By Roi Lomotan
The chairperson of the city’s Local Council on Women (LCW) underscored the role of men in advancing the anti-Violence Against Women (VAW) advocacy in the community.
LCW Chair Rosalinda Abellon said men should always respect women and girls in their homes, workplace, and in the community and also join groups that promote anti-VAW efforts and participate in discussions to further raise awareness on this advocacy.
“Iba man gyud sa grupo pod sa mga lalaki nga advocates. Sila pod ang mokumbinsir sa kalalakin-an to fight against VAW. Morag nindot pod na naay impact. (I think it will be different if there is a group of male advocates. They will convince others to fight against VAW. It think it is good and it has an impact),” Abellon disclosed in a recent Kapihan Forum in this city.
Abellon believes this is an effective strategy because most of the perpetrators of VAW are men and these advocacy groups can give enlighten them, give them advice and also encourage them to be actively involved in movements that call for the prevention of VAW.
Apart describing the role of men in eliminating VAW, Abellon also emphasized that the community, the government, and the private sector have important roles to play to achieve this goal.
More importantly, women should be empowered and must be aware of the laws that protect their rights so that they cannot be victims of abuse and violence.
“Empower yourself. Know your rights and available courses of action in case these rights are violated. Speak out and report to the authorities in case your rights are violated. We encourage others to fight for their rights,” Abellon stressed.
The LCW official once again raised the call to end VAW as the City Government of Dumaguete joined the entire nation in celebrating the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW observed every 25th of November to the 12th of December of every year.
The celebration was anchored on theme VAW-Free Community Starts with Me which reflects national government’s vision to end VAW in communities and stressed the role of each individual in combating VAW.
City Councilor Lilani Ramon cited that the observance of the 18-Day campaign in the city focused on the primary prevention to reduce if not to eliminate the incidence of VAW in the city.
To mark the observance of the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW in the city, the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) organized a symposium on this year’s theme as the topic of discussion last Dec. 7 at the City Session Hall which was attended by VAW desk officers in the barangays, members of the LCW, members of the Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina (KALIPI) in Dumaguete City as part of the activities in line with this year’s observance of the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW.
Aside from this, the City Health Office also conducted on the same day a HIV/AIDs Awareness Activity at the Pantawan Area of the Rizal Boulevard attended by KALIPI members.