18-day Campaign to End VAW set to start

The Philippines will once again commemorate the 18-day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) on November 25-December 12, 2009 in sync with the worldwide commemoration of the 16-Day of Activism to End VAW. To be led by the Philippine Commission on Women or PCW (formerly National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women) in partnership with the Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and Children (IACVAWC) and Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), the campaign will focus on celebrating the achievements made to end VAW and encouraging the participation of everyone especially at the local level in the elimination of VAW.

“The 18-day Campaign to End VAW does not mean that this is the only time that we pursue our agenda to end VAW. The campaign provides an opportunity to work together in solidarity to gain support for our efforts to end VAW,” says PCW Chairperson Myrna T. Yao.

In accordance with the international theme, “Commit, Act, Demand: We can End Violence Against Women”, this year’s commemoration is a package of activities where different stakeholders shall take part in the elimination of VAW.

On November 25, 2009, the PCW will gather 250 partners, guests and advocates for the awarding ceremony of the year-long search for Outstanding VAW-Responsive LGUs and the Gender Justice Awards II at the Rembrandt Hotel in Quezon City. The “Search for the Outstanding VAW-Responsive LGUs” recognizes barangays, municipalities and cities with clear policies, programs, services and interventions, and implementing and monitoring mechanisms to address VAW while the Gender Justice Awards II recognizes judges from the Lower Courts up to the Regional Trial Courts who have handled cases involving violence against women (VAW) and have rendered a gender-sensitive decision during the period January 2004 to December 2008.

On December 1-3, an ASEAN Regional Conference on Legislating and Programming Towards an Integrative Approach to Gender-Based Violence and HIV/AIDS will be held at the Inter Continental Hotel in Makati City. The conference will be participated by representatives from ten ASEAN member countries, the ASEAN Secretariat, and UNIFEM Southeast Asia who will explore the development and passage of policies and legislations, and the formulation and implementation of programs addressing both GBV and HIV/AIDS, and integrating the two, following a gender equality and human rights perspective.

A men’s group called MOVE or Men Opposed to VAW Everywhere will run for a cause in an activity entitled “MOVE! Run to End VAW” on December 6, 2006. The advocacy run in partnership with Barangay San Lorenzo Business Association, Barangay San Lorenzo in Makati City and Ayala Land, will be held at the Legaspi Car Park, Legaspi Village Makati City. MOVE will also hold a gender deepening orientation for its members on December 11, 2009. MOVE is an organization of men who are actively involved in the elimination of VAW. MOVE members are from various organizations in government, private sector, academe and non-government organizations with various chapters all over the country.

On December 10, 2009, International Human Rights Day, the Presidential Human Rights Committee will bring together GOs and civil society organizations in a National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP) Summit. The NHRAP presents government policies, plans, and programs for the effective implementation of the eight international human rights treaties, one of which is Philippine ratified CEDAW or the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women.