2009 18-Day Campaign to End VAW

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign originating from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) at Rutgers University in 1991. Participants chose the dates, November 25, International Day Against Violence Against Women, and December 10, International Human Rights Day, in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a human rights violation. In the Philippines, the government has expanded it in 2006 by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 1172 to include up to December 12, which marks the adoption of the United Nation Convention Against Transnational Crime, thus making it an 18-Day Campaign.

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) during last year’s 16 Days Campaign, millions of people pledged their support for ending violence against women (VAW) and upholding human rights. Building upon this momentum, the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) dedicates the 2009 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign to honoring groups and individuals who have committed to bringing VAW to the forefront of global attention, to encouraging everyone in their various capacities to take action to end VAW, and to demanding accountability for all of the promises made to eliminate VAW. Therefore, the 2009 international theme is:

COMMIT * ACT * DEMAND: We CAN End Violence Against Women!

Campaign Activities

Traditionally, the NCRFW, in partnership with the Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and Children (IACVAWC) and the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) spearheads the annual campaign. In accordance with the international theme, this year’s celebration is a package of activities where different stakeholders shall take participation on the elimination of VAW. To honor and celebrate the achievements made to ending VAW, and to encourage broad participation by emphasizing that everyone has a role to play, engaging not just duty-bearers but also other stakeholders especially at the local level in the elimination of VAW shall be this year’s focus.

Awarding Ceremony for the Search for VAW Responsive LGUs and Gender Justice Awards II. The year-long search for both the VAW Responsive Local Government Units (LGUs) and Gender Justice Awards 2 shall name the winners in the Awarding Ceremony which will be the kick-off activity for this years’ commemoration of the 18-day campaign to end VAW. The two searches launched during the 2008 18-day campaign, will recognize innovative programs and services of local government units in addressing VAW and gender sensitive judges who have rendered gender sensitive decisions on VAW cases.

December 10, 2009 marks the 61st anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the last day of the international 16 Days of Activism on Gender-Based Violence. In the Philippines, being among the first signatories of the UDHR and as one of the first elected members of the United Nation Human Rights Council, the government recognizes the significance of this occasion as an inspiring symbol to promote and protect human rights. During this day, several accomplishments shall be accounted which will include the Launching of the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP) and UNSCR 1325 and 1820 National Action Plan. Also, the National Government Agencies mandated under Administrative Order 249 issued by PGMA last year, which aims to further strengthen government policies, plans, and programs for the effective promotion and protection of human rights are expected to report their year-end accomplishments in the fulfillment of this directive.

Development of the IRR of RA 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women Act of 2009. The enactment of Republic Act No. 9710 or the Magana Carta of Women Act of 2009 is a major accomplishment on the advancement of protecting the rights of Filipino women. The MCW seeks to eliminate discrimination against women by recognizing, protecting, fulfilling and promoting the rights of women, especially those in the marginalized sectors. With this historical legislative achievement, series of consultation sessions shall be conducted in line with the formulation of the law’s implementing rules and regulations. The crafting of the IRR, which will detail the roles and responsibilities of duty bearers in the implementation of the law, will require concerted efforts from national government agencies, non-government organizations and civil society organizations, among others.

The Regional Sub-Committee on Gender and Development (RSCGAD), the main gender mainstreaming mechanism in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), has committed to the crafting of the ARMM GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT CODE, a legislation which is foreseen to be a major instrument in addressing gender issues in ARMM and advancing the status of women in the region. This is seen as a timely initiative of the RSCGAD in the light of the recent enactment of the Magna Carta of Women. The Magna Carta of Women is the national translation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) into Philippine context. The proposed ARMM GAD Code will be the translation of the Magna Carta of Women into the ARMM context.

ASEAN Regional Conference on Legislating and Programming Towards an Integrative Approach to Gender – Based Violence and HIV/AIDS. The Philippine Government, through the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW), and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) will spearhead the conduct of a regional conference-workshop on Legislating and Programming towards an Integrative Approach to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and HIV/AIDS. Scheduled on December 1-3, 2009 in Manila, Philippines, the conference will gather participants from the ten (10) ASEAN member countries to serve as a venue to foster discussions and sharing of experiences among government agencies and concerned organizations in ASEAN member countries in handling GBV and HIV/AIDS. Specifically, the conference-workshop 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. The conference will be made more meaningful by the participation of groups or networks of women living with HIV/AIDS and GBV victim-survivors whose inputs and perspectives will keep the discussions grounded.

MEN OPPOSED TO VAW EVERYWHERE. MOVE Philippines, Inc. will conduct a gender deepening orientation entitled Men and Masculinity as part of the 18-day campaign to end VAW. As men advocates on VAW, they need to understand masculinity as a social construct that usually affects the gender roles of men and women. Since gender is constructed within institutional and cultural contexts that produce multiple forms of masculinity, men are the active players in the formation of these masculinities. This gender deepening orientation will present how ethnicity, economic status, educational level, sexual orientation and social context influence the kind of masculinity that men construct. It will also assess the level of masculinity of these men’s self-concept through identification with traditionally masculine characteristics.