“Always remember that when we protect women’s rights, we take care of men’s rights.”

These were some of the umemorable statements Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) Administrator Emmanuel D. Pineda shared as he gave a short message during the special flag raising ceremony held in celebration of 2021 National Women’s Month and International Women’s Day at the Auditorium of the AFAB Administration Building, FAB, Mariveles, Bataan on 08 March 2020.

Administrator Pineda took the occasion as an opportunity to emphasize the significant role of citizens in creating a gender-responsive environment for all by citing three major points that focused on accepting and facing the truth to effect change in the society. According to the Administrator, “We are faced with the challenge of continuously improving our gender awareness and development. We are here because we want to make positive change happen.”

Meanwhile, the special ceremony also launched activities such as Serbisyo Para Kay Juana, Special Treat for FAB Women Workers, Film Showing, and Gender and Development Congress — all in line with the celebration’s theme, “Juana sa Panahon ng Pandemya: Kaya!” for the whole month of March. These activities aim to give due recognition to the contributions of Filipino women in society during the pandemic as well as reaffirming AFAB’s commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Said celebration is in line with the initiatives of the National Government as defined in Presidential Proclamation No. 227 Series of 1988 declaring March as the month for observing Women’s Role in History and Republic Act No. 6949 Series of 1990 declaring March 8 of every year as National Women’s Day.