The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office Caraga as Chair of the Regional Inter-Agency Committee against Trafficking and Violence Against Women and their Children (RIACAT-VAWC), kicked-off the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW by highlighting advocacies on HoWR (Honoring Women Rights) and the Men Opposed to VAW Everywhere (MOVE).
The HoWR campaign, which was launched on November 25, 2020, at the Conference Hall of DSWD FO Caraga, R.Palma St., Butuan City was among the opening activities of the said celebration, while the MOVE initiative was launched the following day, November 26, 2020 during the Tree Planting/Growing Activity of the Field Office in Abilan, Buenavista, ADN.
The 18-Day Campaign to End VAW supports the Philippine government’s goal of protecting the human rights of women and girls by upholding its commitment to address all forms of gender-based violence as enshrined in the 1987 Constitution. By virtue of Republic Act 10398 or the Act declaring November 25 of every year as the National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of VAWC, government agencies are mandated to raise awareness on the problem of violence and the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls.
This year’s campaign highlights the recurring theme “VAW-FREE community starts with Me” which reiterates everyone’s commitment and contributions on ending VAW as well as to encourage the general public to make a personal commitment in ending Violence Against Women and Children.
During the opening activity, Atty. Jerefe D. Tubigon-Bacang, Regional Director of the Commission on Human Rights, and chairperson of the Regional Gender and Development Committee (RGDAC) Caraga, delivered her State of the Women’s Address Regional Report about the Situation of Women in Caraga Region.
“As we flatten the COVID-19 curve, let us also flatten the Gender-based violence (GBV). Let us do more, let us make a louder, [and] wider campaign as we echo this year’s campaign VAW-Free Community starts with Me” Atty. Bacang uttered.
Aside from the DSWD, several agencies also reserved a special corner of their respective offices and decorated it with the orange color as their support to the 18-Day VAW-Fee Campaign. To wit: Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Health (DOH), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) took part in the campaign.
The Women’s HoWR campaign was launched around 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon (dubbed Women’s Hour), when everybody was encouraged to change their profile picture using the official Facebook frame of Caraga’s 18-Day Campaign to End VAW celebration.
Several activities, such as contests, were also prepared by the RIACAT-VAWC to further strengthen the campaign. These were the VAW Photo story and Songwriting Competition. VAW Hotlines and Free Online Consultation were also re-launched during the Kick-off celebration.
On the following day, to build more momentum of the celebration, the Men Opposed to VAW Everywhere (MOVE) was launched during the Tree Growing Activity of DSWD FO Caraga, together with DENR – CENTRO Nasipit, MENRO Buenavista, and BLGU Abilan, Buenavista.
Considering that one of the key objectives of MOVE is to institutionalize and to support the national quest for a VAW-free Philippines, all the male staff from the Field Office formed a female symbol to show their partnership with women in ending VAW.
DSWD FO Caraga, together with RIACAT-VAWC encourages everyone to participate in the nation-wide 18-Day VAW-Free Campaign which runs from November 25 – December 13, 2020.