NCRFW’s campaign focuses on men’s role to end VAW in RP

The National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW), the government’s machinery for women’s advancement, is spearheading the 2008 observance of the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) that will run from November 25 to December 12, 2008 in partnership with Violence Against Women Coordinating Committee (VAWCC) and the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT). This year’s campaign will focus on engaging men in the fight to end gender violence and discrimination.

To mark this special occasion, the link between human rights and women’s rights is highlighted and anchored on the conviction that human rights cannot be authentic without women’s rights. Thus, the international theme for 2008 is “Human Rights for Women, Human Rights for All.” The local theme for this year’s observance is “CEDAW Ng Bayan: ReMOVE VAW!” which aims to encourage, empower, inspire and support men in valuing women as equals.

“The NCRFW recognizes that men’s role is crucial in changing unequal power relations in the society. By involving men in efforts to eliminate gender discrimination and violence, they can be part of the solution to end this cycle of VAW,” says NCRFW Chair Myrna T. Yao.

In accordance with the international theme, the Philippines’ Campaign focuses on VAW-responsiveness of government towards fulfilling women’s human rights and the men’s role in ending VAW. The Campaign aims to bring to the fore the critical roles of governments, at the macro level, and of men, as individuals and groups, at the micro level, in curbing and responding sensitively to violence against women.

The Campaign will recognize concrete efforts specifically of local government units and members of the judiciary in promoting anti-VAW. Hence, the 2009 Search for Outstanding VAW-Responsive Local Government Unit (LGU) and the Search for 10 Outstanding Judges on VAW will be launched during the 18-Day Campaign.

To highlight the role of men in the fight against VAW, the Campaign will hold the first National Congress of the Men Opposed to Violence Against Women Everywhere (MOVE) on December 5, 2008. MOVE is an organization of principled men from various sectors of society whose primary aim is to actively contribute to the advocacy to eliminate VAW everywhere. For the past two years, MOVE has participated in a number of advocacy activities, both local and international, initiated capacity building undertakings, established its organizational structure and internal mechanisms and formulated its plan of action.