With the mandate of the Philippine government to address gender issues prevailing in the society, the Institute of Statistics focused its anniversary symposium on the theme “Exploring Gender Issues Through Statistics.” This was held last February 27, 2019 at the NCAS Auditorium. The program kicked-off with a warm welcome by Dr. Liza N. Comia, INSTAT Director. She expressed here gratitude to the organizers, attendees, and invited speakers for the symposium. Dr. Comia challenged the audience to look at gender issues on a statistical perspective after the talks.
The first talk was a very timely and relevant research results conducted by Mr. Luis Miguel T. Villegas, an alumnus of INSTAT. Mr. Villegas shared his findings about the influence of family planning contents from mass media on the fertility preference achievement of Filipino women. Among the notable findings were that perceptions on fertility preference is highly associated with what is seen or heard from mass media. This was then followed by a talk delivered by Dr. Blesshe Querijero, an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Biological Sciences and a charter member of the Philippine Commission on Women. Dr. Querijero discussed the rationale on mining gender issues in instruction, research, and extension among universities and institutions. She suggested the need to integrate gender concepts in these paradigms. Legal issues related to gender issues were also discussed. To further strengthen the argument on integrating gender concepts in curricular matters, Dr. Maria Helen Dayo, a University Researcher and a graduate faculty member, shared her insights on the gender gaps in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum. Dr. Dayo evaluated and presented the gender gaps in the STEM curriculum. She posed the need to re-engineer the contents to accommodate the gender gaps.
After the talks, an open forum was facilitated via face-to-face questioning and via online platform. INSTAT provided both an avenue to those who want to personally ask questions and to those who do prefer being anonymous. The symposium was formally ended by Prof. Maria Salve Vasquez, head of the INSTAT Extension committee. She brought up the idea of linkage and collaboration address the issues presented in the symposium.