18-day Campaign to End VAW calls for accountability, increased commitment of duty-bearers

Increased commitment and accountability of duty-bearers.

This is what the 18-day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) aims to emphasize this year.

The nationwide campaign, which is being observed from November 25 to December 12, carries the theme “End VAW Now! It’s Our Duty!” It highlights the importance of having functional protection mechanisms such as VAW desks in every barangay and local inter-agency committees on anti-trafficking and violence against women and girls operated by competent, capable and committed local officials, police, social workers, health workers, prosecutors, and other first responders.

Rape, incest, intimate partner violence including wife beating, sexual harassment, human trafficking, and prostitution cannot be tolerated. Even in disaster operations, women and girls must be protected from sexual exploitation and abuse.

Women- and child-friendly spaces must be established in evacuation camps and relocation sites during crisis situations such as in Zamboanga, Bohol and Yolanda-stricken LGUs.

With a sense of responsibility and accountability, service providers have an obligation to be sensitive to the different needs of women and girls, men and boys.

The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), the lead agency who annually spearheads said observance in the country, is set to launch series of activities in line with the campaign.

As a kick-off activity, the PCW will organize the “Walk to End VAW” on November 24, 2013 from Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) to Lapu-Lapu Circle in Rizal Park, Manila, enjoining all government agencies, non-government organizations, academe, civil society organizations and various stakeholders.
Assembly is at 5am.

Estimated 5,000 participants are expected to commit themselves in ending violence against women.

Another calendar activity for the said observance is the launching of Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and Their Children (IACVAWC)’s Strategic Plan on November 25 at Bulwagang Serbisyo Sibil, 2nd floor, Civil Service Commission Central Office in Batasan Hills, Quezon City. Service providers and duty-bearers are enjoined in this activity.

Prior to these activities, a poster-making contest (for Metro Manila-based high school students was launched in October, aiming to raise awareness on VAW.

Participating entries will be showcased in a 3-day exhibit at SM City Sta. Mesa on December 10-12.