PCW-Negros Occ. Kicks Off Campaign to End Violence

The Provincial Council for Women (PCW) of Negros Occidental will kick off the observance of the annual 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) today, Nov. 24, with a caravan from the various cities and municipalities, and converge in Talisay City, for a Forum on Human Rights and the Pillars of the Criminal Justice System.

According to Atty. Andrea Lizares-Si, chair of PCW, speakers during the program, which will start 9:30 a.m. at the Talisay City Plaza Covered Court, include Atty. David Bermudo, regional director of the Commission on Human Rights, and Atty. Arnel Sigue, President of Anti-Trafficking Legal Advocates Society (ATLAS).

“With what is happening in our country, which left many women grieving for spouses and children lost in the anti-drug campaign, armed struggle, terrorist activities, and the continued prevalence of rape and domestic violence, among other forms of VAW, we feel there is a need to remind our fellow Negrenses about the need to continue calling for the respect, promotion, protection and fulfillment of human rights, especially of women and children, as part of our democracy and humanity,” Si said in her invitation to the women leaders and local government units.

Talisay City Mayor Neil Lizares will welcome the more than 500 women leaders and GAD advocates attending the kick off events, and the Minuluan drumbeaters and dancers, and the City ICT scholars and alumni are set to perform during the program.

Also invited to give messages are Board Member Helen Zafra of the SP Committee on Women, Family and Gender Relations; Dr. Marilyn Marañon, first lady of the province; and Police Chief Inspector Edfel Balibadlan, president of the Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office Men Opposed to Violence Against Women Everywhere (PNP MOVE).

The awarding of the Most Outstanding Barangay VAW Desk and officers of Talisay City will also be held during the morning program.

Meanwhile, as part of the 18-Day campaign kick off, there will be a Women’s Bazaar at Talisay City Plaza to underscore the need for economic opportunities and empowerment to women as one of the responses to address VAW.

This 2017 18-Day campaign continues last year’s theme of “VAW-Free Community Starts with Me”.

(Backgrounder

The global campaign started in 1991 as the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, linking Nov. 25 (International Day Against VAW) to Dec. 10 (International Human Rights Day) to emphasize that VAW is a human rights violation.

While the Philippine government has participated in this worldwide campaign to eliminate VAW since 2002, the women of Bacolod and Negros Occidental have observed the annual campaign since 1992 through DAWN or Development Through Active Women Networking Foundation, the Bacolod Consortium of Women’s Organizations, and eventually through the Provincial Council for Women.

Now known as the 18-Day Campaign, it also includes the observance of World AIDS Day on Dec.1, and now ends Dec. 12-the International Day of Action Against Human Trafficking.

According to the Philippine Commission on Women, the 18-Day campaign aims to raise awareness among all stakeholders that VAW is a public issue of national concern and supports the government’s goal to human rights of women and its commitment to address all forms of VAW.*)