QC, SEAOIL Foundation, SPARK! launch development guide to good GAD governance

This is a press release from SPARK! Philippines.

The local government of Quezon City, through the Office of City Mayor Joy Belmonte, SEAOIL Foundation, and SPARK! Philippines came together to launch "LIPAD Pinay Replication Manual: A Development Guide to Good GAD (Gender and Development) Governance" on Friday, October 4, at the Quezon City Hall.

Local Inclusiveneess Project for the Advancement and Development of Filipino Women (LIPAD Pinay) is a two-year program first launched on June 2017 in 8 barangays of Quezon City: Barangay Culiat, Barangay Central, Barangay Greater Lagro, Barangay Quirino, Barangay UP Campus, Barangay Sta Lucia, and Barangay Sto Cristo.

The pilot barangays went through a process of improving their GAD governance system to uplift the lives of 20 women micro-entrepreneurs per barangay. (READ: LIPAD Pinay: Women uplifting women through micro-entrepreneurship)

Barangay leaders underwent two modules of bridging leadership training to move from a personal understanding and ownership of GAD issues in their communities to collective action. The program encouraged these leaders to integrate women-led initiatives in their GAD plan and budget, which paved way to livelihood projects and increased participation of women in the community.

Women beneficiaries were initially given seed grants per barangay and went through a series of capacity building trainings and mentorship sessions as they establish and develop their businesses. The program has currently engaged 50 barangay leaders and provided additional income for over 160 women micro-entrepreneurs.

Maica Teves, SPARK! executive director, shared that the replication manual is intended to assist public officials and barangays to implement LIPAD Pinay and its model in their respective communities. The content of the manual is based on existing GAD models, observations, interviews, and experiences of program managers and program officers in the community.

Jess Lorenzo, executive director of SEAOIL Foundation, pointed out that by mainstreaming GAD, people will see how the dynamics of gender fundamentally affects development and poverty.

"We hope that more leaders in LGUs will see that empowering women has a significant contribution in uplifting the lives of communities," Lorenzo added.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is one of SPARK's strongest partners in developing women empowerment initiatives. She is known for her commitment to uplifting the lives of women in her community and promoting growth of women entrepreneurs.

"The program is truly laudable since it was able to help not just their community leders to appreciate the value of prioritizing women's concerns but also our women entrepreneurs to have an opportunity for their projects to be displayed in a commercial marketplace and be presented to a wider range of shoppers and consumers," Belmonte said.

Since its inception in 2012, SPARK! has launched projects that focus on the protection of women's rights and promotion of gender equality. It acts as a partner alongside other organizations to tackle problems and address women's needs efficiently while engaging men to advocate women's issues. – Rappler.com