Posted on January 30, 2022
By Sheryl Datinguinoo
Political education is a crucial aspect of fostering active citizenship and promoting democratic participation. Due to the crucial importance of engaging women in the country's political exercises, INCITEGov partnered with Every Woman in piloting the Politics-Governance-Development modules which resulted into its enhancement and improvement in the form of "Puso't Pulitika." "Puso't Pulitika are modules with interactive learning exercises that bring politics, governance, and development closer to women's hearts through the lens of feminist perspectives. The pilot sessions conducted in three communities located in Santiago, Isabela; Camarines Sur; and Davao engaged a total of 45 grassroots women. Participants expressed their appreciation for the sessions, which helped them recognize the importance of maintaining healthy, democratic relationships with friends, family, and local or national leaders. They also acknowledged the significance of evaluating political candidates based on their support for the Women's Agenda and the protection of women's rights.
Recognizing Personal and Political Connections
The "Nagmahal, Nasaktan, Nag-move on!" session stood out as the most impactful for the women leaders in Isabela. This session allowed them to establish a connection between personal issues and the social and political issues prevalent in the country. By electing leaders who embody the principles of good governance, they believed that governance can be improved at both local and national levels. Inspired by the sessions, the women participants in Isabela applied their learnings to on-the-ground campaigns, persuading their communities to actively participate and vote for democratic leaders.
Integrating Puso't Pulitika into Family Development Sessions
Participants in Isabela who were beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Programs (4Ps) recognized the potential for integrating Puso't Pulitika topics into their Family Development Sessions (FDS). They believed that incorporating these modules into the FDS could enhance political awareness and inspire widespread political participation in their communities. By leveraging the lessons learned, they can more actively engage community members and introduce concepts of good governance.
Extending the Reach and Impact
Women from Isabela, Camarines Sur, and Davao expressed a desire to expand the reach of the Puso't Pulitika sessions. They highlighted the need to include communities of rural women and out-of-school youth who often lack access to such educational opportunities. In response, they proposed developing specific modules tailored for women aspiring to run for local elective positions. These modules would focus on topics such as Active Participatory Governance, Women Leadership Formation, and other subjects aimed at enhancing women's capacity to engage effectively at various levels of government.
Establishing a Pool of Women Leaders
One of the overarching goals expressed by the participants was the establishment of a pool of potential women leaders who will promote and advocate for women's rights in every province and locality. By empowering women through political education and providing them with the necessary tools and knowledge, the Puso't Pulitika program seeks to create a generation of leaders who will actively work towards achieving gender equality and inclusive governance.
"Puso't Pulitika program has proven to be a transformative experience for community-based women leaders. By incorporating a feminist lens and perspective, the modules have successfully brought politics, governance, and development closer to women's hearts. Through sessions that emphasize the personal and political connections, participants have gained a deeper understanding of the importance of good governance, the Women's Agenda, and their role in democratic processes. #