In line with the celebration of 2020 National Women’s Month, the DA-Philippine Carabao Center at University of Southern Mindanao (DA-PCC@USM) initiated information caravan on carapreneurship as one way of celebrating women’s month together with the members of Canahay Dairy Farmers Association (CADAFA) last March 3, 2020 in Barangay Canahay, South Cotabato.
DA-PCC@USM Gender and Development Focal person Ludivina J. Estimo gave insights on the year’s theme “We make change work for women” and its objective of empowering women as active contributors to and claimholders of development.
Estimo emphasized that women are not merely staying at home doing household chores but taking steps outside of the “work-of-women norm” labeled by the society years ago.
“Women’s month is an annual activity where we showcase the efforts and works of women nowadays. We must show the significant efforts and contributions we had done for years.” Estimo added.
Among the women-members of CADAFA who shared their stories were Loyda Estañol, Gemma Bengil, Nancy Zabala, and Melgin Zenith where they said that through the help of PCC@USM, headed by Center Director Benjamin John Basilio and the LGU-Surallah through their Municipal Agriculturist Office, their work as women changed. They further stressed that dairying helps a lot in changing their role as women in their community.
Part of the program was the showcasing of dairy practices and management of CADAFA members wherein PCC@USM Community Organizer Raquel R. Bermudez voiced that CADAFA is one of the active contributors to the improved accomplishment of Carabao-based Enterprise Development (CBED) program, as stewarded by the center.
In addition, LGU-Surallah Dairy Coordinator Rosalino Ligahon said in an interview that the women-members of CADAFA play a vital role in the success of the association.
“Before, their mindset in taking care of buffaloes is that it is a task that only men can do but as time goes by their perception dramatically changed. They started simply by taking care of the dairy carabaos i.e., giving a small amount of feed, until they realize that the overflowing milk changed their way of living. Indeed, it becomes a source of their livelihood. Women now handle milking, pasteurizing milk, selling products, and making themselves involved in decision making,” Ligahon added.
The celebration of the National Women’s Month is an annual activity, which gives recognition to women’s important contributions to national development. By virtue of Proclamation No. 224 Series of 1988, the first week of March was declared as Women’s Week. On the other hand, March 8 was pronounced as Women’s Rights and International Peace Day as well as National Women’s Day according to RA 6949 Series of 1990.