“Saying no to violence against women is everybody’s business” is the strong over-arching message that Zonta Club of Cebu II is sending as it commemorates the worldwide global campaign to end gender-based violence. The club seeks to engage all sectors to unite and collaborate to actively fight against any or all forms of violence, discrimination and gender-based abuses and crimes.
In her welcome address, Atty. Mae Elaine Bathan, Tourism Undersecretary and President of Zonta Club of Cebu II, stressed the importance of continued efforts to spread awareness of the rights of women and children. Atty. Bathan said. “The victims of these crimes, forms of discrimination and abuses do not have to fight their battles alone. “We are here to empower them. We are here to give them the necessary skills and knowledge. We are here to provide them the avenue by which they can be able to protect their rights and learn to stand up for themselves and say no to any and all forms of abuses,” she stressed.
On November 25, 2022 the campaign was launched with calls to action from three vigilant advocates. Ms. Emmeline Versoza, former executive director of the Philippine Commission on Women reported on the status of Filipino Women in the areas of economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, political empowerment and the prevalence of violence against their persons.
Ms. Annabelle Maglasang, coordinator, University of the Philippines Cebu Gender and Development office, talked about Psycho-social Support to Persons who encountered Gender Based violence.
Atty. May Aguilar, founding partner of Cavad and Aguilar Law firm, discussed the topic “Issues and Challenges That A Woman Face In VAWC: Strategies in Place for Action. She stressed that the only thing more evil than violence itself is our apathy.
The webinar ended with the Zontians taking oath of commitment to continue their advocacyto campaign against gender-based violence.