Women groups in N. Cotabato unite vs abuses-A A +A
Thursday, January 10, 2013
KIDAPAWAN CITY -- Representatives from at least 32 different women organizations, non-government institutions, and other agencies, including policewomen in this city, grouped together to form a strong coalition to protect them from all forms of abuses, oppression, and harassments.
Lalyn Macahilo of the Oblates of Notre Dame, elected as chair of the coalition, said many women and children are abused every day. Some cases are reported, others not.
Many of the abused women and children, she said, are still living with their perpetrators instead of keeping them in a safe house or center where they could undergo trauma counseling.
This is because the city has no state-run center where abuse victims can go through psycho-therapy and rehabilitation, according to Macahilo.
She also stressed that there is a need that the City Government allots enough funds to prevent increase in the cases of violence against women and children (VAWC).
In November last year, the city social welfare and development office reported 52 VAWC cases.
The coalition will strengthen women's sector so they could have access to the gender and development fund of the local government unit (LGU), and get a seat at the legislative council.
Macahilo said the general assembly was done purposely to consolidate existing women’s groups and their efforts towards protecting women and children’s rights and welfare.
The composition of the coalition, which has no name yet, is likened to a Local Women’s Council whose task is to represent the women’s sector in the city LGU in decision-making, especially when it comes to issues affecting them.
Macahilo said the assembly was the first in the city after Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco issued in March 2011 an executive order that created the LCW. (Malu C. Manar)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 11, 2013.