The Summit kicked off CHR’s observation of the 18 Days of Activism, a nationwide campaign to end violence against women that also covers the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day on November 29, Human Rights Day on December 10, and International Day Against Trafficking on December 12.
Reports show that criminal acts against women and girls remain pervasive worldwide, both within households and in public institutions.
According to the 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey, one out of four married women in the Philippines has experienced abuse from their former or current partners. Only a slim one-third of these women sought help, reaching out to their families (65%) and friends (18%) rather than authorities such as the CHR.
CHR Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit also explained that women and girls also account for 71% of all human trafficking victims worldwide, with three out of four of these women and girls having been or being sexually exploited.
Gomez-Dumpit noted how the statistics do not align well with the Philippines’ reputation as one of the “most gender-equal countries in Asia,” with the country even placing 8th in the 2018 Global Gender Gap Report.
Key legislation protecting women have also been in place for more than a decade, with the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) Act of 2004 and the Magna Carta of Women from 2009.
CHR highlighted “voices of the most vulnerable and marginalized” for its first-ever Summit Against Gender-based Violence, inviting community women from all over the country to participate in the discussion and speak about their current conditions.
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