With the continuous commitment and efforts of the university to mainstream and localize gender and development, the De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute (DLSMHSI) in collaboration with Cavite State University’s (CvSU) Gender and Development Resource Center (GADRC) conducted a training for Trainers on Gender and Development on June 5-7, 2024, at Elijah Hotel, Brgy. Salawag, Dasmariñas, Cavite.

This activity provided proper training that aims to instill basic responsibility to the GAD trainers; support them to identify and become acquainted with essential GAD concepts – disseminating knowledge across and making oneself an effective oral communicator; advise participants on how to accurately plan and present a gender sensitive report; and demonstrate competencies in providing training to internal and external clients.

DLSMHSI Vice Chancellor for Academics, Ms. Naomi M. De Aro, RN, MAN, EdD, started the activity highlighting the relevance of this training in a Catholic co-educational institution. She then emphasized the importance of the establishment of GAD Focal Point System and the collective efforts of different units to mainstream gender and development in their institution.

Ms. Geraisa C. Lama, CMA, CMHFR, then proceeded with the discussion of the rationale and objectives of the activity.

Dr. Susan G. Tan, Director of CvSU GADRC, discussed the topic “Why be a GAD Advocate?” where she tackled what characteristics should an advocate possessed. She highlighted that advocacy is not just about influencing public policy, but also about influencing public opinion. Moreover, she added the importance of promoting GAD in which she emphasized that it starts with respect, valuing women and men as equal to a safer and healthier relationship. Furthermore, she stressed that the role of a GAD advocate is to offer independent support to those who felt left behind and unheard.

Lastly, she then discussed Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) highlighting its importance for building a fair and just society. Underscoring the factors that affect the emerging hindrances of inclusion in the society. She insisted that advocating GEDSI is essential for creating a world where everyone can thrive, and ensures that no one is being left out regardless of sex, religion, ethnicity, or diversity.

In the afternoon, Prof. King David J. Agreda, President of CvSU MOVE KATROPA, Calabarzon GAD Resource Pool Member, delved into the salient features of Republic Act No. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women and its process of localization, stressing the important role of education to combat daily injustices in our society.

He then pondered on the CHED Memo Order No. 1 series of 2015 which mandates the integration of GAD perspectives into the curricula, research and extension programs of higher education institutions (HEIs) in the Philippines. Weaving gender equality into the fabric of higher education, CHED Memo Order No. 1 series of 2015 paves the way for a more inclusive and progressive academic landscape.

On the second day of the activity, DLSMHSI President Mr. Antonio B. Ramos, MD, FPCS, FPATACSI, MBA reminded participants that no amount of money can surpass a heart that wins GAD advocacies.

Thereafter, Ms. Raecel A. Estebat, Head of Training and Courseware Development Division – CvSU Extension Services, gave a basic orientation on GAD and gender fair language. She elaborated that gender sensitivity helps recognize the needs, roles, and contributions of all genders. She encouraged the participants to use gender fair language to promote equality and reduce certain biases in communication, avoiding assumptions based on gender and incorporate inclusive language. Also, she pointed out the norms in language that are sexist in nature.

Mr. Agreda was tasked to elaborate the topics on gender mainstreaming and effective oral communication. He discussed the importance of establishing GAD Focal Point System to fully capacitate their departments and units in mainstreaming GAD and enabling their plans into formulation of policies, and the skills they must acquire to conventionalized gender and development through different forms of information dissemination in various platforms.

The last day of the training focused on the return demo of the participants, discussing topics specifically Gender Sensitivity Orientation, Magna Carta of Women, and Gender Fair Language. Amongst the pool of participants, Ms. Melody M. Vilado and Mr. Roberto Lopez Cruz III were hailed as the Best Presenters, while Mr. Billy Jay Pedron and Ms. Driayah Nicole A. Dario ranked as Top trainers after taking the post-test.

To formally conclude the event, Mr. Billy Jay Pedron, Dean of the Student Affairs – Minority and Multicultural Unit, expressed his gratitude towards the whole team of CvSU GADRC as he emphasized to continuously raised the call for GAD advocacy, and the importance of building a strong relationship to also inspire other people to support the said cause.