all, Empowered”.
DTI Senior Trade and Industry Development Specialist Emmanuel D. Santos discussed on the Bottom Up Budgeting-Shared Service Facilities in the Barangays to the participants urged them to form an association and register. “It is better that you create a legitimate entity to easily avail the government services,” he said.
On the other hand, in DOLE’s part, they also cater registered association or individuals that would like to avail for Capacity-Building interventions and Livelihood grants such as the Kabuhayan Starter Kits (KST) and Women Workers Employment and Entrepreneurship Development (WEED) is one of among the many programs of DOLE that caters to (employed) women that are not members of an organization, but opted to be self-employed on their own. “But still, we encourage you to be legitimized association to expand your opportunities, and look for accredited non-government organizations such as ZABIDA, ACCORD and IRDT to be your (ACP) Accredited Co-Partners,” advised Mr. Adil.
This advocacy with women and men participants did not only inform the Rights of the Women in the society but also urged the male participants of their roles to the women’s rights to push for the gender equality and sensitivity.
At the end of the forum, the participants then expressed “Women’s Rights” in a canvass resulted to painting outputs. The painting outputs were then turned over to the Barangays for their Barangay Human Rights Action Center (BHRAC) to inspire them of the advocacy which just started from Women sectors, but will eventually be completed with various sectors such as the Farmers and Fisherfolks, Persons With Disabilities, Youth, Indigenous Peoples, Internally Displaced Persons, Children and the Informal Settlers.
The Human Rights Advocacy is a four-year program of ZABIDA under the Convenio program funded by Manos Unidas and Agencia Española Cooperacion Internacional para y Desarollo (AECID). For its second year implementation, these advocacies are now co-hosted by the partner barangays to be re-echoed and to reach more communities at the grass roots level.