LAOAG CITY—Several male employees of the provincial government of Ilocos Norte wore heels on Monday morning as they joined the first-ever “Taray Sapatos de Takong (Running in high heels)” to usher the women’s month celebration this March.
Organized by the province’s Gender and Development Office, around 20 male Capitol workers representing the different departments wore dresses and ran wearing high heels in front of PureGold along Rizal Rizal street all the way to the Provincial Capitol building.
“The wearing of high heels by our male colleagues is like putting their shoes in women. It is symbolic as we usher the women’s month celebration,” said Janet London, focal person of the Gender and Development Office in an interview Monday.
People, who witnessed the event were delighted to see the male participants, who gamely showed their support for women activities in the province.
The fun fare was also graced by Vice Governor Cecile Araneta-Marcos who thanked everyone for observing women’s month with a bit of good vibes. The top three runners and best dressed participants were recognized with a prize.
Every month of March, the National Women’s Month is being observed as part of the worldwide observance of International Women’s Day.
In Ilocos Norte, various women’s groups in collaboration with the Ilocos Norte government have prepared month-long activities geared towards women empowerment and the promotion of gender equality.
Aside from the Taray Sapatos de Takong event, Capitol workers also distributed “kikay” kits as well as hygiene kits to all pediatric and gynecology patients at the Governor Roque B. Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital in this city.
With a local theme ‘mardi grass’, more male participants are observed participating in the women-led activities of the province.
So, to make the “Kinni-kinni” (swaying hips) parade, a major highlight of the women’s month celebration set on March 18, this year, London said males are invited to become their muses who will wear high heels too during the event.
Then on March 25, a gender and development summit will be attended by a thousand women’s groups from the 21 towns and 2 cities of Ilocos Norte at the Ilocos Norte centennial arena.
Over the years, the Ilocos Norte government since the administration of then governor and now Senator Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos has strengthened programs and services for women such as the provision of livelihood assistance, skills training and promotion of women’s health and welfare.
Among the major innovations for women empowerment being continued under the term of her son, Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc, include the establishment of Pink Hotlines to address reports on violence against women and children in coordination with the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, Gender and Development (GAD) Office, and Women’s Desk Office.
The same government offices sheltered under one roof at the Provincial Capitol also conduct seminars on teenage pregnancy, sexual harassment, rape, and other Gender and Development issues among barangay communities. Leilanie Adriano /PNA – northboundasia.com