South Cotabato’s Indigenous Peoples Structure Women Representatives crafted their three-year plan that focuses on IP participation.
During the successfully conducted two-day strategic planning workshop facilitated by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) last March 13 to 14, IPS women rep said a large number of IP women remain passive, silent and inferior despite efforts of the government and IP women leaders to empower them and assert their rights.
Poverty still lingers in some of the most far flung IP communities in the province due to poor family planning, limited access to education and poor sanitation in IP communities.
To address these concerns, IPS women representatives planned of encouraging other IP women to participate in the issues that continue to plague them through information education campaigns on the IP Declaration on Child Protection Policy and women’s rights.
Added to this, the three-year plan will also focus on issues on education, health and sanitation, livelihood, environmental cleanliness and promotion and preservation of culture and traditions that are beneficial and harmless to the community particularly to women and children.
Livelihood programs may be of the following – beads making, food processing, weaving and dress making – while environment cleanliness activities will include the orientation and implementation of waste segregation, propagation of indigenous herbal plants and vegetables, gardening and fencing.
An activity that will talk about personal grooming among women will also be implemented in three years time to encourage IP women to take care of themselves.
Close coordination with Local Government Units (LGUs) for available grants and scholarships will also be conducted while doing activities that teaches their tribesmen basic reading and writing as part of their advocacy to promote literacy among IPs.
PSWDO said they may prioritize those women who are already engaged in business but lack support to sustain their business. After, those who will just be starting their own businesses will be assisted.
It was known that the conducted strategic planning workshop was the first planning activity conducted by the IPS women representatives and the Provincial Government of South Cotabato.