Daren (Paul) Katigbak – Women Deliver

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Daren (Paul) Katigbak

  • Age: 32
  •    |   He/him/his, they/them/theirs


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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 (UHC).

- Daren (Paul) Katigbak


Daren Paul Katigbak is a registered Nurse, Midwife, and a Public Health professional from the Philippines. He finished his Master of Science in Public Health (MScPH) at Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Besides NGO work, he also has experienced working in the academe, teaching and conducting research in the field of gender and sexuality. He also has exceptional experiences in advancing and upholding the rights of young people and LGBTQIA+ with outstanding contribution to the cause of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Daren Paul is a Global Network of Young People Living With HIV (Y+ Global) Former Deputy Chair, member of the Generation Equality Youth Task Force (YTF) member, WHO Primary Health Care Young Leaders Network (YLN) member, member of the International AIDS Society (IAS), 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 of HIV in December 2011, it has been my dream to help those people like me. I was only 21 at that time, I was young and vulnerable. Education and advocacy have been a vital part of my career. I believe that prioritizing education and conducting research will help me in my advocacy towards equal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. I’ve been to many institutions, from public to private hospitals and from hospital-based health programs to community-based health programs. I realized that the context of gender and sexual and reproductive health and rights in the Philippines is far from what is ideal. There is a shortage of friendly health services among young people including women and girls. Members of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer communities are constantly experiencing stigma and discrimination. These are caused by socio-political and religious barriers. These are the things that ignite my passion and pursuit for gender equality.

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 in the Philippines that addresses issues on SRHR and HIV.

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

I love working for the community, being with them and implementing programs and activities that will give them autonomy and freedom on their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). I am into reading books and biking as well. During my free time, I love to discover new places and try a new type of food / cuisine.

Languages Spoken:

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

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:

  • Community Engagement Exchange Program - Specialist Mentor (2022)
  • Generation Equality Youth Task Force (2020)
  • WHO Primary Health Care - Young Leaders Network (YLN) (2019)
  • Community Solutions Program Fellow (2018)
  • Master of Science in Public Health (MScPH), Major in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (2017)