2021 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women | Condo Tips

Dec 12, 2021

Violence against women (VAW) is a human rights violation and a persistent societal issue in the Philippines. Discrimination and gender inequality are exhibited and perpetuated through it. According to international agreements and their local translations, women have a fundamental right to live a life free from violence, which is usually infringed upon. VAW also has long-term physical, psychological, sexual, and emotional effects for women and girls, preventing them from achieving their full potential.

Below is a brief introduction of what VAW is and how widespread it is in the Philippines, along with the activities of the 18-day campaign to end violence against women that you can participate in even in the comforts of your condo living.

What is VAW?

According to the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), Violence Against Women (VAW) is thought to be connected to the uneven power relations between men and women, or "gender-based violence." As a result of societal expectations and traditions, men are viewed as the primary decision-makers, providers, leaders, and protectors, while women are viewed as the primary nurturers, their companions, subordinates, and supporters. As a result, men are able to exert greater control over women. To maintain their position of authority, men use VAW as a means of expressing their dominance over women.

The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993) defined VAW as “any act of gender-based violence that results in or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public and private life. Gender-based violence is any violence inflicted on women because of their sex.”

According to Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004, VAW includes, but is not limited to, the following acts:

  • Causing physical harm to the woman or her child;
  • Threatening to cause the woman or her child physical harm;
  • Attempting to cause the woman or her child physical harm;
  • Placing the woman or her child in fear of imminent physical harm;
  • Attempting to restrict the woman’s or her child’s freedom of movement or conduct by force or threat of force, physical or other harm or threat of physical or other harm, or intimidation directed against the woman or child.

VAW Statistics in the Philippines

Filipino women aged 15-49 were found to have been physically, emotionally, or sexually abused by their husband or partner according to the 2017 National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). There have been 18,945 instances of VAW reported to the PNP Women and Children Protection Center since COVID-19 quarantine measures began in March 2020 to August 2021.

An SWS poll in 2016 found that three in five women have been sexually harassed at some point in their lives. The study was carried out as part of the United Nations Women's Safe Cities Metro Manila Program in the Philippines. One in seven women and one in seven men from Quezon City's two barangays had suffered sexual harassment at least once a week in the last year, while one in seven males have acknowledged sexually harassing someone at least once a day. The online advocacy campaign will be boosted with social media cards on VAW, the official hashtag #VAWFreePH, and the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW Facebook Profile Frame accessible on the PCW FB page. Viber stickers about the Safe Spaces Act and VAW, in general, can also be downloaded and used. The majority of these occurrences occur during the workday. The report also found that 58% of sexual harassment occurs on the streets, main highways, and eskinitas, with the bulk of physical harassment occurring in public transportation vehicles.

Campaign Theme for 2021 and Objectives

The Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women (IACVAWC) picked the theme "VAW-free community starts with Me" for the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW in 2016 and this theme will be used every year from 2016 through 2021.

The theme raises the campaign that encourages everyone to strive for a community free of violence against women and girls, highlighting what can be done to accomplish this goal.

The 2021 campaign's overall goal is to raise public knowledge about the SSA or the Space Spaces Act and the institutions tasked with enforcing its provisions. Gender-based sexual harassment (GBSH) is defined and penalized under the Safe Spaces Act (SSA or Republic Act No. 11313), which was signed into law in 2019. As the country continues to battle the COVID-19 epidemic, which nurtures different types of VAW, especially online, there is a need to increase awareness-raising on the basic elements of the legislation, the sanctions, and processes in place in the digital realm.

Government and local government units (LGUs), including the corporate sector, are obligated to connect their campaign actions with this overall goal.

Key Activities of the Philippine Commission on Women for 2021

"Safe Spaces, Kasali Tayo”

On November 25, December 3, December 10, and December 12, 2021, the PCW, in coordination with IACVAWC, will host four online events. The events aim to increase public awareness of the legislation and the legal service and resources available to victims.

  • November 25: IACVAWC members' "Let's Make This a Safe Space" campaign will be the first steps in the "#SastepSpacesSafe" experience-sharing internet campaign.
  • December 3: Gender-based sexual harassment (GBSH) will be the focus of an online conversation about what victims may do if they encounter it in public or online.
  • December 10: There are systems in place to prevent and respond to GBSH instances in the workplace as well as educational/training institutions; these methods will be discussed by Resource Persons.’
  • December 12: The PCW will showcase a video reflecting and highlighting the campaign as a culminating activity.

Let’s Make this a Safe Space Ground Campaign 

Besides making the most of online platforms, this year's campaign intends to acquire momentum on the ground by placing visible visual messages on the streets, public spaces, private businesses, public utility vehicles, walkways, alleyways, bathrooms, and other places.

#SanaAllSpacesSafe Online Campaign

This online initiative invites people to contribute their vision of a community free of gender-based sexual harassment. #SanaAllSpacesSafe allows all genders to express their vision of a VAW-free community, as well as relate their own experiences with VAW and/or sexual harassment.

Do the Macho Choir!

Catcalling is a form of sexual harassment, and the Philippine Commission on Women, in collaboration with DDB Cares, created three 30-second radio plugs titled “Macho Choir” in 2018 that address this issue. Participants can sing, dance, act, or otherwise creatively interpret the Macho Choir and submit their videos to YouTube using the hashtag #DoTheMachoChoir.

Safe Spaces Pledge

This inspires everyone to work towards creating a VAW-free community by creating safe places for everybody. People from all walks of life may take the #SafeSpacesPledge and pledge to make all spaces safe through acts as public workers, private entities, or individuals.

Orange Your Icon Advocacy Initiative

From November 25 to December 12, government and private organizations across the country are encouraged to color and decorate their major landmarks or icons orange to support the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW. This effort, launched in 2015, intends to engage and stimulate public curiosity, allowing advocates to explain and promote the Anti-VAW campaign. This will act as a platform for public discussion and spreading the anti-VAW message.

Other Online Campaign

The online advocacy campaign will be boosted with social media cards on VAW, the official hashtag #VAWFreePH, and the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW Facebook Profile Frame accessible on the PCW FB page. Viber stickers about the Safe Spaces Act and VAW, in general, can also be downloaded and used.

Suggested Activities for local Gender and Development and anti-VAW

Government agencies, municipal governments, businesses, and regional and local GAD and anti-VAW groups are invited to arrange their own initiatives that are consistent with the main aims of the 2021 campaign, such as: 

  • Banners of the official campaign should be prominently displayed at their offices and on their websites
  • Distribution of infographics or publicity materials on SSA
  • Playing PCW-produced and agency-produced videos or infomercials on VAW and SSA 
  • Conduct of SSA orientation or discussion forums
  • Internal discussions on how to fulfill duties under the SSA are necessary for both public and private enterprises.

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For more information on Vista Residences, email [email protected], follow @VistaResidencesOfficial on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, or call the Marketing Office at 0999 886 4262 / 0917 582 5167.

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