To celebrate World Social Work Day, and the International Women’s Day of March, the UP Open University’s (UPOU) Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS) and the Office of Gender Concerns (OGC) spearheaded the conduct of the Let’s Talk It Over (LTIO) on “Kababaihan. Kalikasan. Komunidad.” The activity was held on 21 March 2017 at the UPOU Audio-visual Room in Los Baños, Laguna.
Prof. Primo Garcia, Dean of FMDS, welcomed the participants who attended including those who joined virtually, as the forum was livestreamed over networks.upou.edu.ph. He mentioned that “UP Open University mainstreams gender and development by celebrating both events this month of March as well as conducting programs and activities for the rest of the year through its Gender and Development plan.” He also explained that the LTIO on Kababaihan, Kalikasan, Komunidad will “delve into the role of social work in community and environmental sustainability and into the role of women in climate change.”
Two speakers were invited to talk. The first speaker was Director Marita C. Pimentel, Director for Field Operations of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and a member of the National Gender and Development Resource Pool of the Philippine Commission on Women. Director Pimentel gave a short, sweet and straightforward presentation about the DSWD Programs that caters to the women sector. She also mentioned that DSWD operates on the mantra “Gikan sa masa, Para sa Masa” and its core values as maagap at mapagkalinga, walang puwang sa korupsyon, and patas na pagtrato sa komunidad.
The second speaker was Dr. Thelma R. Paris, Independent Consultant and former Gender specialist for Climate Change who spoke about “Women, Agriculture and Climate Change.” She discussed the gender dimensions, changing roles, the impact and the coping mechanism involved in men, women, agriculture and climate change. She also gave some suggestions for research on climate change, agriculture, food security and gender and detailed some of the climate smart agriculture and farming practices. She concluded her presentation stating that “the goal of reducing poverty and hunger, improving human health and nutrition, climate resilience can be achieved if agricultural research institution in partnership with extension and NGOs will provide women and men equal access to opportunities and empower women to maximize their skills, talents and inputs for their benefits, their families, the society and the future generation.”
Both talks were thought-provoking, inciting a number questions and comments from the audience. Every question was aptly answered by the resource speakers. The program ended with Dean Garcia handing out the certificates of appreciation and Asst. Prof. Finaflor Taylan, Program Chair of the Diploma and Master of Social Work and Diploma in Women and Development programs, and Director of the UPOU OGC, officially closing the event and thanking everyone who participated and shared their views and expertise.
The World Social Work Day is jointly organized by the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), the School of Social Work Geneva (HETS-Geneve) and the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) where UPOU is an institutional member through its Diploma/Master of Social Work program. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)