KALIBO, Aklan, 11 April (PIA6) -- There are now more women leaders than men as far as managing the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) in Aklan is concerned, based on data from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) here.
The leadership skills of Aklan women were highlighted by DAR-Aklan as it celebrated Women’s Month March of this year, contained in reading materials and brochures it produced as part of the agency’s activities. DAR-Aklan said that of the 18 functional ARBOs, 15 are managed by women, and for the 204 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) managing enterprises, 73% are women.
For women’s participation in land ownership per DAR-Aklan data, it was revealed that out of a total of 25,362 ARBs as of end of 2016, 48% are women beneficiaries. DAR also provided other assistance to Aklan women ARBs. In terms of legal aspect, 65% of women out of 136 clients were assisted. In the field of education, of the 40 graduates of President Diosdado Macapagal Agrarian Scholarship Program, 24 were girls. In Micro-Finance Services, of the the total amount of P3,355,000.00, 79% of the amount were accessed by women, while for agri-credit, 54% women were involved out of the 282 ARBs.
The strong performance of Aklan women ARBs is guided by DAR mandating Gender and Development (GAD) Mainstreaming in the executive on agrarian reform and contains procedures for ensuring the recognition of rights of women as ARBs. For instance, in land entitlements of Women and Men ARBs, DAR mandates that both spouses or common law partners who each possess the qualification to be ARBs, shall have equal rights in the process of identification, screening, and selections of ARBs. DAR provides that “in no case shall exclusion or subordination be made in the screening and selection on account of gender or relationship status.
In order to recognize the rights of farmer spouses, the names of both shall appear in the Certificate of Land Ownership (CLOA) and shall be preceded by the word ‘spouses’. In the case of a common-law relationship, the names of both parties shall likewise appear in the CLOA with the conjunctive word “and” between their names.”
DAR-Aklan is currently headed by Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Ma. Theresa Valencia, who is the first-ever woman to head DAR-Aklan. At the Women’s Month celebration of the province in March, Valencia was one of three women featured in the “Women Inspiring Women” Panel, who spoke on empowerment of women, especially those in agrarian reform.
Together with her in the panel were Ms. Jindra Linda Demeterio, Retired Regional Executive Director of DA Region 6 and current President of the Provincial Council of Women, and Ms. Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo, former Congresswoman and former Vice Governor of the Province of Aklan. (JCM/VGV PIA6 Aklan)