Gender and Development (GAD) is fundamentally grounded on the principle that “every member of the society regardless of sex, age, religion, culture, ethnicity, and socioeconomic class has the right to equal opportunities”. According to the Republic Act 9710 otherwise known as the Magna Carta of Women, “GAD is participatory, equitable, sustainable, free from violence, respectful of human rights, and supportive of self-determination and actualization of human potentials”.
Gender and Development as an approach is not solely focused on women; it also recognizes the role of men in the community. Hence, Gender and Development does not call for a war between sexes nor a role reversal. It is simply recognition of the potentials of both men and women as essential partners in development.
Localizing the Magna Carta of Women
GAD is pursued by national government agencies (NGAs) and local government units (LGUs) to:
- Stress the importance of gender equality when making development choices;
- Transform society’s social, economic, and political views on gender roles
- Promote women in particular as active agents of development and not just passive recipients of development initiatives; and
- Mobilize women to organize themselves so they can participate in political processes and strengthen their rights as a development sector
Gender issues are deterrent to development so they must be addressed properly. Crucial to the attainment of gender equality and women empowerment is the implementation of the Magna Carta of Women. Pursuant to said Magna Carta, The PCW-DILG-DBM-NEDA Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2013-01: Guidelines on the Localization of the Magna Carta of Women stresses that “the role of national government agencies and local government units in the development and implementation of Gender and Development (GAD) related laws, policies and programs is important in promoting gender-responsive and good governance. As frontliners in service delivery, LGU’s commitment is crucial in ensuring that the women and men in the communities benefit from these policies and programs.”
Thus, the City Government of Bislig is in pursuit of gender-responsive local governance. In line with this, we develop mechanisms to enhance capacities of the Gender and Development Focal Point System (GFPS) for integration of gender perspective in local planning, programming and budgeting, local legislation, project development and implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Gender mainstreaming efforts of the LGU are facilitated through the GAD planning and budgeting process. Hence, Annual LGU GAD Plan and Budget is formulated in response to the gender gaps and issues faced by the constituents and employees of the LGU.