City honors women with free site entry on International Women’s Day

BACOLOD CITY – In a spirited nod to International Women’s Day, Victorias City in Negros Occidental has announced a welcoming gesture that underscores its commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

On March 8, the city’s top tourism sites, Victorias Aquatic Center and the Gawahon Eco-Park, will open their doors free of charge to women and girls.

Mayor Javier Miguel Benitez said this aligns with the global observance of International Women’s Day, a day marked by international recognition when women across the globe are celebrated for their achievements regardless of national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic, or political divisions.

This international day of recognition dates back to the early 1900s, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.

Legal recognition for International Women’s Day has its roots in the socialist movement; however, it has since transcended its initial framework to be embraced universally in the context of women’s rights and their role in society.

The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day during the International Women’s Year in 1975. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed by member states in accordance with their historical and national traditions.

In the spirit of this historical observance, Mayor Benitez’s administration highlights the vital contributions of women to the advancement of Victorias City, emphasizing the need to empower women in various sectors.

“We need to empower women in various sectors, recognizing their vital role in shaping the city’s vibrant community and ensuring its continued success,” Mayor Benitez stated, acknowledging the multifaceted roles women play in fostering the city’s growth and dynamism.

The mayor’s encouragement for city workers, national government agencies, and barangay councils to don purple every Friday of March—a color symbolizing justice and dignity associated with women’s equality—further solidifies this commitment. This act of unity is symbolic, demonstrating solidarity with women worldwide and the ongoing pursuit of gender parity.

In a creative expression of this commitment, the city government has launched a unique initiative—an all-women cast video of the Philippine national anthem, “Lupang Hinirang,” to be featured at all official events and activities throughout National Women’s Month. This visual representation serves not only as a tribute to the nation but also as a powerful reminder of the significant role that women play in national identity and pride.

The Victorias City initiative is more than a local commemoration; it is a reflection of a global movement towards inclusivity and recognition of women’s rights. It serves as an exemplar for other cities and communities to champion gender equality and celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

As the world observes International Women’s Day, Victorias City stands in solidarity with women and girls, not only through gestures of free entry to popular sites but also in embedding the values of empowerment and equality into the fabric of everyday life.