THE Swedish Embassy launched an exhibit with hashtags #RespetoNaman and #Don’tTellMeHowToDress as part of its campaign against gender-based violence at the Ayala Center Cebu on Thursday, July 18, 2019.
Swedish Ambassador Harald Fries said his country launched the “First Feminist Government” and the “First Feminist Foreign Policy” in the world four years ago to respond to the discrimination and systematic subordination that mark the daily lives of countless women and girls around the world.
“Philippine police record shows that one Filipino woman or child is raped every hour based on reports, and, unfortunately, the rate of conviction of perpetrator is shamefully low,” Fries said.
Maica Teves, Spark executive director for women empowerment and gender equality, said the exhibit was already brought to some parts of Metro Manila and Cagayan de Oro City.
“In the Philippines, once a woman is raped there is this stigma that she doesn’t have her value anymore,” Teves said
One of the exhibit’s aims is to remind the public that it is not the victim’s fault for wearing certain clothes that lead to the abuse. Instead, it wants to focus on the question why there are some people who want to rape or abuse women.
The Swedish Embassy’s advocacy against gender-based violence is in partnership with the Office of the Vice President, Angat Buhay, UN Women Asia and the Pacific, Spark Philippines, Empower Philipines, Terre des Hommes Netherlands in Asia through the Girls Advocacy Alliance and Para sa Sining.
Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama, who attended the activity, said the public needed to be aware of the problem, especially since poverty is the reason for these abuses.
He said the campaign against gender-based violence should be carried out by different government agencies.
Rama is the chairman of the committee on health at the City Council.
Last July 15, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11313, or Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act, that seeks to prevent gender-based sexual harassment on the streets, public places, workplaces and educational or training institutions. (Chello Barellano, CNU Comm Intern)