Philippine Embassy, Canberra
1 Moonah Place, Yarralumla, ACT 2600
www.philembassy.org.au *Tel. No. 02-6273-2535*
Ambassador De La Vega Highlights Women Empowerment and PH's Gender Equality Progress
21 March 2023, NEW SOUTH WALES – The Philippine Ambassador to Australia, H.E. Ma. Hellen De La Vega, participated as a keynote speaker and panelist in a forum organized by Adhika Inc. in Regents Park, New South Wales in celebration of International Women’s Day on 18 March 2023.
The forum, which focused on using the power of influential leadership to drive inclusiveness and gender equity, also featured former Chair of UN Women Australia Dr. Zeny Edwards OAM, Philippine Special Trade Representative to Australia Ms. Alma Argayoso, Western Sydney Diabetes Prevention Officer Ms. Aruni Ratnayake and Miss Earth-Air 2022 Sheridan Mortlock.
In line with the UN Women’s theme “DigitAll: Innovation and technology for gender equality” and the Philippine Commission on Women’s (PCW) theme of “WE for gender equality and inclusive society”, Ambassador De La Vega underscored the importance of everyday leadership in effecting change and creating a more sustainable and equitable future for all, including through the use of technology and the internet to magnify a positive image.
Ambassador De La Vega shared that the Philippines continues to be at the forefront in closing the gender gap and has been improving in the pursuit in the gender equality according to the Gender Development Index. The Philippines remains the best performing country in Asia according to the 2022 Global Gender Gap Report of the World Economic Forum and the only Asian country in the top 20.
In her keynote speech, the Ambassador spoke about the invaluable contributions of Filipina women to Australia and their achievements. Ambassador De La Vega stated that “when you empower a woman, by providing space and equal opportunities for personal and professional development to thrive and succeed, you empower a community.”
At the gala dinner, Adhika Inc. also recognized youth ambassadors, inspiring women and conferred special service awards to members of the community. As part of the of the National Women’s Month celebration, the Embassy is making available books related to Filipina stories and copies of the PCW’s brochures on the Anti-VAWC Act (Republic Act 9262) and the Safe Spaces Act (Republic Act 11313) at the Embassy’s consular section.