Zonta Club of Cebu 1 to hold 18-day celebration on women, girls rights

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Zonta Club of Cebu 1 is set to conduct a series of activities to promote awareness of the rights of women girls starting on the last week of November.

The club will celebrate the annual 18 Days of Activism End Violence Against Women and Girls starting November 25, 2021, which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, until December 12. Zonta Club of Cebu 1 is the charter Member of Zonta International in Cebu.

December 10 is actually the World Human Rights Day but then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had added two more days to the celebration.

The theme of the event is “Orange The World, Leave No One Behind: End Violence Against Women and Girls.”

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Zonta Club of Cebu 1 president Ms. Gina Garcia Atienza

The main vision of Zonta International is really the empowerment of women and children, explains Zonta Club of Cebu 1 president Ms. Gina Garcia Atienza.

“Our club, which is a charter member of Zonta International in Cebu, aims to create awareness among women in the community. Women’s rights are human rights. They are not given what is due them so it’s important that they know how to protect themselves legally,” Ms. Atienza adds.

“Violence against women is quite common among the marginalized,” Zonta Club of Cebu 1 vice president Jane Panganiban pointed out. “We feel that this activity will help empower women. Education is also empowerment.”

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Zonta Club of Cebu 1 vice president Jane Panganiban

The club will be organizing several activities such as the Virtual Training on Gender-based Violence on November 25; the Tree Planting and Launching of Go Green Initiative on November 26; A Talk on Anti-VAWC Law (Republic Act 9262) on November 26; Cyber Blast Campaign on Violence Against Women; and Poster with Slogan Competition.

Just like other countries, there are also cases of violence against women and children in the Philippines.

According to the 2017 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey, 27 percent of married women experienced physical, sexual and/or emotional violence by a spouse during their lifetime. In addition, many women and children are also victims of economic abuse, where fathers, or husbands do not provide financial support to their families.

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The survey showed that 17 percent of women (aged 15-49 years old) have experienced physical violence since age 15. Also, 73 percent of cases against married women were perpetrated by a current or former husband/partner. It was also found that 51 percent of never-married women were perpetrated by a parent or step parent.

Based on the findings, five percent had experienced sexual violence that were committed by current or former husbands, partners or boyfriends.

However, only 34% of women who experienced physical or sexual violence sought help through formal systems, according to the survey results.

Through these activities, Zonta Club of Cebu 1 aims to encourage women to stand for their rights.