Despite the abrupt suspension of work halfway through the month of March due to COVID-19, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas was able to conduct several activities in celebration of Women’s Month. The activities were a reaffirmation of its commitment towards advancing gender equality and promoting women empowerment as it joined once again the nation in celebrating this year’s National Women’s Month celebrations.
The CFO undertook a series of activities that were aimed not only to recognize the women for their significant contributions around the world, but also to educate the public on gender issues in order to address the lingering gender inequality in society.
The activities form part of the Commission’s commitment in implementing gender-responsive programs for Filipino emigrants, and in providing interventions and services for Filipinos overseas, especially those who are victims of human trafficking and gender-based violence. In 2019, CFO was recognized as one of gender responsive government agencies by the Philippine Commission on Women.
Launching of Activities for the 2020 National Women’s Month Celebration
The Gender and Development Focal Point System (GFPS) of CFO led the launching of the activities for the celebration of the National Women’s Month on March 2, 2020 during CFO’s regular flag ceremony.
CFO Secretary and Chairperson Justice Francisco P. Acosta expressed appreciation for the activities, stating that they will further highlight the important role played by women in the community
In order to debunk some misconceptions about women and girls, CFO’s Ms. January Sanchez, discussed the prevailing stereotypes against women that often are discriminatory and can even result to harassment and harmful situations.
A surprise serenade to the women personnel by homegrown male talents concluded the event. The women employees expressed appreciation to the entertainment they were provided with by their male colleagues.
Harana kay Juana – By Request
Reviving the traditional form of courtship music or harana, CFO male musicians treated female employees and clients with beautiful and inspiring songs thru Harana kay Juana.
The activity brought smiles to the women officers and clients as they were reminded of this custom back in the days. They conveyed that serenading them with soothing old-time favorite songs brought them excitement and kilig.
Sulat Ni Juan Para Kay Juana : Love Letter to the Woman Who Inspire Us
Men are fortunate to have been surrounded and nurtured by women who always support, love, and care for them.
This year’s National Women’s Month Celebration served as an opportune time for the CFO male personnel to return the favor by composing a love letter to a woman who is a source of inspiration and encouragement. The letters were posted at all CFO Social Media Accounts.
Me Time for CFO Juana
Regardless of their employment status, all women personnel of the CFO, were given a one (1) day off for the month of March 2020. There was no deduction on the leave credits of permanent employees who availed of this optional time-off, nor deduction in salary for contractual employees.
This special privilege was aimed at helping the women employees of CFO to spend much-needed time to take care of themselves in the way they see fit or most advantageous to them.
Food for Women Clients and Juana Lunch for CFO Female Employees
As part of its annual tradition in the yearly celebration of the National Women’s Month, female clients in the CFO Main Office and its satellite offices in Cebu, Davao, and Clark were treated to snacks and refreshments. Female employees were likewise provided with free lunch.
SHENEMA: A Free Film Showing
The CFO organized its own film showing, featuring the film “Hidden Figures”. Inspired from a true story, the film tackles women’s story of struggle, willpower, and brilliance of lesser known heroines who worked in the NASA Apollo space program. The film showing was attended by CFO personnel, who were also treated to free popcorn and drinks.
Sharing of the 2020 National Women’s Month Streamer
The CFO reproduced the streamer of the 2020 National Women’s Month of National Women’s Month and posted it on the façade of the CFO Manila Office. It was also shared in the CFO Website and CFO social media platforms.
The CFO month-long activities were all anchored on the theme “We Make Change Work for Women”, that highlights the empowerment of women as active contributors to and proponents of development.
Undersecretary Astravel Pimentel-Naik, Chairperson of the Executive Committee of the CFO-GFPS said that the disruption of the Women’s Month celebrations due to COVID-19 serves also as a reminder for the CFO to continuously uphold its steadfast advocacy towards attaining gender parity. She added that in these times of extraordinary challenges, everyone is in the same boat to share a concerted act of helping, uplifting, and supporting one another, regardless of gender.