Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna underscored the importance of enhancing women’s education and skills to protect and conserve the environment in this year's celebration of National Women's Month.

"Our department plays a very significant role in further educating and elevating the ability of women and young girls by involving them in our program and projects geared to protect and nurture not only our environment and natural resources but also the well-being of their respective communities from the climate crisis," Sampulna said.

According to Sampulna, the DENR’s role is the “reason behind highlighting and increasing the participation of women to expand and upscale their transformative actions, including their groups and communities.”

Women’s Month is pursuant to Proclamation No. 224 dated March 1, 1988, and Proclamation No. 227 dated March 20, 1998. This year's theme is "Women make change amidst climate crisis and COVID-19."

Sampulna, together with DENR Undersecretary for Finance, Information Systems and Climate Change Atty. Analiza Rebuelta-Teh, DENR Climate Change Service Director Elenida Basug, and other DENR officials led the ribbon-cutting of the women photo gallery on climate and disaster resiliency, and COVID-19 response during a short program on March 8.

Sampulna and Teh also unveiled the Gender and Development (GAD) corner where the bulletin board and a box where clients and stakeholders can put in their concerns and suggestions are placed in the pursuit for safe spaces and violence against women-free workplaces.

A "Pamilihang Bayan" was also unveiled supporting women’s economic empowerment amid climate crisis, environmental damages, and COVID-19.

In her speech, Teh said the statistics in terms of women to men ratio in DENR ranks for the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PENROs) and directors rose from 19% to 23% for the women in the position.

For the Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers or CENROs and division chiefs, the numbers rose from 34% to 40% of women in the position.

According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2021 of the World Economic Forum, the COVID-19 pandemic has fended off gender parity, adding 36 years needed to close the gender gap globally.

The gender gap is the difference between females and males in areas like participation, access to basic services, rights, and benefits.

Teh said there are still a lot of things that the DENR-GAD office needs to work on to achieve gender equality for sustainable development. ###