Ilocano women take center stage on Women’s Month

LAOAG CITY — Hundreds of women wearing pink shirt while holding banners and streamers occupied the main thoroughfares, this city on Monday to kick off the month-long celebration of Women’s Month.

Led by the city government, organizers said the women’s parade is a show of force among organizations here engaged in women empowerment and as active partner of the government for change.

Both the Ilocos Norte and city governments had prepared separate activities for the celebration.

An all-women’s booth participated in by the different towns and municipalities of Ilocos Norte are also exhibited at the back of the Capitol parking lot to showcase their products and services.

Under the Provincial Gender and Development (GAD) Office, Ilocos Norte’s 2017 celebration of National Women’s Month started today with a women’s trade fair and self-defense training for female students.

Students in Grades 10 and 11 from the First-District towns of Bacarra, Piddig, and Vintar will also participate in self-defense trainings held in the Vintar Auditorium at 1:00 pm on March 6-7.

Likewise, the towns of Currimao, Pinili, and Badoc will simultaneously undergo such training in the Badoc Auditorium.

Twenty policewomen from the Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office (INPPO) will be acting as trainers for the student participants, estimated at 100 per district.

Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa Marcos said over the years, “tumatapang na lalo ang Juanang Ilocano (Ilocano women become bolder)” as it was a banner year for reporting of domestic violence and sexual harassment.

She reminded, however, that despite this being a testament to increased awareness of women’s rights, “we still need to move forward into the millennium so that these practices, customs, and wrongfully-accepted behaviors are finally put to an end.”

Nelinda A. Erice, head of GAD, shared her observation through decades of work that more and more Ilocano women have joined the workforce.

“These show that women are not being left in the home nowadays. We are going out because the province has recognized our important role as partners in any developmental aspect of society,” she said.