The regional office of the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) has expressed support in the whole-nation approach against discrimination and violence against women and girls.

In the National Women’s Month Celebration, this March, POPCOM-Caraga Director Alexander A. Makinano said that programs for the sexual and reproductive health of women are a great help to have an empowered family and community.

Director Makinano highlighted the contributions and participation of women and girls in battling the COVID-19 pandemic as well as gender issues exacerbated by the pandemic.

POPCOM, together with its program partners, continuously implement these gender-responsive population strategies to address various gender issues amidst COVID-19 crisis: Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning (RPFP) Program helps at improving the reproductive health conditions of women, men, and young adults; Adolescent Health and Development (AHD) Program provides comprehensive education, information and life skills to young people to prevent early pregnancy and help them attain their lifelong aspirations and total wellbeing.

RD Makinano underscored: “COVID-19 pandemic is causing great impact in the economy and society. A government agency like POPCOM is also challenged with the pandemic, however, along with this unparalleled time challenges, came great opportunities for changes and improvements and even innovations and creative solutions in providing every individual with quality information and services on reproductive health.

Even before the pandemic, gender issues are already pervasive in the society according to POPCOM and these become prevalent during the health crisis.

The Commission further said that one of the prevailing gender issues during pandemic is the gender-based violence and this is more common to women and children compared to men. 

POPCOM noted that the current health crisis posed both challenges and opportunities for women and girls.