To raise awareness that violence against women is a public issue of national concern and to kick-off the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW, the Regional Inter-Agency Committee Against Trafficking-Violence Against Women and Their Children-10 held the Advocacy Walk on Sunday from Rodelsa Rotunda to Kiosko Kagawasan, Divisoria in Cagayan de Oro City.
The 18-Day Campaign to End VAW is observed annually from Nov. 25 to Dec. 12 to protect the human rights of women and address all forms of violence against women.
Various national line agencies, non government organizations, civil society organizations and women’s groups in the city participated in the event to show their commitment as advocates and partners in ending violence against women.
“The Department of Social Welfare and Development has noted that cases of violence against women and children have risen over the years, despite the passage of Republic Act 9208 in 2003,” DSWD Regional Director Nestor Ramos said.
He also shared that because of the alarming data, the department has endeavored to build capacities of all stakeholders to address the identified factors hindering the protection and fulfillment of the right against trafficking and violence.
As for the concrete actions on how one can stop VAW, Olivia Pelagio of the Parole and Probation Administration-Department of Justice-10 said for women, they should empower themselves by knowing their rights and available courses of actions in case these rights are violated. They should also speak out and report to authorities in case their rights are violated. Women must also encourage others to fight for their rights.
In the barangay level, Pelagio shared that VAW can be stopped by ensuring that the barangay VAW desk is functional, establishing linkages with local and national government agencies as well as other organizations where the barangay staff can refer victim-survivors of VAW, and promoting harmonious family and community relationships in the barangay which is grounded on mutual respect for human rights. (pia x)