The 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) is observed annually from November 25 to December 12 to raise awareness among all stakeholders that VAW is a public issue of national concern. It supports the Philippine Government’s goal to protect the human rights of women and its commitment to address all forms of VAW. The following issuances provide the national legal mandates for the annual campaign:
- Proclamation 1172 s. 2006 – Declaring 25 November to 12 December as the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW)
- Republic Act 10398 (2013) – Declaring November 25 of Every Year as National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence begun in 1991, linking November 25 (International Day Against VAW) and December 10 (International Human Rights Day) to emphasize that VAW is a human rights violation. It is further strengthened with the launching in 2008 of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End VAW Campaign which envisions a world free from all forms of violence against women and girls. For the UN, this vision can only be realized through meaningful actions and ongoing political commitments of national governments, backed by adequate resources.
The Philippine government has participated in this worldwide campaign to eliminate VAW since 2002. Recognizing that human trafficking is a form of VAW, Presidential Proclamation 1172 s. 2006 extended the national campaign to 18 days, to include December 12, a historic date that marked the start of opening for signature in year 2000 of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime.
In 2016, the Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women (IACVAWC) adopted the theme “VAW-free community starts with Me” for the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW). The Council also agreed that the said theme shall be used every year from 2016 to 2021.
The theme shifts the 18-Day Campaign To End VAW to positive advocacy as it enjoins everyone to pursue the common vision of a VAW-free community, and highlights what can be done to achieve such.
Results of the National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in 2013 show that one out of five (20%) of women aged 15 to 49 years has experienced physical violence. The NDHS is conducted every five years. It should be noted that survey results are more indicative of the prevalence of violence in the country, since the administrative data on number of clients served by service providers like the police, social workers, and health workers only capture cases reported to these offices. Considering such prevalence, the 2017 Campaign to End VAW shall focus on Primary Prevention, to reduce incidents of VAW in the country.
The 2017 campaign approach is to make people understand VAW from the point of view of victim-survivors. It is hoped that such deeper understanding would ignite compassion from stakeholders, so that they would not commit, condone, or remain silent about VAW. For service providers, such compassion towards victim-survivors would encourage them to provide better services to their clients.
- 1 in 5 women experienced physical violence since age 15 (2013 NDH Survey among women aged 15-49)
- 6 in 100 women reported having experienced sexual violence (2013 NDH Survey among women aged 15-49)
- 4% of women experienced physical violence during pregnancy (2013 NDH Survey among women aged 15-49)
- Only 3 of 10 women sought help to stop the violence (2013 NDH Survey among women aged 15-49)
- A total of 31,580 cases of violations of RA 9262 were filed before the Philippine National Police from January to December 2016 (PNP WCPC 2016 Report)
- A total of 15,749 cases of violations of RA 9262 were filed before the Philippine National Police from January to June 2017 (PNP WCPC 2017 Report)
- As of June 2017, 88.44% or 37,178 out of 42,036 Barangays in the Philippines have established Barangay VAW Desk (DILG Report)
Read more : Philippine Commission on Women