PHL Ambassador joins the Pan-Pacific and Southeast Asia Women's Association New Zealand Annual General Meeting
As the Philippine Embassy actively pursues its public diplomacy efforts to promote deeper people-to-people ties between Filipinos and New Zealanders especially among women and women’s groups representing different nationalities as well as highlight the vital aspects of Filipino culture and way of life, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez joined the officers and members of the Pan-Pacific and Southeast Asia Women’s Association New Zealand (Inc.) (PPSEAWA) in their Annual General Meeting on 28 February 2015 at the Johnsonville Community Centre, Johnsonville, Wellington. Her Worship Celia Wade Brown, Mayor of Wellington and Patron of PPSEAWA, Ms. Berlinda Chin, CEO for Ethnic Communities and Ms Joy Dunsheath, Vice President, United Nations Association of New Zealand (UNANZ) conveyed their respective greetings and messages highlighting the crucial role of PPSEAWA in women’s development and empowerment. Dr. Gloria Hettige, President of PPSEAWA Wellington welcomed the guests and PPSEAWA officers and members. PPSEAWA is composed of women from the Pacific and Southeast Asian regions who come together to promote greater understanding and friendship and engage in projects for the benefit of the children, youth and the local communities and promoting the status of women and girls through education and working for the protection and improvement of the environment.
In her remarks, Ambassador Benavidez congratulated PPSEAWA New Zealand for marking 60 years of its engagement women in Southeast Asia ( since 1955) and with the women in the Pacific, 84 years (since 1931). She stated that this year, the Philippines is hosting APEC, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit where leaders, senior officials, top businessmen, industry experts, women leaders and key stakeholders of and from the 21 member economies will meet to focus discussions on building inclusive economies, building a better world. Women’s economic empowerment and greater inclusion of women in the regional economy are high on APEC’s agenda. She shared with them the environment, the gender equality index ranking and the attributes of excellence, empathy and EQ and equilibrium that make the Filipino woman a strong, spirited, steady and supportive influencer and anchor in the family, nation and across all sectors and the crucial role of women in the Philippines is very much evident in the executive, legislative and judicial branches and various agencies in government, the business community and in all sectors of society.
In recognition of her outstanding support for and participation in PPSEAWA’s affairs, Ambassador Benavidez was bestowed the Honorary Membership of the Association and presented with a Certificate of Appreciation. She thanked PPSEAWA for the recognition and reiterated her commitment to continue advocating for women empowerment and sharing personal experiences in making this a reality in our respective roles and responsibilities at home, in our work place, in our advocacies and wherever we may be.