The Palawan State University, under the leadership of President Dr. Jeter S. Sespeñe, has recently disseminated a memorandum which is aimed to empower issues on Gender and Development across all of the different undertakings of the school.

In line with Section 16 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9710, otherwise known as the MAGNA CARTA OF WOMEN, the Palawan State University shall adapt a relevant sensitivity in its total ideology. This shall effectively be recognized as GAD mainstreaming.

Dr. Mary Allyson Carlos, Director of the PSU Office on Women Gender and Development describes the implications of this memorandum.

“We have a very huge reason to celebrate. Finally, the PSU is embracing the reality that there is a need to mainstream issues on GAD in our school. I truly hope that this becomes a reality as well in other academic institutions soon. A kind of governance equipped with a gender lens should be practiced.” said Dr. Carlos.

This development is a result of the discussion in the CHED Gender and Development Regional Cluster Conference held in September of 2013. Back then, much emphasis was given to the creation of the GAD Focal Point system (GFPS). It was in the interest of notable proponents of this movement to put this forward as a necessary part of all government agencies.

The school’s pillars of Instruction, Extension and Research are expected to cascade this information directly to all concerned offices effective immediately. The OWGAD has been very emphatic in its goal to institutionalize all efforts in mainstreaming gender and development in order to translate the university’s commitment to the GAD agenda.

Dr. Carlos continued, “Educational institutions should play a dynamic role in the development of students who could think of a better future for men and women towards a more peaceful, secured and developed community. We are blessed to have a gender sensitive Administration here in PSU.”

There are certain implications in this that are expected to be felt soon. For instance, concerned units in the Academic Division are directed to make the necessary revisions in the curriculum that will promote gender sensitivity. This goes as far as rewriting and updating instructional materials to ensure that existing gender biases and discrimination are eliminated and that gender sensitivity and gender fairness are catered to. The use of gender sensitive language shall likewise e encouraged. Gender and development issues shall also be looked upon as a tool to safeguard fairness in the granting of scholarships for undergraduate students and developing faculty alike.

It has also been explicitly stated that Gender and Development shall be included in Research and Extension agenda. This is expected to result in the espousal of gender related studies relating to the Role of Women in Community Development, the Participation of Women in Environmental Management and the Changing of Perspective on Women’s Role in the Family, just to name a few among many other gender related issues.

In a deliberate effort to promote the importance of gender and development as a tool to contribute to the betterment of the community, the PSU also brings to the fold a specialized entity which aims to address Violence Against Women. This shall be known as the VAW Desk. Under the supervision of the PSU Office of Women, Gender and Development (OWGAD) and the Office of Student Affairs and Services (OSAS), the VAW Desk shall extend its services to employees and students of the university. This role consists in the assistance of victims of VAW and the proper facilitation of related concerns.