The campaign to end violence against women and children (VAWC) in Mandaue City continues through the joint efforts of the Mandaue City government, the Zonta Club of Cebu II, and other concerned sectors.
The Women’s Summit organized by the Zonta Club of Cebu II, in cooperation with MOVE Mandaue, and the Cebu Lady Lawyers Association, Inc. (CELLA), highlighted the various concerns on the efforts to stop VAWC.
This very successful event, attended by 200 women from all the barangays of Mandaue City, together with city officials, launched the “18 Days of Activism for the Elimination of VAWC”.
Ms. Michelle Yu, Mandaue City gender and development (GAD) focal person, discussed the city’s efforts in addressing gender-based violence. According to Ms. Yu, the Mandaue City Council had approved several milestone legislations on GAD from 2003 to 2023. These include the Safe Spaces Ordinance, Revised Gender and Development Code of Mandaue City, and amendment to the Solo Parent Welfare Ordinance creating the Solo Parent and their Children Task Force, among others.
The replacement of the sodium street lights with brighter LED bulbs, has made the city’s roads safer for all pedestrians, especially the women.
Lawyer Noemi Truya of the Children’s Legal Bureau shared her experiences in her effort to extend assistance to the victims of violence.
Dr. Rhodora Bucoy, former chairperson of the Philippine Commission on Women, gave insights on the work of the commission, that placed the Philippines among the top 10 in mainstreaming work in the world and Asia from 2008 to 2016.
From the LGBTQ++ community, Ms. Tisha Ylaya, lead convenor of Cebu Pride, discussed the learnings beyond Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression from all the hurts and humiliations she and fellow LGBTQs went through. They suffered most from discrimination by family members and the community. She said that a survey on the plight of LGBTQI found several pressing issues that they face, which include financial insecurity, the absence of affordable housing, the impacts of COVID-19. The absence of a caring family and friends makes their lives very lonely.
Lawyers Fiona Bojos and Magdalena Lepiten focused on the Safe Spaces Act while Ms. Charlene Virlouvet shared her reasons for her involvement in addressing gender-based violence. On the other hand, Ms. Rain Villagonzalo firmly stressed that “transgender women are women”.
Zn. Dr. Elsa Basubas, chairperson of Abay sa Kahayag, said the collective efforts of Zonta Club of Cebu II, the Mandaue City government, and non-government groups like CELLA have come a long way in making stakeholders aware of the campaign to end VAWC.
Other activities to give more significance to the 18 Days of Activism for the Elimination of VAWC are the TEEN SUMMIT on Transformational Leadership and Gender Equality, WOMEN in ARTIVISM, ROLL on REELS on topics about VAWC for posting on Zonta Club Cebu II’s Facebook page, the PAINTING COMPETITION: WOMEN WHO MOVE MANDAUE, and to end the 18-day campaign we continue a tradition of GIFT-GIVING to Women PDLs of Mandaue City jail.