Every year, the 16 days of activism against gender violence is being observed globally from November 25 to December 10. This international campaign originated from the Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University, New Jersey in 1991. It calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women through raising of awareness about gender-based violence, strengthening local work and establishing a clear link between local and international work to end VAW, among other undertakings.
Since year 2002, the Philippines joins this annual campaign that is being spearheaded by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), and later on, in coordination with IACVAWC and IACAT. In 2006, through the Presidential Proclamation 1172, the Philippine campaign was extended to 18 days, to include December 12 which is known as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Day. Last year’s theme “Unite: Stop VAW Now” emphasized the united action of stakeholders to stop violence against women. It was symbolized by the blowing of whistles to enjoin everyone to stop VAW, and call on women to claim and defend their rights.
For this year, it is proposed that focus be given to gender-based violence during disasters and armed conflict situations to highlight the importance of weaving-in gender concerns into the blanket of initiatives spanning armed conflict to disaster situation assistance.
The Campaign’s Objectives
- To raise awareness about GBV in crisis situations for national government agencies (NGAs), local government units (LGUs) and the general public
- To increase support mechanisms and make it more accessible to VAW victim-survivors during disaster and crisis situation
- To forge partnerships among stakeholders in addressing GBV in crisis situations
- Conduct simultaneous activity on November 25 (Sunday) for the Campaign kick-off;
- Media campaign (TV, radio, print, internet/social networking sites); this will include writing feature stories of initiatives to help women in emergency situation e.g. Women’s Facility Space of DSWD;
- Conduct information sessions to IDPs or evacuees
- Forum of different organizations working in the conflict/disaster areas