LAOAG CITY — The Women’s Month celebration in Ilocos Norte is aimed not only at empowering women but all genders to advocate women’s rights and gender equality.

Gender and Development (GAD) Chief Janet London said all genders should participate in the advocacy for women’s rights especially in this millennial time.

“Gone are those days where women are considered as second class citizens. We are now in the time where women are equal with the men in all the development-making aspects,” London said.

Through the GAD, the provincial government of Ilocos Norte will highlight the importance of considering women’s issues in the development of government policies with this year’s International Women’s Month activities.

Ilocos Norte dubbed the celebration as “Pagsayaatan ni Juana, Karaman ti Panagdur-as” which is an Ilocano translation of the national’s “Kapakanan ni Juana, Isama sa Agenda” (Include Women in the Agenda).

The Provincial Tourism Office (PTO) has also invited members of the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGBT) community to participate in the “Kinni-kinni Parade” which highlights the annual celebration of Women’s Month here.

“All other genders, as long as they want to support women’s rights are enjoined in the celebration,” said April Velasco of the PTO.

The annual highlight of the celebration, the Kinni-kinni Parade, is set for March 8 with all the women’s rights and gender equality advocates to walk in the street to drumbeat awareness on women’s current social standing.

Through the years, the parade has been participated in by various sectors which include the Sunflower Group of LGBT from Pasuquin town here to make the event more lively and fun.

“Kinni-kinni” is an Ilocano word for “walking gracefully or charmingly,” hence the parade involving women empowerment advocates walking the streets and bearing slogans relevant to their cause.

It was first launched in 2012 by Governor Imee Marcos to enjoin Ilocano women to promote greater awareness of their role in the overall progress of society.

Following the parade will be an awards ceremony for the choral singing competition as well as special titles including Most Attractive Delegation, Kinni-kinni Queen (Rampang Ganda), Buntis Queen, and Best Slogan.

The celebration is in line with Gov. Marcos’ statement in her 2015 State of the Province Address where she talked of province’s efforts to improve livelihoods of Ilocanos: “Women province-wide are leading the charge.” PNA/