November 1st, 2008
By: Rodrigo S. Victoria
Naval, Biliran (1 November) – “Men should know and understand issues of vital concern which greatly affect his whole being so he can discover things which he does not know yet but in the end may be used as a tool in building a wholesome family and a guide in establishing good human relations in the community”.
This was the message conveyed by Ms. Cielito O. Esquibel, Population Program Officer IV of the Tacloban City Population Office who at the same time is the focal person of Gender and Development program of the city in an interview during the last day of the three-day seminar workshop on Men’s Responsibility on Gender and Development (MR GAD) held in Marvin James Resort located at Brgy. Atipolo, Naval, Biliran on October 22-24, 2008.
Esquibel informed that she plans to conduct a similar MR GAD activity in the province of Biliran to inculcate awareness among the male members of the community their understanding on vital issues on gender and development, reproductive health and family management.
“This is important since men constitute the other half of the population, hold almost all key offices in the government organization, private, judiciary and the church, problems are largely due to risky lifestyle and are major doers of violence and source of sexually transmitted infections”, she said.
She revealed that one of the specific goals of MR GAD is to improve the knowledge, attitudes and practices of men to reduce domestic violence, reproductive health and family planning.
MR GAD also provides relevant interventions (integration of men’s participation and responsibility) at the level of NGOs, health sector, academe, church, institution and the community to reduce violence, sexual and reproductive health and family planning problems, Esquibel added.
Esquibel emphasized that MR GAD is one good avenue for personal development since men will organize multi-sectoral response (i.e. articulation of domestic violence, role modeling to communities and advocacy) to gender-based violence.
The focal person of the Tacloban City GAD program revealed that her office, in coordination with local government units, academic institutions, national government agencies and from the public and private sectors, has already conducted several activities relative to the MR GAD advocacy program here in Eastern Visayas.
Among the activities conducted were the orientation on men’s responsibility on gender and development, reproductive health and family planning to youths of SOS Children’s Village; orientation-seminar on MR GAD, reproductive health and family planning to male employees of the City Government of Tacloban, National Maritime Polytechnic based in Cabalawan, Tacloban City and professors and employees of UP Visayas, Tacloban Colege; series of lectures on the principles of gender and development to police officers, junior officers and non-commissioned officers in Tacloban City; gender sensitivity training to Barangay Service Point Officers (BSPOs) of Tacloban City and integrated men’s involvement in family planning during the 2005 seminar on traffic rules and regulations for tricycle drivers and operators in Tacloban City; MR GAD orientation to LGU officials, barangay chairmen and male employees of the municipality of Guian, Eastern Samar; orientation to Men Opposed to Violence to male employees of the municipality of Capoocan, Leyte and forum and symposia on Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC), reproductive health and sexual health rights to college students of UP Visayas, Tacloban College. (PIA-Biliran)
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