DSWD, UNFPA sign 5-year deal to ensure gender equality

DSWD, UNFPA sign 5-year deal to ensure gender equality
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THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Philippines signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, to strengthen their collaboration in empowering young girls and adult women, especially those from the most vulnerable populations.

The MOU outlines a framework for cooperation in five areas: (1) generating data to inform programming, (2) strengthening the DSWD's role in emergencies, (3) supporting the implementation of programmes related to gender-based violence (GBV), (4) enhancing service-delivery systems and referral pathways for GBV survivors, (and 5) addressing discriminatory gender norms or practices through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

“We're proud to partner with DSWD, a government agency at the forefront of social protection and women and girls empowerment. Together, we can reach the most vulnerable and provide critical support and services in the fight against gender-based violence and harmful gender norms,” said Dr. Leila Joudane, UNFPA Philippines Country representative.

DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian also expressed his full support to the agency’s partnership with the UNFPA Philippines.

"Through this partnership with the UNFPA, we are certain that we will have a stronger system to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in the Philippines. We are thankful to the UNFPA for helping us to promote and uphold the rights of women and children," Gatchalian said.

UNFPA said it will work together with the government in strengthening and convening agencies and civil society organizations to jointly and comprehensively work on the prevention and response to GBV through the humanitarian-development continuum.

This involves supporting DSWD as its co-lead of the GBV sub-cluster, a coordination mechanism composed of government agencies and civil society organizations engaged in addressing GBV in emergency situations, according to the UNFPA.

“Ensuring inclusive access to essential and comprehensive SRHRH and GBV services is central to the UN mission of leaving no one behind. Together with DSWD, we can achieve this by bridging gaps and establishing a reliable referral pathway,” Joudane said.

Meanwhile, UNFPA sees the DSWD's wide reach and positive impact on behavior through its flagship programs as a great opportunity to promote gender equality and address harmful norms in households and communities.

The signed MOU is seen as a significant development in the country’s efforts to achieve its commitments for the International Conference on Population and Development Plan of Action and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 5 on gender equality and SDG 10 on reduced inequalities. (PR)


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