Why do we commemorate National Women’s Month? Learn all about its significance, goals, and ways you can join the celebration.
We make change work for women. This is the Philippines’ tagline for the National Women’s Month Celebration for the last six years. As the slogan and its commitment wrap up this year, the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) will cap this campaign with the theme Agenda ng Kababaihan, Tungo sa Kaunlaran.
The long-running tagline aims to push forward gender equality and women empowerment (GEWE). This hasn’t been easy in the Philippines, especially when the pandemic hit. The health crisis has worsened gender gaps, heightened inequalities, and made women and children even more vulnerable.
That said, the 2022 National Women’s Month Celebration summarizes the changes made for women in the past six years and what needs to be done moving forward.
What is the history behind National Women’s Month?
Like most movements, the Women’s Month celebration is rooted in struggle. During the early 20th century, women endured poor working conditions, low wages, and unprotected rights.
These circumstances and other contributing factors sparked protests in the United States back in 1910. This was followed by the tragic death of around 140 working women in a New York factory in March 1911 caused by disastrous labor practices. And on the same year, the Socialist Women’s International in Europe demanded the declaration of March 8 as International Women’s Day in the same year.
After the declaration, the celebration started a ripple of movements across the globe. For instance, it reached St. Petersburg in Russia and inspired a strike that became the catalyst of the Russian Revolution. Finally, in 1975, the United Nations recognized March 8 as International Women’s Day.
When did the Philippines first celebrate National Women’s Month?
National Women’s Day was first formally celebrated on March 8, 1988, under Proclamation No. 224. This reiterated our support for the United Nations and acknowledged the contributions of Filipino women to the fight for national independence, civil liberties, equality, and human rights.
In addition, Proclamation No. 227, signed in the same year, supported the earlier declaration and started the month-long observance of the event.
And lastly, the Republic Act 6949 in 1990 further solidified the celebration by making March 8 a special working holiday that is now known as International Women’s Day.
All of these efforts sum up to the same end goal: the recognition of the role of Filipino women in building our society.
Why does the Philippines celebrate National Women’s Month?
Given all its history, International Women’s Day is a way to commemorate women’s longstanding fight for equality. In addition, it is a call for institutions and other stakeholders to honor their sacrifices and create a safer space for the next generation of women.
More than a celebration, the 2022 National Women’s Month is a way to honor the women of the past who paved the way for the present. But more importantly, it is an opportunity to recognize the working women of present times and the mark they will leave for the generations to come.
What is the National Women’s Month Celebration aiming to achieve?
The Philippines’ National Women’s Month Celebration draws on three significant matters throughout the years. First, it aims to educate and engage women as early adopters and recipients of government programs and services. Second, it plans to facilitate the continued rally to pursue gender development and call attention to the Magna Carta of Women. And lastly, the National Women’s Month Celebration is a platform that empowers girls and women in their continuous fight and demand for equality.
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What is the significance of the National Women’s Month Celebrations in the past years?
The celebration of National Women’s Month was a key platform for tracking the progress of the Magna Carta of Women. In addition, the commemoration also checks the progress of other laws and commitments like the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the Beijing Platform for Action.
What activities are in the pipeline for the National Women’s Month 2022?
There are several PCW-Organized events throughout the month that anyone can participate in. Some of them are the following:
Pulso para sa Kababaihan, Tungo sa Kaunlaran Online Poll
This online poll is scheduled to go live on March 8. Once up and running, interested women can answer the poll until March 25, 2022. But why does this poll matter? It is because the survey results will serve as the basis for future programs, activities, and projects for women.
#JuanaSays: Agenda ni Juana edition
For 8 years, #JuanaSays have been championing advocacies for women online. This 2022, the campaign will feature the many faces of Juana from the different walks of society.
Musika ng Kababaihan Fridays or #MNKFridays
Scheduled every Friday of March, this event will feature songs from MusikJuana Songwriting Contest 2021 highlighting women empowerment and gender equality.
How to join the 2022 National Women’s Month Celebration?
The PWC has prepared many online campaigns that you can join and support even from home. As a matter of fact, no matter your gender or identity, you can still support the movement by joining the following activities:
- Sharing about NWMC in Flag Raising Ceremonies
- Using the NWMC Banner of support
- Joining the #PurpleTuesdays and #PurpleYourIcon trends
- Spreading the online advocacy by posting about it
- Streaming the songs from MusikJuana Songwriting Contest 2021
Why do we need to continue celebrating National Women’s Month?
More rights for girls and women does not mean fewer rights for everybody else. In fact, the celebration of National Women’s Month aims for equality for all genders and identities. In other words, it dreams of an even playing field for everybody.
We can learn so much from women of the past and present and draw strength from their courage. Like these women, Camella believes in female courage and its ability to shape households. Camella believes that women make strong foundations for communities.
Read more inspiring stories of trailblazing Filipina women in the last Olympics:
Hidilyn Diaz, Margielyn Didal, And Nesthy Petecio: The Filipinas Who Took The Spotlight In The 2020 Olympics