February 11, 2022 – DOST SIQUIJOR PSTC represented by PSTD Engr. Mario E. de la Peńa together with his staff Macbeth S. Dal (SRS II) and Mr. Jose Aldous R. Arbon II (SRA) joined with DOST national main office, and among other a thousand of participants, in the celebration of The International Day of Women and Girls in Science through Zoom Conferencing with the theme:  “Promoting Gender Equality in STEM for Sustainable Development.”

The program’s speakers were:  (1) Dr. Marieta Bańez-Sumagaysay, Exec. Director of National Research Council of the Philippines talked about “Mainstreaming Gender in Science and Technology Research; (2) H.E. Lenny N. Rosalin, Chair of the ASEAN Committee on Women, Deputy Minister for Gender Equality Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection, Indonesia talked about Promoting Gender Equality in STEM for Sustainable Development; and Ms. Hillary Diane A. Andales, Massachusets Institute of Technology, PSHS EVC Alumna. who shared a personal account on the theme A Woman, An Overcomer: Sharing My Challenging Experiences.

The speakers noted that women still lag behind men in representing the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.  They said this whole idea of GAD is not about campaigning against men but empowering women not because they are women but because they have skills with which they can do what men can do.

Hillary Diane Andales, who came from Leyte and who is now a college student of Massachusets Institute of Technology disclosed that her challenging experience includes being bashed in the social media on account of her dream of becoming a Filipino female scientist.  Her only response was:  “I won’t listen to those people who I don’t ask advice from.”

There is still much work to do ahead. DOST Sec. Fortunato T. de la Peńa Dr. Diana L. Ignacio, Assistant Secretary for HRMMSSC, OIC for GAD and Regional Support Service, and DOST-wide GAD Focal Person, and Dr. Leah J. Buendia would assent to that – and like what others said, they think that mainstreaming GAD should start from homes to encourage girls to dream of becoming a scientist, technologist, engineer, and mathematician.

(JOSE ALDOUS R. ARBON II, DOST SIQUIJOR PSTC SRA-IO)