After having been included among the Ten Women of the Year for 2007 by Marie Claire Magazine, the Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP) was again honored by her own province of Quezon with an Award of Excellence on the province’s celebration of International Women’s Day yesterday, March 12, 2010.
Ms. Jean Enriquez (born Jo Enrica Catalla Enriquez) has always been an unabashed Quezonian, always introducing herself as hailing from this province, proud of her accent and impeccable Tagalog. In writing analytical articles and even literary work, she uses both English and her native tongue. Thus, given her integrity and achievements, she effectively models love for her home province and first language to the people whom she leads and to whom she speaks, especially the women and young people.
Similarly, her expertise and knowledge on women’s human rights reflects the brilliance of Quezon’s leaders. Even more concretely, Ms. Enriquez and her NGO has been the reference of the national government, especially, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for trainings on gender issues, which benefits the nation at large, and also the province of Quezon.
Ms. Enriquez has clearly manifested dedication in her calling, having been involved in human rights work for 28 years now, focusing on international women’s human rights for the last 19 years and has thus risen from the position of Deputy Director to Executive Director of CATW‑AP.
Ms. Enriquez has gained extensive experience as resource person and trainor for various international and national fora on trafficking and prostitution, sexuality, health and reproductive rights, women’s political participation, women and development. She has been invited to speak on women’s issues to at least 31 countries, including the poor countries of South Asia and the Mekong Region, such as Bangladesh and Cambodia.
Her leadership and management skills have been grounded by her long experience in grassroots work, researches especially in marginalized communities of indigenous and Moslem populations. These have been internationally recognized, as she was invited to the United Nations and by various governments to speak on the hugely successful anti-trafficking projects she has led, including the “Addressing the Demand Side of Trafficking Project” for young men.
Among her involvements, Ms. Enriquez chaired the Commission on Trafficking in Persons during the World Conference Against Racism held in Durban, South Africa in 2001.
Ms. Enriquez helped in drafting the anti-trafficking bill with then Rep. Pat Sarenas, adopted by Rep. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo and subsequently, with Senator Loi Estrada for the Senate version. She concurrently sits as Women’s Sectoral Council Member for the National Anti-Poverty Commission, Member of the Board of Advisers for Buklod Center for Women in Olongapo and Bagong Kamalayan (Prostitution Survivors’ Collective).
Her award was dedicated by Ms. Enriquez to the social workers of Quezon, fellow Pagbilaoins, as well as the survivors and youth who inspire her in her work.