The 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) is observed annually from November 25 to December 12. The objective of this annual event is to raise awareness among all stakeholders that VAW is a public issue of national concern. It supports the Philippine Government’s goal to protect the human rights of women and its commitment to address all forms of VAW. The following issuances provide the national legal mandates for the annual campaign:
- Proclamation 1172 s. 2006 – Declaring 25 November to 12 December as the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW)
- Republic Act 10398 (2013) – Declaring November 25 of Every Year as National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children
In Support of the Worldwide Campaign to End VAW
Every year, women’s groups from different regions of the world observe the period from November 25 to December 10 as the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. It originated from the First Women’s Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991. The campaign links November 25 (International Day Against VAW) and December 10 (International Human Rights Day) to emphasize that VAW is a human rights violation.
The global campaign is further strengthened with the launching in 2008 of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End VAW Campaign which envisions a world free from all forms of violence against women and girls. For the UN, this vision can only be realized through meaningful actions and ongoing political commitments of national governments, backed by adequate resources.
The Philippine Campaign to End VAW
The Philippines has participated in this worldwide campaign to eliminate VAW since 2002. Presidential Proclamation 1172 s. 2006 extended the national campaign to 18 days, to include December 12, a historic date that marked the start of opening for signature in year 2000 of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. This Philippine initiative recognizes that trafficking is a form of VAW.
The first two years of the Philippine campaign focused on awareness raising on VAW, leading to the passage of two landmark legislations: RA 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003) and RA 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004). The succeeding years focused on the popularization of the newly passed laws, including other anti-VAW laws on rape and sexual harassment, strengthening implementation at the national and local level, and building a network of male advocates against VAW (Men Opposed to VAW Everywhere or MOVE). In 2008-2009, the campaign highlighted the important role of local government units and the judiciary in anti-VAW efforts, through the 2nd Gender Justice Awards and the Search for VAW-Responsive LGUs. In 2010-2012, the campaign underscored the Magna Carta of Women’s provision on protection from violence, the Philippine Government’s support to the UNiTE to End VAW Campaign, and protection of women from violence in situations of conflict and calamity. The 2013-2014 campaign called for giving emphasis on the importance of having functional mechanisms that are operated by competent and capable duty-bearers with sense of responsibility and accountability in addressing VAW, under the theme “End VAW Now! It’s Our Duty!”.
The 2015 18-Day Campaign to End VAW
With the theme “End VAW Now! It’s Our Duty!: Gains and Ways Forward” this year’s 18-Day Campaign to End VAW considers this period as another turning point in our anti-VAW advocacy. The expected change in leadership at the national and local levels by mid-2016, makes this year’s campaign a fitting time for duty-bearers and advocates to reflect and take stock of milestones and accomplishments in the last five years (gains), continue looking forward to our vision of a VAW-free community, and identify concrete / actionable steps towards reaching that vision (ways forward).
Stakeholders at the national, regional and local level are encouraged to highlight these topics in their respective activities, and make their reports available online through their official websites. By identifying our gains and making these results available online, we will be able to recognize the efforts of duty-bearers in fulfilling their mandates and inform the public that programs and services are in place and available for them. Identifying our ways forward on the other hand will help us keep on track, set our goals and accountabilities.
How can individuals and organizations get involved?
Organize your own event and invite others to join your event. Government agencies, non-government organizations, sectoral groups, private and civic organizations are enjoined to conduct their own activities in line with this year’s campaign theme and focus. You can also invite other groups and individuals to join your event. Hanging of streamer bearing this year’s campaign theme is also encouraged.
Live a Life Free from VAW. A life free from VAW – it’s our right! Freedom from VAW starts with knowing and respecting each person’s rights. You can help end VAW by doing the following
- Never commit VAW
- Never condone VAW
- Never remain silent about VAW
If you are, or you know someone who is a victim of VAW:
- Seek help from sympathetic family members and friends
- Report and seek the help of the barangay, social worker, police, NBI, or public attorney’s office nearest you.
Spread the word. Freedom from VAW is everyone’s concern. Be a firm advocate and partner in ending VAW. Know more about VAW and share the information with everyone. Support efforts within your school, workplace of community to eliminate VAW and achieve our vision of a VAW-free community.
Orange Your Icon for 18-Days aims to strengthen the anti-VAW advocacy by enjoining new audiences to join our cause. The idea is to attract the public’s curiosity on why major landmarks or icons nationwide are colored orange, thereby providing opportunities for advocates to explain the Anti-VAW advocacy. This way, we can raise the awareness and consciousness of a wider audience in taking action on VAW as a public issue.
By participating in this initiative, your organization is declaring your support to the anti-VAW advocacy and bringing the message of zero-tolerance for VAW to the public’s attention.
2. 18-Day Campaign to End VAW Kick-off Activity: “Assembly of Anti-VAW Advocacy Supporters” – 25 November 2015, 1PM, Aliw Theatre, Pasay City
The 2015 campaign kick-off activity “Assembly of Anti-VAW Advocacy Supporters” is a gathering of government, non-government, academe and private sector stakeholders to take stock of milestone accomplishments (gains) in addressing Violence Against Women (VAW) in the Philippines. It will be a venue for government, as duty bearers, to highlight their mid-decade (2010-2015) actions in ending VAW, as well as pledge their continuing commitment to sustain the gains and pursue further actions to move towards the shared vision of a VAW-free community (ways forward).
These will be presented through the use different art forms like interpretive dance, shadow play, and visual arts. The presentations will be recorded and then shared publicly through video clips as information, education and communication materials aimed at raising public awareness and sensitivity on the socio-economic and psychological effects of VAW on women, children, the family and the society as a whole. The presentations will also show an ideal picture of a VAW-free community thereby inspiring the general public to make a personal commitment to end violence against women and their children.
The venue has limited seating capacity and strictly observes a “no standing room” and “no ticket, no entry” policy. Thus, a maximum of 20 persons per participating agency/organization shall be allowed. PCW will issue the guidelines for agency/organization participation, issuance of tickets and other event details soon; please visit this site regularly for further updates.
3. Training of Guidance Counselors in Handling Gender-Based Violence(organized by the Commission on Higher Education) – November 25-27, 2015
4. Promoting Safe Communities: Forum with Male Advocates Against Violence Everywhere – 01 December 2015, 9 am to 3pm, AFP Theatre, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City
The forum on Promoting Safe Communities aims to highlight the vital role of men and boys in ending VAWC, including street and public places harassment. While it targets men and boys as its audience, the forum also seeks to gather good practices of public and privage organizations and their efforts in making their communities a safe place for women and girls.
5. NCR VAW Desk Officers Congress on VAWC – 02 December 2015, Venue: Bayview Park Hotel Manila
The establishment of VAW Desks in every barangay is mandated under RA 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women. These mechanisms at the local level are crucial because they provide the front line support to VAW victims/survivors at the community level. Women will be encouraged to report and file cases, if they know that their issues and concerns, as well as their right to seek for redress, will be responded to. The latest report by the DILG- National Barangay Operations Office (NBOO) showed that 79% of the more than 43,000 barangays have set up their respective VAW Desks.
Thus, the IACVAWC, through the PCW and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is conducting the NCR Barangay VAW Desk Congress on VAWC in solidarity with the 18-day campaign to End VAW. This activity is expected to secure commitment of officials from some 500 barangays in Metro Manila in taking concrete actions to eliminate VAW in their communities.
AKO PARA SA BATA (APSB) is an annual international conference organized by the Child Protection Network. The Ako Para Sa Bata 2015 is in line with the goal of the DOJ Office of Cybercrime to bolster the Government’s campaign against Online Child Abuse by holding and organizing advocacy and awareness programs to face this global challenge by convening all key stakeholders to discuss public-private partnerships, information sharing, and demonstrate the latest issues facing disruption and enforcement efforts involving online child abuse worldwide. For complete details, visit manilaconference.com/index.php/register/
7. 2015 CineJuana Film Festival – 8 to 10 December 2015, Venue: National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Auditorium
Believing that film is a powerful tool in helping shape the public perception and stand on the issue of VAW, one of the activities for this year’s campaign is a film festival, 2015 CineJuana, that will showcase films focusing on the issue of VAW. The film is open to public for free. This activity is in partnership with the Government Service Insurance System, National Commission for Culture and the Arts and Film Development Council of the Philippines.
8. Leaders’ Gender Sensitization on GAD in Private Higher Education Institutions(organized by the Commission on Higher Education) – December 10-12, 2015