Philippine Ambassador to Korea Raul S. Hernandez poses with the guest speakers and participants after the end of the two-hour forum on women empowerment held on 23 March 2017 at the ambassador's official residence in celebration of this year's National Womens' Month. Under this year's theme, "We Make Change Work for Women," the discussions centered on the role of women in a stereotypically male-dominated Korean society.
The event featured two notable Korean personalities: Ms. Sohn Jie-Ae, a visiting professor at Ewha Womans University, former CEO of Arirang TV and Radio, and CNN correspondent, and Ms. Jasmine Lee, the first Filipino woman and naturalized South Korean to win a seat at the National Assembly of South Korea.
The event also served as a venue for the Embassy to introduce Ms. Sandara Park, an A-list K-pop artist who started her showbiz career in the Philippines, as its Friendship Ambassador to the female members of the Filipino Community in the country.
Under this year's theme, "We Make Change Work for Women," the discussions centered on the role of women in galvanizing change in an otherwise traditionally male-dominated society. The two guest speakers also candidly shared their experiences on balancing family life and career, as well as the roles they fulfill as drivers of social transformation.
Ambassador Hernandez highlighted the positive and central role of women in social development, maintaining that gender equality is crucial and essential for nation building. He also encouraged the female participants to not allow themselves to be left behind but instead take an active role in bringing about positive change through meaningful engagements.
The Ambassador also underscored in his welcome remarks the great strides which the Philippines has been making in recent years in terms of narrowing gender gaps, as supported by data from the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report in 2016 where the Philippines ranked 7th out of 144 countries surveyed.
After the formal program, the female participants were treated to a musical performance by Ms. Angie Karen Natividad, a Filipino singer who has been making waves in the Filipino music scene in Korea. The dinner reception featured popular Filipino dishes such as kare-kare, chopsuey, pork and chicken barbecue, pansit, and purple yam and coconut ice cream.