NAMRIA participated in the gathering of the Anti-Violence Against Women (VAW) advocacy supporters at the Reception Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City on 25 November 2016. The activity is in line with the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW with the theme “VAW-free community starts with me.” The 18-day campaign started on 25 November 2016 and will end on 12 December 2016. This year’s theme shifts the campaign to positive advocacy messaging by encouraging everyone to commit to ending VAW and to actively participate in a joint pursuit to have a VAW-free community. The November 25 event provided an opportunity to share the good practices of government agencies, local government units, non-government offices, and other stakeholders in their respective anti-VAWC programs.
NAMRIA delegates at the kick-off activity of the 18-day Campaign to End VAW
held at the Reception Hall, PICC -- JOSEPH C. ESTRELLA
The program of activities included feature and commitment videos of various government agencies, local government units, and non-government organizations on achieving a VAW-free community and “informances”* by the Philippine Educational Theater Association with singer-songwriter Noel Cabangon. There were announcements on the “Orange Your Icon for 18 days” initiative spearheaded by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW); and the response of the Department of Tourism. The initiative aims to raise awareness and consciousness in ending VAW through the “oranging” of icons in the websites of well-known tourism places in the country. The initiative is in solidarity with the United Nations’ UNiTE to End VAW Campaign.
VP Ma. Leonor G. Robredo delivers her message during the gathering
of anti-VAW supporters at the PICC --ROLANDO A. MENDOZA
The highlight of the event was the keynote speech of Vice President Ma. Leonor G. Robredo. In her message, she emphasized that empowering Filipinas is one of the pillars of her anti-poverty framework, and one way towards empowerment is “helping women to be economically independent for them to be able to reject abuses of their husbands.” She also stated plans to enhance the capacities of the PCW so that it has better leverage to implement its projects and initiatives for Filipinas everywhere. Part of this plan is to help set up more satellite offices in the regions. She said that her office plans to intensify the localization of the Magna Carta for Women to raise awareness on gender and development especially in the local government units and bring the lessons of gender equality closer to the people; and influence the budgeting process in favor of gender and development initiatives. She encouraged women who are victims of violence not to be afraid, and not to hesitate about speaking up to end VAW.
VP Robredo leads in raising the orange flag together with (left) Ms. Emmeline L. Versoza,
PCW Executive Director and (right) Ms. Rhodora Masilang-Bucoy, PCW Chairperson
At the end of her message, she made a heartfelt call on behalf of women, saying: “The campaign we launch today is our call for the better treatment of women everywhere. It is a passionate clamor for the respect that is due our humanity. We will not let our women disappear into their fear. We will shatter the darkness with the light of our courage.” The highest ranking female official of the land then asked everyone to raise their orange flags to let the world know that, those gathered are making a stand together to end violence against women.
*A performance intended to be both educational and entertaining; especially a musical concert which includes an informative talk about the piece or instruments being played (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/informance)