/ 23 March 2022

THE DEPARTMENT of Education said that education is a key element in breaking gender barriers as it provides equal opportunities for women.

“Education will teach us to remember what women have always been, an equal member of our society. Education will always teach us that gender barriers, gender gaps, and gender biases should not have a place in our society,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said during the agency’s International Women’s Day 2022 celebration.

Bureau of Human Resources and Organizational Development Director Anne Rachel Miguel echoed Briones as she discussed the role of women during the pandemic and in a post-pandemic world.

“Women have been serving in the frontlines during the onslaught of Covid19, and what happens next would not be more different than that. Education is key in ensuring that women will thrive in a post-pandemic world,” Miguel said.

DepEd’s celebration was spearheaded by the International Cooperation Office in collaboration with the United Nations Association of the Philippines and the Philippine Commission on Women. The program featured women at the forefront of advancing women’s rights worldwide.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Chief Executive for the Ministry for Women Renee Graham, meanwhile, tackled providing adequate and equal opportunities to girls and women.

“Gender education starting from schools can help society break free from gender biases, close gender pay gaps, avoid workplace segregation, promote inclusion, and provide economic empowerment to women,” Graham said.

Meanwhile, Sarah Knibbs, OIC of the UN Women Regional Office for Asia-Pacific, said that empowering women through education can also help solve the climate crisis. She noted that adopting a more comprehensive curriculum that includes gender equality, climate impacts and resilience can shift the entire perspective on numerous pressing issues.

UNESCO Assistant Director-General Stefania Giannini urged governments to build bridges with the education sector, especially learners, to advance their rights and empowerment in the classroom and beyond.

“We have been working hand-in-hand with governments, civil societies, the international community, to galvanize action in support of the creation of a resilient gender-responsive education system that leaves no girl or no boy behind,” Giannini said.