The Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) promotes gender sensitivity not only in compliance with law but as well as help empower stakeholders especially women housing loan beneficiaries and community organizers.
SHFC, a line agency under the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) that is funding the government’s social housing program, is currently holding a nationwide Mobilizers Seminar on Gender Sensivity in relation to the Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act No. 9710) also known as the Gender Equality Act. RA 9710 seeks to eliminate discrimination against women by recognizing, protecting, fulfilling and promoting the rights of Filipino women, especially those in marginalized sector. Under the law, local governments and government agencies are mandated to have a Gender and Development (GAD) program promoting gender sensitivity. The seminar for Mobilizers is the other half of a two-billed series of seminars in Luzon, National Capital Region (NCR), Visayas and Mindanao highlighted by the Mobilizers Seminar on New Guidelines for the Community Mortgage Program (CMP). Mobilizers assist SHFC in organizing and assisting homeowners association of homeless families secure loans under the CMP for low-cost housing from the SHFC. After the training, the Mobilizers would eventually be part of the frontliners of SHFC’s ground-level activities on gender sensitivity for the housing loan borrowers. The seminars have already been held in NCR and Luzon and will be conducted in Cebu City for its Visayas tour by the end of September.
The Mindanao leg of the three-day twin seminars, held in Davao City on September 9-11, was attended by about 50 Mobilizers and representatives from Local Government Units (LGUs), said Atty. Salie Taguian, SHFC vice president for Partners Relation. Taguian said SHFC has earmarked P8 million for the seminars and trainings and other activities related to gender sensitivity. At the sideline of the Davao City event, Taguian said the SHFC gender sensitivity campaign has a fitting target. “Most of the officers of the homeowners associations whose members were granted housing loans are women,” she said. The objective of the Equality Act is to prevent gender-based discrimination and promote equality between women and men, thereby improving the status of women, particularly in working life. It also seeks perspectives and processes that are participatory and empowering for women, supportive of their self-determination to develop their potentials as key players in social and economic development. Taguian said the SHFC gender sensitivity seminars are capacity-building efforts that hope to empower women to become leaders and tools of development.
Promotion of gender sensitivity is being strongly pushed by SHFC president Atty. Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling.