“Women’s Self-Reliant Leadership and Collective Empowerment in Times of Crises”: A National Women’s Summit
20-21 October 2009
Miriam College, Quezon City, Philippines
Dear Ms. Mirali Durr:
I am pleased to inform you that I am convening a National Women’s Summit on 20 to 21 October 2009 at Miriam College in Quezon City. The two-day gathering of about 250 women from all over the Philippines seeks to collectively assess gains, best practices and innovations, continuing and emerging challenges in implementing the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) of 1995. Indeed, it has been 15 years since the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing forged the BPFA and to which countries all over the world, including the Philippines, committed themselves to implement efforts to achieve gender equality and gender justice.
Having worked in the United Nations, I am aware that international level consensus does not amount to much unless translated into concrete national action plans and programs which make a difference in the lives of men and women. Surely, while the Philippine policy environment in addressing gender equality has improved, much still needs to be done in terms of enforcement and implementation, transparency and sustainability, provision of budgetary resources, engaging women’s groups with civil society and bringing down these policies to the grassroots level. The 2008 Country Gender Assessment in the Philippines underscores the fact that national level improvements in the well-being of women reveal huge gaps at the local level.
What are our best practices and innovations in implementing the BPFA? How much of this can we attribute to NGOs and civil society groups? What are new approaches and ground-breaking solutions that we can bring to realize the Platform’s vision and spirit? What insights can we bring to the summit that can best re-energize and inspire the women’s movement in the Philippines on the basis of individual self-reliance and collective actions?
Friends from the NGO and civil society groups, grass-roots women, government and the private sector, you are invited to participate in this very important meeting. The consensus program of action that will result from this summit will serve as an input to the Asia-Pacific NGO Forum on the Beijing Plus 15 (October 22-24), the result of which will in turn will be submitted to the UN Commission on the Status of Women in its preparations for the United Nations 15th year review of the Beijing Platform for Action. All are welcome: activists, movers and academics, professionals and politicians, community workers and policy advocates, young and elderly, grassroots women, human rights defenders, the LGBT community, men---everyone.
The theme of the Summit is “Women’s Self-Reliant Leadership and Collective Empowerment in Times of Crisis” stresses the importance of women’s contributions in meeting the strategic objectives of the Beijing Platform for Action in all 12 of its critical areas of concern and in realizing gender equality.
The venue of the summit is Miriam College, an educational institution committed to gender equality and the empowerment of women and of which I am the Dean of its College of International Humanitarian and Development Studies. I look forward to meeting you all to our beautiful campus.
For more information on the summit, please call (02) 4359229 or 5805400 local 3590. If interested, kindly fill up the attached the registration form and email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to (02) 4359229.
LETICIA RAMOS SHAHANI, Ph.D.
National Women’s Summit