Monday, June 17, 2024

DICT rolls out DIWA program for women empowerment

The Office of the Undersecretary for ICT Industry Development (OUIID) under the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) launched nationwide the Digital Innovation for Women Advancement (DIWA) program aimed at increasing the involvement of Filipino women in ICT.

DICT undersecretary for ICT industry development Jocelle Batapa-Sigue presenting during the launch

DIWA aims to harness the role of ICTs to advance gender equality and empower women to actively participate in building an inclusive and sustainable digital future. It is one of the DICT’s initiatives pursuant to the Philippines’ commitment to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) as a council member.

The ITU, the United Nations body founded in 1856 for telecommunications and ICT, elected its first women leader, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, in Bucharest last October 2022.

“We always say ‘mahal natin ang Pilipinas, sa puso, sa isip, sa diwa, sa salita, at sa gawa’. But for me, the most important is really sa ‘diwa’ (We always say we love the Philippines in heart, in mind, in spirit, in words, and in deeds) . But for me, the most important is really diwa (spirit),” said DICT undersecretary for ICT industry development Jocelle Batapa-Sigue.

The project was first proposed by Batapa-Sigue during the 2022 Plenipotentiary Conference of ITU at Bucharest, Romania. It is in line with the ITU’s goal to become a model organization for gender equality using ICT to empower women.

Supportive of gender inclusion, DICT secretary Ivan John Uy approved the project and the introduction of DIWA in a round table discussion as a part of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines Summit held in Tagbilaran City, Bohol last November 18, 2022.

On December 12, 2022, DICT officially launched DIWA via Zoom where digital leaders were invited to share their learnings about big data and data science from their international fellowships.

According to Batapa-Sigue, the logo of DIWA “represents the power of a woman to connect, to inspire, and to uplift the voices of her fellow women especially in the information and communications industry. The color, which is magenta, represents compassion and women empowerment and the nurturing spirit of a women who is a mother, sister, a wife, a friend to every Filipino.”

Batapa-Sigue said the letter ‘I” in DIWA represents “the woman lifting her hands upwards as sign of praise to the heaven and its circle symbolizes the ability of woman to connect, take the lead, to uplift the voices of her fellow women and also men to ensure equality, gender inclusiveness, to push their limits and create a space, wide space that will allow us all women to expand our opportunities.”

“It is the goal of DIWA to serve as a platform for all of us to come together,” Batapa-Sigue added. The speakers include Evamay Dela Rosa, regional director of DICT Region XI; Alana Ramos, division chief for plans and policy, monitoring and evaluation at DICT-NIPPSB; and Frei Sangil, CEO of LayerTech.

Two other empowered women from the DICT joined in the National Launch of DIW, namely, Maria Teresa Camba, assistant secretary for countryside development, and Emmy Lou Delfin, director for ICT Industry Development Bureau.

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