“As a DOST Scholar to be of service for the nation, I present myself as an advocate of Gender and Development through spreading awareness in the great circles I belong. I believe that as harbinger for the nation, spreading awareness regarding this matter will open the doors for fair access in opportunities.”

This was the reaction of Emerson Paul Maramag one of the DOST 02 Scholars during the 2-webinar session on Gender Sensitivity by Dr. Teresita A. Tabaog- ARD TOS, GAD Focal Person, Department of Science and Technology Region 02 (DOST 02) member of the DOST-Wide GAD Speaker’s Bureau last July 22, 28, 2021 via Zoom platform.

A total of 259 scholars were lectured on: (1) Sex and gender differentiation; (2) Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Expression and Sexual Characteristics (SOGIESC); (3) Female and male sex and gender roles, division of labor, gender role socialization; (4) Manifestation of Gender Biases; and (5) IN FOCUS: Women’s Economic Empowerment to describe basic gender-related concepts and identify how social institutions contribute to the perpetuation of gender issues/biases and complete awareness and appreciation of people with diverse sexual orientation.

Engr. Sancho A. Mabborang, DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations also attended the webinar and highlighted the role of gender sensitivity for their future competencies. He also instilled to them that gender sensitivity is a part of their well-being as patriot scholars in nation building.

As he cited Kofi Annan, “Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance”.

“Let us all chase for gender equality and equity in all forms” ARD-Finance Administrative Support Services Ms. Mary Ann P. Maglasin emphasized to elevate morale of scholars on bringing the learning they fetched into their families, school, community, media, and to their future workplaces to reduce the stigma of gender biases and sterotypes they observe.

DOST Scholar’s willingness to learn and their promising commitment towards acheiving gender equality and women empowerment is laudable as existing biases were not new to scholars.

The following were  quotes from the DOST Scholars.

Izza A. Paragas: “If I were to become a parent, I would teach my child/children to be more responsible of their surroundings. I would teach them to be not dependent on us or their siblings, but to be more like equally interdependent with one another in the family. As of now, I think what I can do is to make my parents and siblings realize that we do not have to continue the generation of gender inequality, and that we can still change the system the way we want it to be.” (A resounding quote from a DOST Scholar to de-escalate gender bias for women who are expected to do the household chores in the family.)

Maryjane Afunay: “The current news of the gold medal in weightlifting women category and the bronze medal of a woman boxer gives a lot of emphasis of what women are capable of in sports usually categorized as for men. This should set as a stepping stone to give women not only opportunity to participate but also to have the same support specially in financial needs as that of men.” (a DOST Scholar highlighting capabilities of women in sports)

Terimar M. Rifa, Jr.: “There has to have education among employers and all the people within the company, for them to appreciate that all kinds of work can be accomplished regardless of gender. I can simply show them good examples of individuals who defied these norms and proved that such mantra is to be removed. In this way, they would be inspired to foster inclusiveness on all types of works.” (a DOST Scholar calling for inclusivity in workplaces)

The two webinar sessions were very interesting and all scholars actively participated due to the virtual interactive tools and techniques incorporated by Dr. Tabaog in her informative lectures.

These webinars are just some that DOST 02 is conducting to provide support not just financially but for their mental and social development. However, this type of engagements was part of DOST 02’s effort and innitiatives in gender mainstreaming.