October 21, 2021 — In celebration of International Day of the Girl, Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones encouraged communities and parents to keep supporting girls and young women.

“We also have to encourage the parents, the communities to make the first move or support the first move of these girls because, by themselves, they cannot overcome these challenges when they are taking their first move,” Secretary Briones shared.

“We are encouraged by many examples of girls taking such first moves and we get continuously get inspiration from them to keep our girls motivated,” she added.

DepEd, through the Bureau of Learning Services- Youth Formation Division (BLSS-YFD), joined the celebration for International Day of the Girl headed by Girls Congress. The event is sponsored by the US Embassy in the Philippines with the Wesleyan University of the Philippines (WUP) as its main partner.

The Education Chief also suggested holding these webinars, discussions, and conversations in regions in the Philippines that have cases of difficulty championing women’s rights.

“I hope there are parents with you, I hope there are teachers with you, I hope that there are community leaders with you because to make girls take the first step, she needs the support of her parents, her community, and the encouragement of her teachers,” she noted.

Girls Congress is the first of its kind in the Philippines, empowering young women to be capacitated in important issues that affect them daily or impact them on a global level.

“Today, we hope by doing this project, by listening to all these incredible women, by giving up the necessary skills, girls here in the Philippines will be encouraged to not only dream, but to take action, to carve their path, to reach their fullest potential because we know you can,” Girls Congress Director Dr. Jenny Lind Elmaco said.

Meanwhile, Girls Congress Co-founder Nina Terol also talked about making the first move and expanding its narrative while Janice Lao-Noche, an environmental scientist, discussed self-leadership and awareness. Marielle Montenegro, a young performer spoke about breaking glass ceilings as a girl.

For this year’s celebration, Girls Congress will facilitate virtual programs that will span six months leading up to the celebration of International Women’s Day in March 2022.