In observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (VAW) and the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW (November 25 – December 12), three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda stressed the importance of intensifying the enforcement of laws for the protection of women’s right and welfare.
Legarda, author of various laws on the protection of women, asserted that the responsibility to end VAW does not only lie with the government but also with everyone in the community, and it should start in the safe haven we call ‘home’.
Violence against women is one of the most pervasive human rights abuses in the country despite the existence of laws aimed at preventing such abuses, ”Legarda said. “We all have to get involved in pursuing causes for women to ensure that the significant women in our lives — mother, wife, sister, daughter, or even a close friend — would not feel helpless, be discriminated against or abused, and would have The strength and courage to stand up for their rights. ”
According to the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that in 2017, 1 in 4 Filipino women aged 15 to 49 had experienced physical, emotional, or sexual violence. Amid the pandemic, emerging data and reports showed that from March 2020 to August 2021, a total of 18,945 cases of violence against women were recorded by the PNP Women and Children Protection Center.
The three-term Senator underscored the need to strengthen public awareness and campaigns on women’s rights in order to prevent and combat all forms of gender-based violence. Legarda further explained that violence against women takes many different forms, including enslavement of women in conflict areas, discrimination in the workplace, emotional abuse, sexual slavery, and trafficking of women.