MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Twelve local students have been announced as winners in a Philippine drawing competition organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to mark International Women’s Day and Gender Month in March, as well as the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action for Women's Empowerment.

"The winning pictures showed that young Filipino girls and boys have a clear and vivid understanding of the importance of equality between women and men, and them working side by side with equal rights to make a better world,” said Laurence Levaque, ADB Social Development Specialist for Gender and Development. “They inspired us and we hope they will inspire others to continue to promote gender equality.”

In Asia and the Pacific, poverty continues to disproportionally affect women and girls. Women earn on average 10% to 30% less than men for work of equal value, and are more likely to work in ‘vulnerable’ jobs. Violence continues to be a daily reality for many women, and they remain excluded from participating in decision-making and leadership.

The Beijing Platform for Action promotes the principle of shared power and responsibility between women and men at home, in the workplace, and in the wider national and international communities. It recognizes that women and men must work together for themselves, their children and their society to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

A total of 265 entries were received for the competition, entitled “Color the Future: Women and Men – Achieving togHEtHER!”

The drawings—made using color pencils, pens, crayons, or oil pastels—highlighted the importance of cooperation amongst men and women in global development and in protecting the environment. They also pointed out the need to create a progressive and safe future for the next generation and that gender equality is not a woman’s issue but a human issue.

Other themes noted how gender equality matters in the Philippines, how every individual is important regardless of gender, and how with confidence, perseverance and courage there is nothing that men and women cannot accomplish.

The winners in the Grades 5-6 category are:

  • First Place: Aira Jane J. Escol, Lun Padidu Elementary School (Sarangani) and John Mark Lumaino, Virlanie Foundation, Inc. (Makati)
  • Finalists: Shayna P. Alfuente, Melchora Aquino Elementary School (Manila), John Adnel L. Pazague, Melchora Aquino Elementary School (Manila), Vea Shania Garibay, Guimbal Central Elementary School (Iloilo) and Brent Alexander Gilo, Guimbal Elementary School (Iloilo)

The winners in the Grade 7-8 category are:

  • First Place: Patricia Nicole P. Valdez, Cayetano Arellano High School (Manila) and John Alec N. Cañoneo, Dipolog City National High School (Dipolog)
  • Finalists: Reggie Noreen S. Acorda, Cayetano Arellano High School (Manila), Job Russel D. Floranza, Cayetano Arellano High School (Manila), Jan Jamille J. Vallar, Domingo Lacson National High School (Bacolod) and Ryan Christopher A. Lihay-Lihay, Cayetano Arellano High School (Manila)

The winners received certificates and educational materials from ADB Vice- President Stephen Groff at a ceremony in ADB headquarters.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.

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