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Legarda: Ending Violence Against Women, A Cause for All

November 27, 2016

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), Senator Loren Legarda stressed the importance of everyone’s involvement to create a VAW-free society.

Legarda, author of various laws on the protection of women, said that the responsibility to end VAW does not only lie with the government but also with everyone in the community, starting with the family.

“We all have significant women in our lives—mother, wife, sister, daughter, or even a close friend. We all have to support this cause if only to ensure that the women in our lives would not be helpless, discriminated, or abused and would have the strength to fight for their rights. We can only stop VAW through our collective efforts,” she explained.

According to the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), 1 in 5 women experienced physical violence since age 15; 6 in 100 women reported having experienced sexual violence; 4% of women experienced physical violence during pregnancy; but only 3 of 10 women sought help to stop the violence.

Legarda 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.

“Many victims of abuses choose not to report these incidents due to lack of awareness about their legal rights. We have diligently toiled to enact pieces of legislation to protect the rights of women and promote their welfare. The greater challenge is to effectively implement these laws and educate women on their rights. Women around the country should be aware that they are sufficiently protected under various laws,” she said.

Philippine laws for the protection of women’s rights include: the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act (RA 9262), Anti-Discrimination Against Women Act (RA 6725), Women in Development and Nation Building Act (RA 7192), Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act (RA 8505), Magna Carta of Women (RA 9710), and the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act (RA 9208) and its expanded version (RA 10364).

The 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women for 2016 carries the theme “VAW-free community starts with me.”