In hopes of eliminating of all forms of abuse against women, the Philippines launched its annual 18-day Campaign to End Violence against Women (VAW).

In partnership with the Inter-Agency Council on Violence against Women and their Children, the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) launched the 18-day campaign to end VAW on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022.

Behind the campaign

The Philippines, according to PCW, is at the top in Asia in terms of closing the so-called gender gap. This indicates that the country is striving to provide equal opportunities to both women and men. PCW, however, admitted that while this is key milestone in terms of equality, there are still various gender-related issues that need to be addressed, one of which is the prevalent and continuing violence against women and girls.

Data from the Philippine National Police (PNP) showed that over 12,000 cases of VAW were reported in 2021. More than 8,000 of these were violations of the Anti-VAWC Act.

In the first half of 2022, on the other hand, VAW cases already hit 5,339.

“With these numbers, we cannot turn a blind eye. We have to act now and we have to act hand-in-hand. Let us synergize our efforts, [legislate] laws to stop VAW and undertake policies that will prevent it from happening in the first place,” said PCW Executive Director Kristine Yuzon-Chaves during the campaign’s kickoff ceremony.

Forms of VAW

Any act of gender-based violence that results in physical, sexual, or psychological suffering of women is considered as VAW regardless if it happened in public or private. As pointed out by the UN Declaration on the Elimination of VAW in 1993, VAW includes threat, coercion, and deprivation of liberty.

Earlier, PCW said VAW is “closely linked” with the societal norms and traditions that dictate people into thinking that men alone should be the “leaders,” “pursuers,” and “providers.” This, however, should not be the case as stressed by PCW.

“Let us strive until gender equality propels a VAW-free society where everyone is treated with respect and dignity regardless of gender,” said Yuzon-Chaves.

-Manila Bulletin

Published November 25, 2022, 3:47 PM

by Charie Mae F. Abarca

Categories: Latest News

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