ON THE occasion of the 100 years of March 8 as International Working Women’s Day, CWEARC (Cordillera Women’s Action Research Center) a support institution for indigenous women’s organizations in the Cordillera region hails the indigenous women and toiling women in the region and all over the world in living up the history of March 8 as a day of action for toiling women to improve on their status in society and advance the rights of women in all fields.

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On the festive week of Panagbenga (Baguio Flower Festival), CWEARC supported indigenous women’s organizations’s advocacy on food, traditional knowledge and rights through a booth acquired from the secretariat of the Session Road in Bloom. From March 1 to 7, CWEARC and Innabuyog’s booth at the Session Road in Bloom displayed and sold women’s products composed of handicrafts and food items.

The added value is putting on display images and actions of indigenous women’s organizations on their defense of food resources and traditional knowledge. As a build-up for the 100th years of March 8, the history was also printed and shared to the public including publications of CWEARC on indigenous women in the Cordillera. This makes the booth unique from all other booths which were purely market.

“Through this festive event that we are also able to share to the public the Women’s Agenda on Good Governance to get public input. The Women’s Agenda will be further substantiated in a Cordillera Women’s Summit that we will hold on March 8,” presented by Vernie Yocogan-Diano, executive director of CWEARC.

The Women’s Summit will be held at the Multi-Purpose Hall of the Baguio City Hall at 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. which is expected to gather over a hundred women delegates from different provinces of the Cordillera and from Baguio City.

The women’s agenda embodies the aspiration of Cordillera women and our vision of good governance. These are food security and environment sustainability, regular jobs and economic opportunity for women, sufficient social services for women, protection of women from all forms of violence including the respect of rights of the lesbian, gays, bi-sexual and trans-gendered and justice for victims of human rights violations especially women victims.

“The Women’s Agenda will serve as our frame of criteria in choosing candidates and political parties who will be wooing the votes of women in the upcoming May 10 elections”, pointed out by Diano.

A solidarity march will follow after the Summit to bring the Women’s Agenda on Good Governance to the wider public and celebrate the 100 years of struggles for women’s empowerment.