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International Women’s Day Summit 2019: Advancing the Rights and Representation of Filipino Women

March marks the annual Women’s Month celebration –  As part of a series of events to formally kick things off, SPARK! and the Office of the Vice President, in partnership with the Embassies of Austria and Sweden, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the University of the Philippines Center for Women’s and Gender Studies (UPCWGS), bring together powerful women and their allies in the fight for women's empowerment and gender equality this March 8 at SM Aura Samsung Hall! They will raise the level of discourse on women's rights at this year's International Women’s Day Summit 2019, with the theme: “Advancing the Rights and Representation of Filipino Women”.

The Summit highlights key issues with three panel discussions: “Towards a World Without Violence: Ending Violence Against Women”, “Breaking Barriers: Advancing Women’s Economic Empowerment” and “Magnifying Women’s Voices and Participation: Creating an Equal World.” A call to challenge barriers hindering their collective progress, it provides a platform to collectively reflect on remarkable achievements made toward women's empowerment and gender equality despite persistent discrimination in communities and workplaces. It also offers an opportunity to discuss innovative solutions to enhance men's meaningful engagement to achieve gender equality.  

Ambassador Harald Fries of Sweden opens the Summit and welcomes host and keynote speaker, Vice President Leni Robredo, on behalf of all partners, for her keynote speech. Ambassador Bita Rasoulian of Austria joins the third panel with Senator Risa Hontiveros, focusing on women's empowerment in male-dominated fields. UNFPA Country Representative Iori Kato rounds up the discussions with his closing remarks.

Other notable panelists include Kat Alano of EMPOWER for the panel discussion on VAW; Dr. Nathalie Africa-Verceles of UPCWGS, and Filipina designer Zarah Juan for the panel discussion on women's economic empowerment.

The summit will be held at SM Aura Samsung Hall, 9:00 am up to 5:00 pm. Registration starts at 8:00 AM. Admission is free, inclusive of snacks, lunch, and a summit kit.