Session on Gender and Development Sensitivity Awareness
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) persistently works to further its personnel’s’ growing awareness of gender sensitivity issues to foster a gender-responsive working environment. Through its Gender and Development (GAD) Team, a session on GAD Sensitivity Awareness was conducted on 5 August 2019 at Estrellas de Mendoza, Laiya, San Juan, Batangas for BLE staff, aimed at improving the knowledge of participants and influencing attitudes and values towards GAD-related issues. Facilitated by Ms. Evangeline Aviñante and Ms. Ana Liza Ragos, said session involved discussion, team teaching, structured games, and brainstorming.
The 28 BLE personnel in attendance had an engaging lecture-discussion about sex and gender, as well as analyses of gender issues and causes. The following core ideas were ascertained by participants during the activity: (1) society tends to assign roles, attitudes, behaviors, characteristics, and expectations to individuals based on their sex and gender; (2) gender roles are taught and reinforced by society’s structure and institutions; (3) gender stereotypes and the subordination of Filipino women have historical roots; (4) learning of gender roles begins in early childhood; and (5) gender roles result from gender bias (i.e., marginalization, subordination, violence against women, and child-rearing and housekeeping).
The use of gender-fair or gender-neutral language was also reviewed by the team during the session. Conscientious rejection of sexist language cultivates a working environment that promotes equity among members. Gender-fair language avoids bias towards a particular sex or gender.
During reflection, participants were asked to share their thoughts in relation to the covered topics. The BLE staff present agreed that gender-sensitivity and gender-responsiveness mean ensuring equal access to opportunities for women as well as men. Participants also came to understand that women empowerment is geared towards societal recognition of women as equal partners of men in nation-building, through the excision of oppressive barriers they’ve historically had to face.