On November 25, we mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (IDEVAW) and the National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against on Nov. 25 against the backdrop of rising cases of domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment amid the pandemic. Worse, there has been an alarming rise in the number of police-perpetrated violence against women with the pandemic protocols as pretext for the abuse.
For the most part of the year, Filipino women were locked up in their homes due to the cycle of militarist lockdowns, further limiting their options in seeking remedies to address sexual abuse, harassment and violence. But even with the restrictions on mobility lifted, support services and mechanisms to ensure safe spaces must be pursued. Measures which seek to strengthen protection for women and children, such as the comprehensive amendments to the Anti-Rape Law and the Anti-Electronic Violence against Women and Children bill, must be pushed before Congress concludes its session for the 2022 elections.
To complement the IDEVAW activities on Nov. 25, Gabriela is planning to hold a cultural event to amplify our demand for safe spaces for women and children and to stop gender-based violence and harassment through open-air performances. The following are the two main objectives of the event: 1) to raise awareness on the rising cases of violence against women and children amid the pandemic 2) to enjoin artists, performers and the public in pushing for pro-women and pro-children measures.