Cebu Normal University (CNU) started the Violence Against Women and Children (VAW-C) campaign to create awareness on women and children’s rights. A series of activities are prepared for the 18-Day campaign period within the school.   

Faculty and non-teaching staff launched the campaign last Monday, November 25, 2019 during the flag raising ceremony.

It kicked off with a prayer led by Dr. Catalina Canasa, the Gender and Development OIC focal person and afterwards danced through “Isang Bilyong Babae ang Babangon”, the Philippines’ song to One Billion Rising (OBR), a worldwide campaign against VAW.

November 25 to December 12 is declared every year as the “18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women” in pursuant to Proclamation No.  1172, series of 2006. November 25 is also declared as the “National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children”.

The Philippine Commission on Women (PWC), in coordination with the Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and their Children (IACVAWC), spearheads the 18-Day campaign.

The VAW theme for 2016 to 2021 is “VAW-free community starts with me”.

Canasa said that the importance of the campaign is to empower women to speak and fight for their rights. She said that women should support those victims to let them feel and know that they can stand and fight for their rights.

Why women & how about men?

Canasa said that most women still experience violence and rape as depicted in news. According to OBR, one in three women in the world will be beaten or raped in her lifetime.

Dr. Catalina Canasa, Gender and Development OIC focal person, dances in participation of the Violence Against Women and Children (VAW-C) campaign launching. / Photo by John Paul Fajardo

Women may also be liable under law. Men who experience violence may also file a case or compliant under the Revised Penal Code.

“We want to encourage everyone. This is not only for the faculty but this is also for the students and staff that they need to be aware also about their rights,” she said.

“Masa-stop yung violence kapag matapang tayong isiwalat kung ano ang nangyari sa atin pero if… walang magsusumbong, walang magsasabi… (The violence will stop if we will have the courage to disclose what happened but if no one complains…) people will continue to do it again,” Canasa said.

“We need women to encourage women to report then also to be brave enough. I know it’s not easy but the society should support these women who experience this kind of tragedy,” she added.

Faculty and non-teaching staff were encouraged to wear orange shirts, while others were pinned with orange ribbons during the start of the campaign, the bright and optimistic color representing hope and future that is free from violence.

CNU faculty and non-teaching staff participate in the dance during the launching of the Violence Against Women and Children (VAW-C) campaign. / Photo by John Paul Fajardo

Different activities and contests are scheduled for the entire 18-Day campaign period of VAW-C including Essay Writing, Film Viewing, Song Writing, Slogan Contest, Women Volleyball League, Poster Making, Quiz Bee, Spoken Poetry, Creating Values-based Atmosphere Seminar, and more. (JDF)