By Jezza Nepomoceno
ILOILO – An exposition featuring the products and services of women-led enterprises was revived to highlight the need for women’s economic development this women’s month celebration.
Dubbed as Tiendas Ilonggas, the product exposition is now jointly organized by the Gender and Development Unit of the Province of Iloilo and Junior Chamber International Iloilo Ilang-Ilang Inc.
It opened on Monday (March 28) and will run until Thursday (March 31). It was first know as Tienda sang Kababaihan (Women’s Market) in 2012 until the term “Tiendas Ilonggas” was coined in 2014.
It is anchored on the theme “Kapakanan ni Juana, Isama sa Agenda! (Include Women in the Agenda)” and in JCI’s belief that economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise.
PGADC Co-Chairperson Alma Ravena believed that prioritizing women’s economic empowerment in the legislative and executive agenda of the next administration can help the country attain sustainable development.
“The government has to act on the issues plaguing women in this country, not only in terms of economic empowerment, but as well as in social development, security, justice and peace, climate change and disaster risk reduction and gender responsive governance,” she said.
The Philippine Commission on Women has recognized the Province of Iloilo as one of the local learning hub in gender and development mainstreaming in 2015.
Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. said achieving women’s empowerment requires sound public policies and long-term commitment.
He added that gender and development has been integrated in its social programs but there are still challenges to fully mainstream it in the province.
In her part, JCI Iloilo Ilang-Ilang President Carol Salvatierra said that through this exposition, they can help women entrepreneurs promote their products and encourage the public to patronize it.
Salvatierra added the activity is part of All About Her, a program that endeavors to provide sustainable solutions to the needs of women addressing their health concerns, legal rights and economic development.
Tiendas Ilonggas is participated by women micro entrepreneurs from Pavia, Oton, Calinog, Miagao, Dumangas and Tigbuan and corporate companies such as Avon, Boardwalk, I-Fern Iloilo, Manulife, Mama’s Love, Tibiao Bakery, Biscocho Haus, Globe Telecom and Beauty Essentials.