PCW reiterates stand against all forms of commodification of women

The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), expresses grave concern over the recent involvement of another government agency in an incident that objectifies and commodifies women.

The public outrage over the incident is proof that such activities in gatherings of government officials and employees should never be tolerated. This is especially true when an agency belongs to those who are expected to carry out law enforcement functions and assist women and children victim-survivors of violence and sexual abuse.

Time and again, the PCW stands by its mandate to advise all public officials and employees against engaging in or facilitating any activity that perpetuate discrimination against women or degrade their dignity by treating them as mere objects of sexual or lustful gratification.

We remind everyone that these unjust actions lead to further dehumanization, discrimination, and abuse of women.

We urge our fellow government agencies to prioritize the development and implementation of gender-responsive mechanisms that would help victims-survivors of violence against women (VAW) and other forms of gender-based violence. Efforts should be made to foster an environment that promotes the help-seeking behavior of victim-survivors and ensuring the effectiveness of our justice system in prosecuting perpetrators. It is imperative that our focus remains on these objectives rather than engaging in actions that contradict our goals. By doing so, we risk perpetuating these unacceptable practices and backsliding our efforts in creating a more inclusive and safe society for all.

Moreover, we remind all public officials and law enforcers to stay true to their oath as protectors of human rights; consistently demonstrate ethical conduct and serve as role models in public at all times; and promote an enabling society where respect and safety of women prevail.

PCW firmly believes that strengthened institutional mechanisms within the government are instrumental in effectively addressing the prevalent problems of discrimination and commodification of women in our society as we continue reshaping our society towards a more inclusive and enabling place where dignity and respect are the established norm.