The 2021 National Women’s Month Celebration serves as a tribute, a platform, and a call to action that highlights the extraordinary roles of ordinary Juanas in the society as trailblazers and harbingers of change. This celebration is also a venue to discuss and address the issues that women continue to face so empowerment can be fully achieved. The campaign is also a call for concrete, sustainable, and inclusive actions towards gender equality.
This observation traces its roots in different movements in the 1900s, particularly in the United States of America, particularly garment workers fighting for their economic rights and fair work hours.
In 1911, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated on 19 March participated by millions of men and women. However, a tragic incident led to the changing of this date. On 25 March, 1911, 140 working women died in a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York City. This brought to light the unfair labor practices and inhumane working conditions that women workers face and led to several rallies.
In Europe, the Socialist Women’s International Conference recommended March 8 to be the International Women’s Day not only to commemorate the women workers in the New York fire, but also to lobby issues concerning women. Since 1913, IWD has been observed annually on 8 March. In 1975, the UN formally designated this as the day of celebration of achievements of all women around the world and propel change in terms of gender equality.
In December 1977, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a UN Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.
In 1995, Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a historic roadmap signed by 189 governments, focused on 12 critical areas of concern: (1) women and poverty; (2) education and training of women; (3) women and health; (4) violence against women; (5) women and armed conflict; (6) women and the economy; (7) women in power and decision-making; (8) institutional mechanisms; (9) human rights of women; (10) women and media; (11) women and the environment; (12) the girl child.
In the Philippines, the following issuances serve as legal bases for the annual national campaign:
- Proclamation No. 224 s. 1988 declaring the first week of March each year as Women’s Week and March 8 as Women’s Rights and International Peace Day
- Proclamation No. 227 s. 1988 providing for the observance of the Month of March as Women’s Role in History Month
- Republic Act (RA) 6949 s. 1990 declaring March 8 of every year as National Women’s Day.
The 2017-2022 NWMC generally aims to:
- inform and engage women as stakeholders of government programs and services – to promote citizen-centric governance and make “change” a conscious effort to know, understand, and provide what ALL citizens need
- create and facilitate platforms to discuss good practices, gaps, challenges, and commitments in pursuing gender and development (GAD) – to strengthen implementation of the Magna Carta of Women
- inspire and empower women and girls to be agents of change – to contribute in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of all women
Thus, government agencies and local government units shall ensure that their programs and activities for the NWMC contribute in achieving these objectives and the focus of the 2021 celebration.
Juana Laban sa Pandemya: Kaya!
This year’s campaign is different from the previous ones because it is set in the COVID-19 pandemic backdrop, which posed both challenges and opportunities for women. Hence, this year’s observance highlights women’s participation in battling the pandemic as well as discusses gender issues exacerbated by the pandemic. It is the time to delve deep into the gender issues that emerged or become more felt during the health crisis, feature women who thrived despite the circumstances, and share support systems and government programs that address women’s issues and concerns.
Suggested Activities for Stakeholders:
- Produce information materials about agency/LGU services for women – agencies and LGUs are encouraged to create and distribute information materials (online and print) featuring the list of their gender-responsive programs and services which women can avail, as well as simplified steps and requirements to avail of such. Agencies with major programs and services for the public in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are enjoined to publicly disclose the number of their women beneficiaries as they promote how more women could avail of their services.
- Hanging of the official 2021 NWMC banner in front of offices and uploading to website and social media accounts. Participating agencies and stakeholders can also produce and distribute different IEC materials on the National Women’s Month Celebration and laws on women.
- #PurpleMondays. Wear anything purple on all the Mondays of March or even color your hoods with purple to signify support for women’s empowerment and gender equality.
- Online advocacy. Stakeholders can use the NWMC Facebook Profile Frame that PCW will release in late February. They can also showcase their activities online and join the online thread using #WomenMakeChange. Follow and share PCW’s official social media accounts to help us reach more Juanas.
- Serbisyo para kay Juana encourages government agencies and private organizations that offer direct services, transactions, and products to the public to give special treats like freebies, discounts, special lanes, and other promos for women and girls on International Women’s Day (March 8) and/or other dates in March as a form of appreciation for women’s various contribution in the society. This initiative helps make the NWMC more known and felt by “everyJuana.”
Juana Laban sa Pandemya: Kaya! Online Forum Series
This Online Forum Series serves as a platform to discuss women’s experiences in dealing with the pandemic, and provide practical information and ways forward to help them. The entire series will be conducted in partnership with the UN Women Philippines Programme Office.
This event is open to the public for free! There is no need to pre-register or reserve a slot since this shall be streamed live via PCW’s Facebook page. Participants may interact with us and the speakers through the comments feature of the Facebook livestream. An e-certificate of attendance shall be issued only for viewers who will be able to comply with all the requirements that will be announced during the livestream. Simple prizes also await those who shall win in our mini-quiz/energizer questions, so gear yourselves up with general information about the NWMC, the Magna Carta of Women, and Gender and Development in general! Certificates and prizes shall be sent out after the series, until the end of April 2021.
Below is the list of specific forum topics and dates. Please visit this page and the PCW’s official Facebook page for news and updates. All episodes will be held at 1:00 PM.
March 3, 2021 – Juana, Nangunguna Laban sa Pandemya
This episode is anchored on the International Women’s Day theme: Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”. It aims to feature inspirational stories and messages from women who managed to lead and thrive in our fight against the pandemic.
March 8, 2021: Kumusta ka, Juana?
In this episode, the PCW shall feature practical tips in survival and recovery from the pandemic and government programs for women in hard-hit sectors. These include tips on how to manage and cope with work and home duties during the community quarantine, looking after women’s mental health, and gaining information about employment opportunities, entrepreneurship, and other livelihood programs of the government.
March 17, 2021: Bida si Juana sa Panahon ng Corona
This episode shall put on spotlight women’s contributions in addressing the pandemic and the disproportionate burden that they carry, the PCW shall also honor women frontliners, workers, entrepreneurs, home makers, community volunteers, and other #SuperJuanas during this health crisis.
March 23, 2021: FYI, may FOI!
An informed Juana is an empowered Juana hence, this episode aims to empower Juanas through access to government information. Section 26 of the Magna Carta of Women is about Right to Information. It states that “access to information regarding policies on women, including programs, projects, and funding outlays that affect them, shall be ensured.” Through this collaboration with the PCW and the Commission on Human Rights, the Freedom of Information (FOI) Project Management Office under the Presidential Communications Operations Office shall engage with the women and LGBT sectors as they introduce the FOI Program which empowers citizens to ask for timely,
March 31, 2021: Juana Cares, We Care, Let EveryJuan Care
This episode shall tackle the unpaid care work, or the services that women provide in their homes and in communities, from preparing food to taking care of children, the ill, and the elderly.
#MyWonderJuana. This enjoins netizens to share a minuter-story featuring an inspiring “Juana” who was able to hurdle the challenges of the pandemic and empower others to remain hopeful. The goal is to showcase the different roles that women from all walks of life play to help families, communities, and nation afloat amidst the pandemic. PCW shall monitor #MyWonderJuana and send simple prizes to netizens who post #MyWonderJuana stories that PCW shall feature/share in our official social media page (a post should be made public). Full mechanics shall be released through PCW’s website and official Facebook page.
#MySuperJuan. Through this campaign, netizens can share an uplifting social media post featuring a male person who does his share in doing unpaid domestic work, which are stereotypically labeled as a woman’s job. The goal is to spotlight on Juans who share household chores in order to contribute in normalizing the redistribution of unpaid care work. PCW shall monitor #MySuperJuan and send simple prizes to netizens who post #MySuperJuan stories that PCW shall feature/share in our official social media page (a post should be made public for us to monitor). Full mechanics shall be released through PCW’s website and official Facebook page.
#JuanaSays. Now on its 7th year, this online advocacy provides a daily dose of inspirational quotes from Filipino women. Like and share the 2021 #JuanaSays series which PCW shall release daily in March.
2021 NWMC Viber Sticker Pack. PCW shall release a new set of Viber stickers for the 2021 NWMC, featuring positive messages that promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. Download, share, and use the sticker pack for free, through the Viber app beginning the last week of February.
MusikJuana Songwriting Contest
PCW shall also relaunch and start the promotions for the MusikJuana Songwriting Contest during the NWMC. This contest aims to search for a musical piece that shall help popularize the 12 areas of concern of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA).
The awarding of winners will be in September 2021, in line with the BPfA anniversary. The full contest mechanics shall be released in March 2021.