ILOILO CITY, March 8 (PIA6) - - Ministers and delegates of the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Wednesday were enjoined to commemorate and celebrate the practice and achievements made by women through history and across nations.

Philippine ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Leader and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo made the call when she opened the 17th ASCC Council Meeting at the Iloilo Convention Center on March 8 which is International Women’s Day.

“We fully support the continued efforts of ASEAN in working towards gender equality and the elimination of violence, abuse, and discrimination against women,” said Taguiwalo as she recognized not only women but also men who support gender equality during her message.

She said one of the six outcome documents that they are hoping ASEAN Leaders will adopt during the 30th ASEAN Summit in November is the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on the Gender-Responsive Implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and Sustainable Development Goals.

“Essentially, it is ensuring that whatever economic, cultural and social policies of the ASEAN,will incorporate a gender perspective,” said Taguiwalo.

She said the ASEAN also provides positions for women citing Civil Service Commission Chair Alice Bala who used to be with the ASEAN Secretariat and a DSWD personnel who now joined the group.

“In terms of policies, in terms of personnel, in terms of actual events and meetings, the women are very much involved in ASEAN planning, policies and implementation.

Other five outcome documents that will be endorsed to the ASEAN Leaders for signing are ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on the Role of Civil Service as Catalyst for Achieving ASEAN Community Vision 2025; ASEAN Instrument to Implement the ASEAN Declaration for the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers; ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on Ending all Forms of Malnutrition; ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration of Commitment on Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR):Combating AMR through One Health Approach; and ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on Youth Development.

Taguiwalo was joined by 9 Ministers/Heads of Delegation during the one-day deliberation of ASCC-related concerns and exchange of views on the key priorities of ASEAN 2017 as laid out in the Philippine Chairpersonship theme of “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World”. (JCM/laf/PIA6-Iloilo)