Gender and Development Advocates (GANDA) Filipinas is a nonprofit, nonpartisan and nongovernment organisation led by transgender women in the Philippines. Founded in June 2012, GANDA Filipinas believes that gender is at the heart and center of issues of development including access to education, economic justice, environmental justice, and sexuality and reproductive health rights—areas where transgender voices are commonly left out or neglected.
Since their inception and guided by its core values of dignity, community, wellness, joy and social change, GANDA Filipinas have been working on the areas of transgender health, regional Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) activism, and issues of marginalization brought about by development.
In September 2012, GANDA Filipina supported a consultation on transgender health in Asia and the Pacific organized by the World Health Organisation Western Pacific Regional Office (WHO WPRO). They are part of the Stop Trans Pathologisation (STP) 2012 campaign which seeks to retire transgender and transsexual identities from manuals of disorder (DSM V, ICD 11). They have been active in the Islands Southeast Asian Network [ISEAN] Hivos Program (IHP), which aims to strengthen community-based organisations and reduce the vulnerability to HIV of men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) and transgender communities in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Timor Leste.
GANDA Filipinas is also an active member of Philwomen on ASEAN, a network of women’s rights advocates and organizations in the Philippines that critically engage and promote women’s rights in ASEAN.
*GANDA is the Filipino word for “beauty” or “beautiful.” It is a generic term of endearment Filipinos use to warmly call transgender women.
*Filipinas is the Hispanicized name of the Philippines used by the organisation to call attention to the historical fact that people who could be interpreted as transgender in the modern sense already existed even during pre-colonial times.
Photo Caption: The members of GANDA Filipinas promoting empowering images of Filipina transwomen on social media.