The Women's Dialogue Circle-on BETTER THE BALANCE, BETTER THE WORLD-at St. Scholastica's College-Manila on March 20, 2019, was a humble albeit inspiring contribution of the WORLD COUNCIL FOR CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION (WCCI) to International Women's Month 2019.

This gathering of women--and men who are supportive of women's rights--was organized by WCCI-Philippines in partnership with St. Scholastica's College and its feisty team of women who are inspired by Sr. Mary John Manansan, OSB and her remarkable advocacy for women's rights. This activity was made possible because of the the coordinating work of Marina Gonzaga-Merida, Ed.D., faculty member of St. Scholastica's College and an active mover of the WCCI Special Interest Group (SIG) on Gender Equality.

"Better the Balance, Better the World" was about women sharing stories of personal experiences in their relationships with men, and the lessons learned from there which gave rise to the conviction that we, women, need to develop confidence in ourselves and take pride in being mothers, sisters, wives, teachers, nurturers of husbands, brothers, fathers, co-workers because it is who we are, and what we do best, along with the many other things that we do amazingly well with the intelligence of our hearts. Our coming together yesterday was not about airing our grievances against men, but about sharing inspiring stories and reflections about what it means to be woman, and how the world can be a better place when we women are able to better the balance by being equals of men although different from them.

WCCI Philippines expressed its gratitude to Sr. Mary John Manansan, OSB for the warm welcome WCCI and everyone to the Circle, Dr. Swee-Hin Toh (President of WCCI International) for graciously filling in for Sr. Merceditas Ang, SPC (President of WCCI-Philippines) when her flight to Manila from Tuguegarao was delayed (your presence certainly provided a "better balance" for us that afternoon, Swee-hin!), Emmy Ems Paez Garon (immediate past president of WCCI-Phils) for sharing her deeply moving childhood story, and for regaling us with the rich experiences she and her daughter, Vanessa Garon Vandevoort had last week while at the gathering of the UN Commission on Women in New York. We are also grateful to Dr. Tandis Taghavi (Embassy of the Republic of Iran-Manila) , Prof. Arche Ligos (Women's Studies, St. Scholastica's College) andMarcella Balao- Octaviano (president, GeoChris Foundation) for their insightful reflections from their Muslim, Christian and indigenous faith traditions repectively, and Dr. Remedios Nalundasan- Abijan (former VP WCCI-Phils) for her compelling synthesis of the afternoon's rich reflection-sharing.