Daren (Paul) Katigbak – Women Deliver

Daren (Paul) Katigbak

  • Age: 31
  •    |   He/him/his


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We must work together to build a world where all people are equally able to enjoy and express their sexual and reproductive health and rights and have access to universal health care.

- Daren (Paul) Katigbak


Daren (Paul) Katigbak was born and raised in the Philippines. He is currently working towards a Master of Arts in Development Studies with a major in Human Rights and Gender and Conflict Studies: Social Justice Perspectives from The International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam. Paul is a Global Network of Young People Living With HIV (Y+ Global) Deputy Chair, UN Women Beijing+25 Global Youth Task Force member, WHO Primary Health Care Young Leaders Network member, Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) member, and Dutch Alumni Network at Nl4Talents Nuffic.

What ignited your pursuit for gender equality?

Since I was diagnosed with HIV in December 2011, it has always been my dream to help people like me. During my fight with HIV, I never lose hope, I never think of myself, and I always remember those people who are just like me. I came to the realization that a virus is just a virus — it can never stop me from doing what I want or reaching for my dreams. Being a PLHIV and the premise of helping people like me have been my driving force to work on community initiatives on gender equality and SRHR including HIV. My HIV diagnosis did not stop me from pursuing what I want.

Please share your biggest wins as an advocate for gender equality.

In many parts of the Philippines, discussion of human sexuality and reproductive health and rights has often been considered as a taboo. It is not talked about mainly because it is too socially and politically sensitive or sometimes too personal for public debate. As I am working in the HIV field in a faith-based organization, we put up a center called "Woodwater Center for Healing." The center focuses on providing information on STIs, including HIV and AIDS, and basic sexual reproductive health and rights. These initiatives have been highly transformative, as it's the first one-stop-shop that addresses issues on SRHR and HIV.

Outside of your gender equality advocacy work, what do you enjoy doing?

I love to read fantasy romance novels during my free time. I also love to bike long distances, especially with friends.

Languages Spoken:

  • English (Advanced/Native)
  • Tagalog (Advanced/Native)

Speaks On:

  • ethical guidelines for engaging youth in activism and advocacy
  • factors and vulnerabilities affecting men who have sex with men accessing SRH services
  • using gender and sexuality as lenses in development policy and practices

Past Awards, Certifications, or Fellowships:

  • Master of Science in Public Health with a Major in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
  • Community Leadership Institute at George Mason University
  • Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP)
  • Community Solutions Program 2018 (CSP-IREX)
  • Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP)
  • WHO Primary Health Care from Young Leaders Network (YLN)
  • UN Women's Beijing+25 Global Youth Task Force

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