UPD holds 1st women’s congress and art crawl

UP Diliman (UPD) celebrated all women by hosting the University’s first women’s congress and women’s art festival.

The 1st UP Diliman Women’s Congress aimed to “propagate conversations on women’s and gender issues within and outside UPD, respond to timely community and national issues through resolution building, and strengthen solidarity with women and gender advocates within and outside UPD,” stated the UPD Gender Office (DGO).

Organized by the DGO, it consisted of three simultaneous panel discussions on sexual and reproductive health, absolute divorce bill, and contractualization and gender. Each panel featured three guest speakers who are experts in their respective fields.

The panel on the absolute divorce bill. Photo by Jerald DJ. Caranza, UPDIO

The panel on sexual and reproductive health had Ame Lopez, vice president of the Philippine Association for Transgender Health; Giannina Chavez, founder of We Bleed Red Movement; and Toni del Rosario, co-director of the We Bleed Red Movement.

Meanwhile, the panel on the absolute divorce bill featured Lisa Marie Clemente, board member of the National Union of People’s Lawyers; Emmi de Jesus, national chairperson of the Gabriela Women’s Party; and Mazel Aurelio, a professor of law and management at the Philippine Merchant Marine School.

For the panel on contractualization and gender, Eva G. Cadiz, vice president of the All UP Workers Union; Rolando delos Reyes II, president of the All UP Academic Employees Union; and Cham Perez, executive director of the Center for Women’s Resources were featured.

The women’s congress was held in the morning of March 22, at the third floor of the UPD Student Union Building.

Del Rosario speaks at the panel on sexual and reproductive health. Photo by Jerald DJ. Caranza, UPDIO

The congress was followed by the 2024 UP Diliman Women’s Art Crawl, a tour of three UPD sculptures on campus Magdangal at the old Faculty Center, Three Women Sewing a Flag at the UP Lagoon, and Dakila at the Center for Women’s Studies building.

Magdangal and Three Women Sewing a Flag are works of National Artist for Sculpture Napoleon V. Abueva, while Dakila is by Sandra Torrijos.

Each stop featured performances as well as reading of works by select women writers from UPD.

According to the DGO, the art crawl was meant to “cultivate and honor women visionaries, seekers, storytellers, and other artists in rising for freedom and creating new culture, highlight works and roles of women artists and advocates within and outside UPD, and highlight the active role of art in campaigning for social justice.”

The congress and art festival are two of the 57 activities the DGO and UPD’s various gender and development committees organized for this year’s UPD Women’s Month. The other activities were film showings, workshops, art exhibits, public lectures, and free health screenings.

This year’s observance of UPD Women’s Month had the theme Babae, Tuloy ang Arangkada at Pakikibaka! I-phaseout ang Pahirap sa Masa!