Senator Sonny Angara has called for the full implementation of laws protecting Filipino women against all forms of violence as the Philippines joined the rest of the world in marking the culmination of 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign.
The campaign–which ran from November 25, the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to December 10, Human Rights Day–aimed to galvanize action to end violence against women around the world.
In the Philippines, Angara said the rights of every Filipina, including their protection against violence, are protected by laws, particularly Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women that was enacted in 2010.
“The Magna Carta of Women spells out every Filipina’s right to protection from all forms of violence, including those committed by the State,” said the seasoned legislator, author of RA 9710.
“The Magna Carta of Women spells out every Filipina’s right to protection from all forms of violence, including those committed by the State.”
“Ensuring rights for Filipinas requires not only legal safeguards on paper, but critically, full enforcement of the law,” the veteran lawmaker added.
RA 9710 mandates incremental increase in the recruitment and training of women in government services that cater to women victims of gender-related offenses.
It also ensures mandatory training on human rights and gender sensitivity to all government personnel involved in the protection and defense of women against gender-based violence.
“Under the law, all government units are tasked to establish a Violence Against Women’s Desk in every barangay to ensure that violence against women are fully addressed in a gender-responsive manner,” the senator noted.
In cases of violence against women and children, the law provides that the victims should be given comprehensive health services that include psychosocial, therapeutic, medical, and legal interventions and assistance towards healing, recovery and empowerment.
He said the law also provides protection for migrant Filipina workers, especially domestic helpers, who are at risk of experiencing violence, exploitation and even death.
“The law also provides protection for migrant Filipina workers, especially domestic helpers, who are at risk of experiencing violence, exploitation and even death.”
“The law mandates the government to ensure the protection and promotion of the rights and welfare of migrant Filipino women regardless of their work status, and protect them against discrimination in wages, conditions of work, and employment opportunities in host countries,” Angara said, citing an important provision in the Magna Carta of Women regarding Filipinas working abroad.
The law provides the designation in all Philippine embassies and consulates of a gender focal point officer, who is primarily responsible in handling gender concerns of women migrant workers.
At the same time, the Magna Carta of Women tasks the government to exert all efforts to address the causes of out-migration by developing local employment and other economic opportunities for women by introducing measures to curb violence and forced and involuntary displacement of local women.
According to the United Nations, violence against women and their children is one of the most wide-spread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in the world today, and it remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it.