Background of the Campaign
Since 2002, the Philippine government has been actively joining the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence that is being observed globally from November 25 to December 10. Said campaign calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women through awareness-raising about gender-based violence, strengthening local work and establishing a clear link between local and international work to end VAW, among other undertakings.
In 2006, through 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.
This year, the country's commitment to the observance was strengthened as President Benigno S. Aquino III signed Republic Act 10398 declaring November 25 of every year as the “National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children.” The law also raises the standard by which this campaign is observed by mandating key agencies to undertake activities designed to raise public awareness on VAW.
With the theme: “End VAW Now! It’s Our Duty!” the call will emphasize the importance of having a functional mechanism, operated by competent and capable duty-bearers with a sense of responsibility and accountability originating from a deep understanding of the fundamental principles of gender-based violence and the provisions of VAW laws.
The Campaign’s Objectives
- To increase support and commitment of duty holders particularly government agencies, at the national and local level, in eliminating violence against women and children.
- To sustain and improve policies, laws and mechanisms addressing VAW.
- To forge partnerships among stakeholders in addressing VAW.
Statistics on VAW
The 2008 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) revealed that one in five women aged 15-49 has experienced physical violence since age 15. It added that four percent of women who have ever been pregnant have experienced physical violence during pregnancy. It also revealed that women with higher levels of education and those from wealthier households are less likely to report having experienced physical violence.
The survey also reported that one-fifth or 18% if women who have ever been married have experienced physical or sexual abuse by a husband. Pushing, shaking, and slapping, according to the survey, are the most commonly reported forms of physical violence. According to NDHS, Women from the poorest households are most likely to experience physical or sexual violence by their spouse. Almost half or 49% of women whose husbands get drunk very often report that they are victims of physical or sexual violence. From January to September 2013, the Philippine National Police (PNP) – Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC) documented a total of 11,158 violations of Republic Act (RA) 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 (VAWC) nationwide.
Among the four VAWC categories, Physical Abuse tops the rank with 5, 728 (57%) reported cases. It is followed by Psychological Abuse with 2,031 (20%); Economic Abuse with 1,483 (15%) and Sexual Abuse with 743 (7%) reported cases. Among the 16 regions excluding ARMM, Region VII (Central Visayas) is the number one region with the most number of reported VAWC cases at 2,762 (28%). Region VI (Western Visayas) comes in second with 1,704 (17%) followed by Region XI (Davao Region) in third with 1,123 (11%). This can mean that women in these regions have become more courageous in reporting abuses to authorities.
The least number of reported VAWC cases for the same period was recorded in Region II (Cagayan Valley) with 318 (3%) cases only. It is followed by Region VIII (Eastern Visayas) with 490 (5%) cases and Region XII (SOCCSKSARGEN).
The consolidated reports of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) as of September 2013 and PNP as of August 2013 also provides information on the different actions taken by concerned agencies on the reported VAWC cases, among which is the Referred to PNP which ranks first with 3,439 (29%) referrals. It is followed by Referred for Medical Treatment with 3,163 (26%) referrals; Referred to LSWDO with 3,671 (22%) referrals; Issued BPO with 1,744 (15%) issuances; and Referred to Court with 930 (8%) referrals.
Region VII (Central Visayas) is the top region with the most number of actions taken on the reported VAWC cases with 3,220 (27%). Region VI (Western Visayas) is next with 1,960 (16%) actions taken and Region XI (Davao Region) in third with 1,643 (14%) actions taken. The top three regions with the least number of actions taken on reported VAWC cases were Region X (Northern Mindanao) with only 541 (5%) actions taken followed by Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula) with 675 (5.6%) and Region II (Cagayan Valley) with 737 (6.2%) actions taken.
Sources: Philippine National Police – Women and Children Protection Center (PNP-WCPC) January-August 2013 Report; Department of the Interior and Local Government- National Barangay Operations Office (DILG-NBOO), January to September 2013 Report, and 2008 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS)
Core Messages on VAW
- VAW is a human rights issue. It strikes at the personhood of women and limits human development.
- Violence against women is rooted in historical and structural inequality in power relations between women and men, and persists in every country in the world as a pervasive violation of the enjoyment of human rights.
- Gender-based violence is a form of discrimination that seriously violates and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment by women and girls of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
- VAW is characterized by the use and abuse of power and control in public and private spheres, and is intrinsically linked with gender stereotypes that underlie and perpetuate such violence, as well as other factors that can increase women's and girls' vulnerability to such violence.
- Addressing VAW is a serious challenge as it requires a look into the interaction of psychological, social, cultural and other factors.
- Service providers and duty-holders are expected to at least observe some ethical considerations in addressing VAW including, but not limited to, maintaining the confidentiality of VAW victims, usage of gender-sensitive language, respecting the decision of the victim, respecting the victim’s emotional state, and taking care not pressure the victim in a decision.
- Policies, laws and mechanisms addressing VAW have been put in place, the need now is to sustain and improve on the initial gains.
- Implementation of National Strategic Action Plans to address VAW including Anti-trafficking in Persons should be ensured.
- A more cohesive and strategic approach is needed for all stakeholders, including government and civil society to address VAW.
- The President, as a duty-holder himself, is calling on all duty-holders especially government agencies to be committed in eliminating VAW as he signed Republic Act 10398 declaring November 25 of every year as the “National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children.”
- The need to strengthen these mechanisms is aligned in PNoy’s “Daang Matuwid” and Social Contract No. 13: “From a lack of concern for gender disparities and shortfalls, to the promotion of equal gender opportunity in all spheres of public policies and programs.”
How can you participate?
Online and Social Media Campaign
- Share the campaign videos in your Facebook and Twitter page. Campaign videos will be uploaded by November in PCW's Youtube Channel.
- Link the official campaign video in your agency’s website.
- Change your Facebook and Twitter display picture and cover photo throughout the campaign period (November 25 to December 12). Official campaign photos will be uploaded by 2nd week of November.
Radio and TV Campaign
- Air radio plugs regarding the campaign.
- Air the official campaign videos in TV stations
- Feature stories and documentaries regarding violence against women.
Streamers and Posters Campaign
- Hang campaign streamers and posters in your agency or organization.
Magazine and Newspaper Campaign
- Write articles about the campaign to end violence against women.
- Include in your agency publications or newsletter the 18-day campaign to end VAW.
- Wear Orange shirt every 25th of the month.
Walk to End VAW on November 24, 2013 (Kick-Off Activity)
- Participate in the Walk to End VAW on November 24. The walk will commence at Cultural Center of the Philippines (5AM) and will end at T.F. Valencia Circle (Lapu-Lapu Circle) Rizal Park, Manila.
- For LGUs, organize the same kick-off activity on November 24th.
- Join the poster making contest organized by Philippine Commission on Women. Winning entries will receive cash prizes and they will be exhibited at SM Centerpoint, Manila on December 10-12, 2013.