PCW warns against VAW, objectification of women during election season

The Philippine Commission on Women warns against any form of Violence Against Women (VAW) during the election period as well as any act that tends to degrade, objectify, sexualize, or insult Juanas.

The Commission is alarmed over the proliferation of links  supposedly leading to a sex video of a woman related to a candidate, and over a concerning video that shows two candidates dancing and sitting on the lap of a woman in a campaign rally. 

Election season or not, women should not be targets of misogynistic, malicious, or sexist maneuvers.  The PCW reminds everyone that violence against women, in all its forms, can never be justified and  tactics to utilize the same must not be condoned.

We reiterate that the act of using information and communications technology (ICT) in altering videos and impersonating identities of victims online or posting lies about victims to harm their reputation are penalized under relevant laws, including the Safe Spaces Act. 

The Commission has long advocated that women should be treated with respect, and has always opposed the objectification of women. This is especially relevant during the election season when some individuals see or use women as a form of entertainment, means to get attention, or mere tools of propaganda. While some may say that it is all in the spirit of fun, it is sexualizing and dehumanizing women, and is clearly a gross and blatant disregard of their rights and dignity. 

While there is public outcry on these acts against known personalities, we must note that these can also happen to ordinary women and girls. Hence, we should be vigilant and proactive in preventing and addressing these. 

We call on the appropriate authorities to investigate these incidents to put an end to it once and for all.

To the general public, candidates, and supporters, the PCW underscores that sexist strategies, discrimination, and violence against women have no place in a decent election — a process that sits at the heart of a democracy where sovereignty resides in the people, all genders included.