In celebration of International Women’s Month, the De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute (DLSMHSI) in partnership with the Gender and Development Resource Center (GADRC) of Cavite State University (CvSU) conducted a seminar on March 05, 2024 focusing on the theme “International Women’s Month 2024: Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress. Inspire Inclusion.”

Ms. Ceraisa C. Lama, CMHA, CMHFR, set the stage as she welcomed everyone by sharing the contributions of every woman in the world.

The first resource speaker of the program, Ms. Arlene L. Estrada, GAD Alternate of CvSU Trece Martires City Campus, started with Gender Sensitivity Orientation where she emphasized the need to know and raise awareness about gender equality in the academe and the community. The speaker’s discussion on GAD highlighted the importance of inclusive development, emphasizing that it should benefit everyone, including women, men, minorities, and people with physical disabilities. Ms. Estrada explained that the principle behind GAD is to ensure equal status and opportunities for all individuals, regardless of their background or abilities.

Moreover, the speaker underscored the critical role of empowering women in fostering the health and social development of families, communities, and nations. She said that when women achieve their full potential, they can contribute significantly to societal progress. However, the speaker also pointed out that empowerment must be internalized before it can be extended to others. The phrase “you can’t share what you don’t have” implies that individuals need to be empowered themselves, primarily through education, before they can effectively empower others. This underscores the transformative power of education in achieving personal and collective empowerment.

For the second session, Dr. Susan G. Tan, Director of CvSU GADRC, tackled Republic Act No. 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004, citing its importance and purpose, and how it helps women and children who are abused by their partners. She also explained the types of violence such as physical, sexual, emotional or psychological abuse, and financial or economic abuse. She then encouraged everyone to speak up for themselves and for other women who experience violence. Empowering individuals to use their voices can help break the cycle of silence and contribute to meaningful change, Dr. Tan added.

Ms. Naomi M. De Aro, RN, MAN, EdD, DLSMHSI Vice Chancellor for Academics, delivered a special message where she extended her heartfelt gratitude to the organizing team of the event for their dedication and efforts. She also gave a word of appreciation to the resource persons from CvSU for sharing their expertise and insights about the topics.

As the program ended, Dr. Billy Jay N. Pedron, DLSMHSI Dean of Student Affairs, acknowledged the significant contributions of women in the field of medicine and allied health sciences, emphasizing their pivotal role in advancing medical knowledge. Dr. Pedron also highlighted the importance of fostering an environment that promotes gender equality, recognizing how it benefits everyone in the field.

Participants in the 2024 DLSMHSI Women’s Month Celebration