UP Visayas has been very active in GAD campaigns for many years now through its Gender and Development Program. GDP is headed by a Director. She/he is assisted by one permanent staff (an Extension Specialist) and one casual staff (a clerk). It has its own building, the GDP Building, which was funded by the famous feisty Lady Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago from Iloilo, my home province.
GDP started as a loose group of women from the UP Visayas Iloilo, Cebu and Tacloban campuses who meet every month to discuss issues concerning women. After a year, the UPV Women's Desk created to gather women and men interested in women's studies and welfare.
On April 17, 1997, the UP Board of Regents approved the elevation of the Women's Desk to the Gender and and Development Program, with the mission to:
- coordinate gender related activities in UPV;
- mainstream and institute gender studies in the curriculum; and 3 initiate programs that serve gender interests in Western Visayas (covering 6 provinces)
Other government agencies and private organizations also have their respective mandates and programs along GAD. Hence, in the 1990s the Ugsad Regional Gender Resource Center was organized. Ugsad is the Ilonggo term for "moonlight" thus the symbol of the moon in its logo.
These mandates prompted the member agencies to make UP Visayas as the base agency and Secretariat of Ugsad. To assist the GDP staff facilitate the programs and activities of Ugsad, UPV appointed male and female GAD core members (one per college) and advocates from the ranks of the faculty members and staff. I have been an advocate since 2004.
Students are also tapped as participants for both regular and special activities. The regular activities are held during the International Women's Month (March) and 18-day EVAW Campaign (November 26-Dec 12). In-betweens are special activities.
I have informed you about the EVAW Walk in my last posting. This time, I'll be sharing with you the other EVAW activities for 2013 in the attached document.
I hope this sharing will give you an idea what UP Visayas is doing for the sake of the abused persons in Philippine Society.