Abilan, Buenavista – Mainstreaming gender equality as part of its continuing advocacy to address issues in population management, Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) Caraga heightens its implementation of various Gender Responsive Population Strategies (GRPops) at the local level, in close coordination with program partners and stakeholders.

POPCOM emphasized that the interrelationship between gender and population matters has been and continuously been taken into account in the implementation of the Philippine Population Management Program activities through its three major program components such as Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning (RPFP), Adolescent Health and Development (AHD), and Population and Development (POPDEV) Integration.

POPCOM hopes that everyone in the community shall actively support the various programs of the government. The Commission also believes that through concerted efforts of the various sectors in the society and when there is equality, Filipinos can build stronger, healthier families, strengthen communities, and create a safe environment for their children.

To further intensify its advocacy, POPCOM Caraga facilitated Gender Sensitivity Training among personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)-Butuan City Jail and the local government employees of San Agustin Municipality, Surigao del Sur. Said activity oriented the participants on Gender Concepts including gender issues that exist in the organization and households.

Director Alexander A. Makinano of POPCOM Caraga reiterated that population issues cut across gender issues such that human sexuality, gender roles and expectations, and gender socialization ultimately affect values, attitudes, and emotions manifested by the individual.

To recall, in the preliminary results of the 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Caraga has the highest percentage (15%) of ever-married women age 15-49 who ever experienced sexual violence committed by their husband/partner among other regions.

On the 2013 NDHS, Caraga Region was previously placed at number 3 with 7.6 percent.

Violence against women and children (VAWC) is one common type of gender-based violence that exists in the society and it is one of the barriers to women empowerment and development.