As part of the 2023 Women’s Month celebration, GIZ Philippines, partnered with the UP Center for Women and Gender Studies (UPCWGS) and the German Embassy Manila to mainstream different women’s and gender issues through an advocacy concert, Mga Awit, Tula, at Kwento ni Dakila. The event, which was held last March 24, at Gyud Food Hub, UP Diliman, showcased local Filipino artists such as Munimuni, Syd Hartha, Hey June!, and Talata. Up-and-coming spoken poetry artists were also featured in the concert.
Several feminist leaders and advocates from different organizations shared their messages of solidarity during the event. Hon. Anke Reiffenstuel, the German Ambassador to the Philippines in her welcoming message, highlighted the impact of various humanitarian crises to women and other marginalized groups and stressed that the struggles and challenges women are facing extend beyond women’s month. She also enumerated the projects that the German government is supporting through the German Embassy to advance the country’s sexual and reproductive health and rights that are aligned with their recently launched foreign feminist policy.
The event also served as a platform to continuously engage more people to talk about menstruation and its role in advancing women’s rights. With GIZ’s ongoing campaign to improve menstrual health and hygiene, menstrual bracelets were also given out during the event. The menstrual bracelet is the symbol for menstruation as part of the global movement to raise awareness about menstrual health and break the taboos surrounding the topic.
More than anything else, the event was a tribute to the country’s longstanding history of fighting for gender equality. Named after the mosaic sculpture in front of the UPCWGS building, Dakila, which the center uses as its symbol, the event was a celebration of strength and beauty of all women and allies. Dr. Marie Aubrey J. Villaceran, the UPCWGS interim director, reminded everyone that more than challenges and struggles, the fight for women’s rights is also filled with joy and pleasure and should be celebrated.