Promoting women’s economic empowerment, strengthening cooperation among concerned stakeholders, and encouraging men to become allies in the campaign to end gender-based violence are among the key strategies identified to boost the advocacy to end gender-based violence promoted by the Zonta Club of Cebu II.
In observance of the annual 18 days of Activism campaign to end gender-based violence Zonta Club of Cebu II successfully organized several webinars, fora and other activities to create and enhance awareness of the consequences of gender-based violence.
The observance started on November 21, 2022, with a Flag Raising Ceremony held at the Philippine National Police and the PNP provincial offices after which a meeting was held with key PNP front-liners and officers to enlist a mutually beneficial partnership.
Then, on November 24, 2022, the Zonta Club of Cebu II inaugurated the Women, Gender and Family Studies Section at the Mandaue City and the Cebu City Public Libraries.
The formal launching was held on November 25, 2022 through a webinar entitled “Saying No to VAW (violence against women and children) is Everyone’s Business.”
The speakers during this webinar were Ms. Emmeline Versoza, former executive director of the Philippine Commission on Women, the Philippine National Police-Women and Children Protection Center; Ms. Annabelle G. Maglasang, coordinator, University of the Philippines Cebu Gender and Development Office; and Atty. Mae Aguilar, founding partner of Cavad and Aguilar Law firm.
On November 26 the Zonta Club of Cebu II and in coordination with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu City chapter conducted a medical mission for Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL) at the Second Chance Center in Mandaue City.
The next day, November 27, 2022, the Zonta Club of Cebu II held a self-defense activity -the Stay Safe: Self Defense Moves for Women” at the Heritage Plaza in Mandaue City. In attendance were key women influencers and GAD focal persons from the 27 barangays of Mandaue City who were tasked to echo the lessons learned to other women in their respective communities.
Female police officers assigned to the Women and Children Protection Unit (WCPU) of the Philippine National Police in different, cities and municipalities of Region 7 participated in the seminar-workshop “Strengthening PNP WCPU through Gender-Responsive Delivery of Service to VAWC Survivors” on November 28, 2022.
Atty. Myles Gonzales-Esquivel, executive director of Miriam College Child Rights Advocacy Center and legal consultant of Child Protection Unit-Philippine General Hospital, was the resource person during this event.
On December 6, 2022, Zonta Club of Cebu II held the webinar “Youth, Peace & Conflict Resolution: Towards a generation of Peace Builders” with Dr. Jerry J. Jurisprudencia, a faculty member of Miriam College Department of Psychology, as the resource person.
On December 8, 2022, another webinar entitled “Implementing Rights-Based VAWC Services: The Role of the Four Pillars in the Recovery of VAWC Survivors” was conducted with Atty. Mylene Gonzales-Esquivel, executive director of Miriam College Child Rights Advocacy Center, as the resource speaker.
On December 9, 2022, the Zonta Club of Cebu II also held a forum on “Engaging Men & Boys as Allies in Ending Gender-Based Violence” to encourage men and boys to become advocates in the campaign for ending gender-based violence.
Two resource speakers Executive Judge Marlon Jay Moneva of the Regional Trial Court in Cebu City and Atty. Bobby Quitain were invited to speak during the forum.
The last webinar Revenge Porn and Deeper Harms was conducted on December 12, 2022, with Atty. Mark Lawrence Badayos as the resource speaker.
Before the webinar ended, Zn Atty. Regal Oliva also announced the following winners of the Poetry Contest, with the theme “Violence Against Women: It Stops With Me” and the Photography Competition that saw the submission of poignant photographs of gender-based violence.
The last activity was on December 15, 2022 when the Zonta Club of Cebu II distributed 155 gift packs to Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL) of Mandaue City Jail Female Dormitory during the Cheering the Christmas Spirit: A Zonta Tradition at Mandaue City Women BJMP project.
Although the observance of the 18 Days of Activism to End Violence has concluded, the Zonta Club of Cebu II remains committed to its advocacy against gender-based violence.