BAGUIO CITY – The Regional Committee Against Trafficking – Violence Against Women and their Children (RCAT – VAWC) of the Cordillera region culminated the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women with a program at the Burnham Park, here.
Philippine Information Agency –Cordillera Regional Director Helen Tibaldo highlighted the role of government agencies in ensuring safe spaces, workplaces and a community which are VAW-free.
“Our role in ensuring safe spaces becomes much more relevant and effective if we come together as a community,” she said as she encouraged the government agencies and the other sectors to promote a violent-free workplace, community, and a VAW- free Philippines.
“Forwarding a country free of violence against women involves not only empowering women of their rights but also educating the different sectors about respect and equality regardless of gender,” Tibaldo said.
Male police officers from the Baguio City participated in the program using high heels and dressed as women to show support for the advocacy on promoting the campaign to end violence against women.
Each year, the police force and other uniformed personnel participate in the campaign by wearing high heels and even parading in the different public places as their way to help in the campaign as “they put their selves in the shoes of women.”
A skit and a song focusing on the campaign to end VAW in schools and the community was presented by Benguet State University participants while the DOH-CAR led a Zumba dance participated by the delegates coming from the different agencies including the DSWD-CAR, Commission on Population and other schools.
The DOT-CAR also placed orange banners at the boats at the Burnham lake which aims to strengthen the anti-VAW advocacy initiative dubbed as the Orange Your Icon. The idea is to attract public’s curiosity on why landmarks or icons nationwide are colored orange, providing opportunities for advocates to explain the Anti-VAW advocacy.
During the 18-day campaign opening last November 25, DSWD-CAR Regional Director Leo Quintilla said focus of the advocacy campaign is for the various agencies to look at their commitments to end violence against women as an individual, and as an agency.
“We have to show that there are government agencies committed to help to get justice and healing of victims of violence against women like the DSWD, the PNP and many more agencies,” he said.
Quintilla and PRO-Cor Regional Director Police BGen. Ephraim Dickson also signed a memorandum of agreement strengthening the partnership of the two agencies in developing and implementing social protection programs that will address the needs of the poor, strengthen the support for the campaign to end violence against women, empower citizens and promote inclusive growth in the region.
The 18-Day Campaign to End VAW supports the Philippine government’s goal of protecting the human rights of women and girls by upholding its commitment to address all forms of gender-based violence as enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.
Government agencies are mandated to raise awareness on the problem of violence and the elimination of all forms of VAW and girls pursuant to Republic Act 10398 or the Act declaring November 25 of every year as the National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of VAWC.
In 2006, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Proclamation 1172 extending the national campaign to 18 days including December 12 that marks the signing in the year 2000 of the UN Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, to supplement the UN Convention against transnational organized crimes.
From 2016 to 2021, the campaign carries the theme “VAW-free Community starts With Me”. This year’s campaign underscores the valuable role of individuals especially the youth in fighting VAW and girls within various institutions. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)