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Saturday, August 24, 2019

Tell it to Sun.Star: Death penalty and women

WITH or without death penalty, rape of a woman or child every 62 minutes will continue.

The latest data from Philippine National Police Women’s Desk reveals an additional 7,037 rape cases from January to October 2016. This means that a woman or child is raped every 62 minutes.

For a decade (2005-2014), the number of recorded rape cases total 52,453 (including incestous and attempted rape). Of this number, 75 percent of the victims are children.

The execution of a convicted rapist in 1999 did not stop abusers from raping women and girls. During that same year, 2,842 children were reportedly victims of rape.

Given a corrupt system and a culture of impunity where the rich and the powerful can go scot-free, death penalty will always be a contentious method to curb criminality in the country.

Women from the lowest wealth quintile face more violence like rape. Their indigent condition makes them vulnerable to abuses and sexual exploitation. With lack of economic resources, they could not afford the expensive, long, and tedious judicial process. Thus, justice remains elusive to the marginalized victims.

The bill on death penalty will only further violate women’s rights. There is a great possibility that this will be used as an additional instrument to curb political dissent and punish human rights activists. Another criminal charge of drugs can be fabricated against them.

Death penalty will only be beneficial to the powers-that-be. Social justice is denied as long as a quarter of our country’s riches only belong to a few elite.--(Jojo Guan, Center for Women’s Resources)

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