Pangasinan State University Alaminos City Campus (PSU-ACC) community joined forces in the inauguration of National Womenโ€™s Month Celebration on March 7, 2024 with the theme, “Lipunang Patas sa Bagong Pilipinas; Kakayahan ng Kababaihan, patutunayan!”.

Dr. Rosario DL. Valencerina, Campus Executive Director, delivered an empowering address spotlighting the remarkable abilities of women. She underscored their indispensable role in both family and society, showcasing their vast contributions with reverence and admiration. Dr. Valencerina’s words urged women to persist in showcasing their power and never to underestimate their inherent worth.

The kickoff event for Gender and Development (GAD) messages exemplified the strides being made toward achieving gender equality. Dr. Romary R. Lincod, Director for Gender and Development, impassionedly spoke about the enduring principles guiding women’s movements. She emphasized the pivotal role of unity in the ongoing struggle for equal rights.

University President, Dr. Elbert M. Galas, remains steadfast in promoting gender development within the institution. Through Dr. Juan Primitivo P. Petrola, a message of empowerment underscored the indispensable role women play in today’s world. Dr. Galas further underscored PSU’s commitment to bolstering gender and development by mainstreaming it across the university’s campuses.

Atty. Odyssa Bengson, Executive Assistant on Legal Affairs, delved into GAD laws aimed at safeguarding women from harm. Her discourse shed light on issues such as abuse, harassment, and the imperative of raising awareness about gender rights.

Notable legislation including the Magna Carta of Women (RA 9710), VAWC Law (RA 9262), Anti-sexual harassment act (RA 7877), and the Safe Spaces Act of 2019 (RA 11313) were discussed, all aimed at eliminating discrimination and shielding women from violence.

Furthermore, avenues for seeking assistance, including local government units, barangay offices, the Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection Division (PNP WADP), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), were highlighted for those experiencing harassment or abuse.

As the ceremony drew to a close, Miss Zarah Jane B. Anuddin, Campus Coordinator for Gender and Development, reminded everyone of the significance of self-love and self-care as forms of empowerment and she stressed that consent for love should never be conflated with consent for lust.

Every day presents an opportunity to propel progress, challenge norms, break barriers, and reshape the narrative for women. National Women’s Month serves as a poignant reminder of this perpetual pursuit of equality.

At the PSU-ACC, the celebration wasn’t merely a ceremony; it served as a catalyst for renewed action.

Women have traversed a remarkable journey, yet the struggle for rights and equality persists. Through unity, awareness-raising, and advocacy for change, as evidenced by PSU-ACC’s commemoration, we can shatter the glass ceiling and forge a world where #WEcanbeEquALL.

By: Sophia Barbara Ramirez

Photo by: Julius Bustamante