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    Posted June 9, 2014 by
    PantawidSMU
    Location
    Manila, Philippines

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    Pantawid Pamilya inspires violence-free communities

     
    We are no stranger to horrible accounts of violence committed against women and children. Heart- breaking narratives of wives being beaten to death by their jealous husbands and children raped by the people who should be protecting them are sometimes trivialized as nothing extraordinary but a matter of the family.

    Violence against women and children (VAWC) happens every day and across culture. There is a wide spectrum of gender-based violence wherein women and girls are vulnerable to. These include trafficking, physical and sexual abuses, economic deprivation, and even psychological battering.

    Studies tend to show that there is a nexus between poverty and the occurrence of VAWC. Whether one is a function of the other is yet to be established by more in-depth studies.
    Riza C. Torrado, the Chief of the Gender and Development Unit of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, the country’s conditional cash transfer program, highlighted that the rising incidence of VAWC poses a serious challenge to genuine development.

    “Often we only look at the macro-level hindrances like unemployment and illiteracy when we look for reasons why families are poor. We do not see the meso-level variables happening inside the household, like power relations,” Torrado explained.

    “Kapag nabubugbog ang asawang babae, nadi-disrupt ang regular na daloy ng buhay pamilya kasi sa halip na nandoon siyang nagtatrabaho sa loob o labas ng bahay, nasa hospital na siyang baldado (Family life is disrupted when the wife is beaten because she stays in the hospital instead of managing her household or working outside),” she added.

    Recognizing that VAWC can result to economic and social losses, Pantawid Pamilya, in partnership with PILIPINA, a non-government organization advocating women’s rights, conducted a series of Anti-VAWC forum in the municipalities of Sta. Maria, Isabela; Coron, Palawan; Pilar, Sorsogon; Legazpi City, Albay; Balete, Aklan; Carles, Iloilo; Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental; Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur; and, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur. These activities culminated in Coron with Rina Jimenez-David as the resource person.

    Jimenez-David, who is the current chairperson of the PILIPINA, gave an orientation on Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence against Women and their Children Act and some practical tips on eliminating VAWC.

    Conducting fora is one of the milestone activities of Pantawid Pamilya spearheaded by its Gender and Development Unit and funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-Technical Assistance Facility.

    The fora seek to strengthen the gender impacts of the Philippine conditional cash transfer program.

    The program’s parent leaders and stakeholders from partner agencies coming from both the national and local governments attended these events.

    One concrete output of these information sessions was the establishment of community-based Anti—VAWC Quick Response Teams in the municipalities of Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur, and Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental.

    The local government units committed to strengthen the local mechanisms that would address the elimination of VAWC in these areas.

    The parent leaders also affirmed their strong involvement in these newly established bodies believing that ending VAWC is their social duty.
    The barangay officials from Coron gave the most resounding message.

    “Now that we know that VAWC is a public crime and is punishable by law, we will not condone the culture of silence among families,” they vowed.

    Estella Daculla, Barangay Chairwoman, said that local governments must create the secured space for women and children because as duty-bearers they should be at the forefront of the campaign to eliminate any kind of violence against these vulnerable sectors.

    Pantawid Pamilya adopts Gender Mainstreaming as the major strategy in ensuring that women empowerment and gender equality are integrated in all components of the program. ###

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