A non-government organization for women’s rights sought for the immediate passage of the gender responsiveness act as they mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (IDEVAW).
The IDEVAW is observed on November 25 of every year to raise awareness and stop the different types of violence against women and children in the world.
Safe and Fair Philippines: Babaeng Bya(hero) (SAF) advocates for safe and fair migration of Filipino women workers.
It is part of a global campaign called “Spotlight Initiative” under the partnership of the European Union and the Union Nations.
In an open dialogue, SAF and other advocates called on lawmakers to prioritize and deliberate on the Senate and House versions of the Gender Responsive and Inclusive Pandemic Management Act of 2021.
Both versions, Senate Bill 2088 and House Bill 9059, aim to address the gender-differentiated needs of women, including migrant workers, in times of national crisis such as the still ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The bills also have provisions that prevent gender-based violence and corresponding punishment against violators.
Moreover, the passage of this measure will also ensure the continuity of gender-based services such as shelters for victims of abuse.
Charisse Jordan, national project officer, UN Women, Safe and Fair Philippines, stressed how the bill will help mitigate violence against women, particularly under trying times.
“Women are affected by the pandemic differently which is what we refer to as ‘gender-differentiated needs.’ Passing SB 2088 and HB 9059 into law is a necessary step towards mitigating violence against women. We urge our legislators to please make its swift enactment into law,” Jordan said.
She also hoped that the government will not forget that women’s rights are also essential in its pandemic response efforts.
“As the government continues to formulate rehabilitation programs to address the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential that the rights of women, both here and abroad, be at the heart of their planning, decision-making, and implementation,” Jordan said.
Other attendees of the virtual event who also made the call for the swift enactment of this proposed measure are the following:
- Desiree Camus (President of Zone 16, OFW Association, Negros Occidental)
- Charisse Jordan (UN Women, SAF)
- Jaye Bekema (Head of Policy of Sen. Risa Hontiveros Office)
- Glenda T. Litong (UP Institute of Human Rights)
- Inorisa Elento (Mindanao Migrants Center)
- Rex Varona (National Project Coordinator International Labor Organization, Safe and Fair Philippines)
IDEVAW’s 16-day activism
The United Nations kicked off its 16 days of activism on Thursday. It will conclude on December 10, the commemoration of the International Human Rights Day.
This year’s IDEVAW theme is “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”
In a Facebook video, actress Maine Mendoza, celebrity for SAF Philippines, advocated against victim-blaming as part of the IDEVAW occasion.
“Isa sa mga dahilan ng r*pe ay ang maiiksing damit ng babae. Definitely a myth. Ang suot mong damit ay hindi imbitasyon para mabastos ka at hindi rin ito consent para mabosohan, mahipuan at higit sa lahat, ang mapagsamantalahan,” Mendoza said.
Gabriela Women’s Party, on the other hand, remembered the deaths of the Mirabal sisters Patria, Minerva and María Teresa who were activists against the regime of the late Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo in 1960.
The three sisters, known as “The Butterflies,” were reportedly assassinated by Trujillo’s men.
“Today in herstory: NOV.25, 1960 – Mirabal sisters and activists were executed by the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. Decades after, the UN designated Nov. 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women,” Gabriela said.
Today in herstory: NOV.25, 1960 – Mirabal sisters and activists were executed by the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. Decades after, the UN designated Nov. 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (#IDEVAW)#BreakTheSilence #tbt pic.twitter.com/XtMMgiZV9v
— Gabriela Women’s Party (@GabrielaWomenPL) November 25, 2021