More than 7,600 Juanas and Juans walk to end Violence Against Women

An estimated 7,656 individuals from various sectors walked along the circumference of the herstoric Quezon Memorial Circle in Elliptical Road, Quezon City, early morning of November 25, aiming to echo a united voice in ending Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC).

Dubbed as “Walk To End VAW,” the kick-off activity marks the beginning of the annual 18-Day Campaign To End VAW, which is being observed from November 25 to December 12.

Clad in orange shirts, participants stride with pride as they shout “End VAW Now! It’s Our Duty!,” the campaign’s theme this year which highlights the roles of government as well as rights holder in ending VAWC.

In her opening remarks, Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) Executive Director Emmeline L. Verzosa explained before the participants the need to “Orange Your Neighbourhood.”

“Kasabay natin ang United Nations sa kanilang ‘Orange your Neighbourhood’ campaign.’Kaya tayo ngayon naka-orange na damit ay para ipakita na nais nating bigyang liwanag at pag-asa ang mga kababaihan at kabataang biktima ng karahasan o pang-aabuso (We are one with the United Nations in the advocacy to ‘Orange your Neighbourhood’. We are wearing orange today to show that we want to give light for a brighter future and give hope to the victims of violence against women and children),” she said.

The one-hour walk was immediately followed by a short program at the Liwasang Aurora, where duty bearers expressed their commitments in ending VAWC.

“The women and men of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will do its best to help PCW in popularizing the Magna Carta of Women (MCW). We should claim the law, the comprehensive law for women,” said MMDA General Manager Corazon Jimenez in her short message.

For his part, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Assistant Secretary Teodulo Romo Jr. assured that the agency is “steadfast in promoting the rights of women.”

National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Undersecretary Florencia Dorotan, on the other hand, vowed to intensify their efforts in empowering the lives of women.

Meantime, the Media and Gender Equality Committee (MGEC), chaired by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), launched the 2015 GADtimpala for Media, a recognition to the mainstream media organizations observing and practicing Gender-Fairness.

Shortly after the program, “Public Service and Crisis Center Booths” were opened to public, aiming to provide services to victims and survivors of VAWC.

The kick-off activity was simultaneously held in Kalibo, Aklan; Butuan City for CARAGA, Cebu City, Davao City, Sta. Rosa, Laguna and various parts of the country.

The “2014 Walk To End VAW” is made possible by the generous support from the Quezon City government, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Philippine Red Cross (PRC), Commuter TV, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Inter-Agency Council Against Violence Against Women (IACVVAWC), Presidential Museum and Library, SM Supermalls, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Focus Media, Innerwheel Club and Maynilad.

November 25 is declared by the United Nations as the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women and the National Consciousness Day to End Violence Against Women and their Children (RA 10398).