UN Day Celebration
Photo at left of the joint UN Day celebration by Areas 1 and 5, held in Assumption College, shows: UN Committee Vice-Chair Lolita Sy of Area 1, and Area 5 Vice-Chair Olga Severino Martel; one of the speakers–Cristina Concepcion; the Forum Moderator, Mary Jane Ortega; the other speaker—former Health Secretary, Dr. Esperanza Cabral; and UN Committee Chair for District 17, Chona M. Lopez.
Area 1 and Area 5 of District 17 teamed up in a joint celebration of United Nations Day on October 24, 2018 at the Henry Sy, Sr. Hall, Assumption College in San Lorenzo Village, Makati. Celebrating UN Day is one of the mandates of Zonta International which has been closely linked with the United Nations since the latter was founded in 1945.
The centerpiece of the celebration was a Forum with two speakers: Ms. Cristina Concepcion, President and CEO of BPO International, Inc., who spoke on Gender Equality in the Workplace, and Former Secretary of Health Dr. Esperanza Cabral, who talked about the Empowerment of Women & Girls in the Community. PIP Olivia Ferry introduced Congresswoman of La Union, Mary Jane Ortega, who was the Moderator of the Forum.
Ms. Concepcion elucidated on four of the seven Women Empowerment Principles, namely: Establish high-level corporate agenda for gender equality with no discrimination of women by offering equal opportunities to men and women; hiring as many women as possible with a policy of equal pay for equal work; promote education, training and professional development of women through seminars and workshops; ensure health, safety & wellbeing of all women workers; respect human rights; and the strict enforcement of no sexual harassment.
Dr. Cabral emphasized the need to improve services for women’s health in various barangays through health centers and lying-in centers; education for family planning and nutrition; community vigilance for the elimination of violence against women through education, and the involvement of men in this agenda; and prevention of teen-age pregnancy.
A musical interlude followed with a ballet number performed by young students of Danspace Ballet School.
The highly successful event was chaired by District 17 UN Committee Chair Chona M. Lopez assisted by Area 1 UN Committee Vice Chair Lolit Sy, and Area 5 UN Committee Vice Chair Olga Severino Martel in cooperation with Area 1 Director Isabel Cu & Area 5 Director Mita Rufino. Over 200 empowered Zontians were present attired in various international costumes, for which prizes were awarded.
It was another meaningful celebration of United Nations Day that called the attention of everyone to the importance of empowering women and their role in the pursuit of the sustainable goals established by the United Nations, particularly Goal No. 5, which calls for the advancement of the status of women, gender equality, and the elimination of violence against women.