Sustained Campaign Fighting Violence Against Women

By: Sofia Aliño Logarta November 28,2018 - 09:31 PM


A few days back TV featured the plight of women who due to their traditional culture have early in their lives undergo “female genital mutilation,” a form of circumcision. Males would not want to marry them unless they undergo this painful, unhealthy process. It is somehow a way by which control is inflicted upon females, removing sexual pleasure as males keep their desires fulfilled. The researcher was quite surprised about the extent that such practices continue.

Our local dailies and television showed the story of a grandfather who abused his granddaughter even to the point of her getting pregnant at a very young age. Another story was about a victim of incest. It took a long time for this victim to realize that all that she experienced was not her fault.

Of course it has been a while now since we have been scandalized by the cyber-pornography to which our children had been exposed. Sadly, this exploitation, and absolute neglect of children’s rights has been inflicted by family members or relatives.

So for this historical province to which the Sto. Niño was brought as a gift, there is a need for structural changes in our economic, political, and cultural landscape. A shift in values that puts preference for the child, the human being before the material gain. We need to be conscious of human dignity and equality. As we approach December 10, the day of the Universal Declaration of Human

Rights, we assert that Women’s Rights are Human Rights. To proclaim that no one even a child or female is a mere commodity, we have World Anti-Trafficking Day. We celebrate with a campaign: 18-day Campaign Against Violence Towards Women. Last Sunday the women from the various barangays marched through Osmeña Boulevard and had a program with brief talks opposing violence against women. In between the speeches the women danced with abandon to give a glimpse of their sense of empowerment.

“Takna-sa Kababayen-an of the Legal Alternatives for Women Center, Inc.” aired by DYLA Atty. Noemi Truya Abarintos and Lolet Aliño discussed the origin in the campaign: the death of working women in Latin America. To understand violence against women and to begin to struggle against it we have to realize the inequality prevailing in male-dominated societies.

LAW Center, Inc. aims for women empowerment. The staff, especially Ma’m Fe Cabatingan join the victims in their journey of discovering their inner strength through psycho-social processing. The lawyers led by Atty. Virginia Palanca-Santiago and Atty. Irene Caballes enlighten them on the legal remedies they can choose from in order to assert their rights. Economic empowerment has also been initiated so that with economic independence, the women hesitate less to confront husbands who provide for the family’s needs.

For LAW Center, Inc. there is a “continuing campaign” fighting violence against women with its various programs. Aside from providing legal and other alternatives for women, this non-government organization provides—education-orientation to the staff of the VAW (Violence Against Women) desks of various barangays, municipalities in Cebu. These could be on laws for the protection of women: the Magna Carta of Women, Anti-Domestic Violence, Anti-Sexual Harassment Law, and others. They engage in the training of para-legal staff for the barangay. With more information, Women’s Desks and other staff are alerted to immediate and nearby assistance abused women can get, as in the case of the barangay protection order. Information and clarifications are also disseminated through the radio and TV program (Sa Mata sa Kababayen-an at CCTN). LAW Center, Inc. also publishes “Linkages,” a report on its various projects and activities as well as the experiences of its clients to inspire others in assisting women grow. A next generation of women advocates are also nurtured through the acceptance of student interns in their work.

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