THE Zonta Club of Cebu II and the Mandaue City Government held a symposium on gender-based violence at Bai Hotel in Mandaue City.
The activity was organized to help the public understand more about the evolution of gender and to expound on how to shy away from any gender stereotyping, which is a frequent cause of discrimination against women.
“The rising gender issues in the world today do not only involve two gender identities, they have developed into a growing stream. But all we need is love, respect and, above all, education, so we will know how to deal with the problem,” lawyer Regal Oliva, Zonta member and Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) champion of Mandaue City.
Four speakers discussed topics related to violence against women during the symposium, which carried the theme “He Versus She: Redefining the Meaning of Gender.”
Prosecutor Lolita L. Lomanta talked about “Recognizing and Responding to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.” Human Rights lawyer and activist Evalyn G. Ursua shed light on the topic, “Does the Perpetrator Have Rights? Building the Case Against the Accused.”
For her part, social activist and radio personality Tisha “Inday Tikay” Ylaya tackled “LGBT Rights=Women’s Right=Human Right,” while Major Michael Sarte talked about “Working with Men and Boys to End Violence Against Women.”
The symposium is one of the activities of Abay sa Kahayag’s 18 days of activism against gender-based violence campaign, a collaborative project of Zonta II and the Mandaue City Government to advance the welfare of women and children in the city against violence and abuse.
“We need to cultivate a higher level of tolerance and acceptance in the gender and development for Mandaue City. We hope that by starting it in this LGU (local government unit), we can reach a wider community onwards to equality and the end of violence,” said Dr. Elsa Basubas, the Abay sa Kahayag Movement chairperson.
Marilou Cañizares, the Zonta Club of Cebu II president, said she is happy that her group partnered with the Mandaue City Government.
“We just hope that we can change the outlook of government agencies, and we can address better the transacting public by opening their eyes to gender-based violence in the workplace and in the community,” she said.
After the symposium ended, the winners of the #Musings- OnWomen photo contest were announced. Sidney Diguani’s “Sastre” won the first place; Nerisa Tavera’s “Rice Field,” second place; and Erwin Lim’s “Ivatan in Batanes,” third place.
The Club’s Choice Award was given to “First Teacher” by Salvador Toong III, while the People’s Choice Award was won by Jhessa Ugdamina for her “Ang Tingsi ni Nanay.” Winners received cash prizes and trophies.