END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr calls upon the members of the AFP to support the advocacy to end violence against woman (VAW) during the kick-off activity of the 18-day Campaign to End VAW, Monday, November 26 in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City. (Photo by Cpl Joel Manzano PA/PAOAFP)
CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – General Carlito G Galvez Jr, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) called upon the members of the AFP to heighten efforts supporting the advocacy to end Violence against Women (VAW) in all levels, Monday, November 26.
“We are continuously conducting activities that enlighten our soldiers and civilian personnel on women’s rights, especially on the working space. We have taken steps to eradicate traditions that perpetuate Violence against Women, and we keep on encouraging everyone to be knowledgeable about the issue,” General Galvez said during the flag-raising ceremony in Camp Aguinaldo.
Monday marked the start of the 18-day national campaign dubbed as “VAW-free Community Starts with Me” which the AFP is taking part of. The campaign links November 25, the International Day to End VAW to December 12 which is a historic date that commenced the campaign for the adoption of a United Nations Protocol to prevent trafficking in women and children.
During the 18-day campaign, the AFP will conduct activities anchored on the said objectives. Units and offices were directed to display the official campaign streamers by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) to their respective areas and official websites/social media sites.
The AFP will also develop information, education and communication materials to raise the awareness on VAW. It also encourages its members to participate in online campaign threads and discussions about the campaign using the official #VAWfreePH hashtag.
Based on national statistics, one in every five Filipina Women has suffered physical violence since the age of 15. The Philippine Statistics Authority and the Philippine National Police in 2017 reported that nearly 12,000 women have been sexually abused in Metro Manila alone. This number does not yet include unfiled cases due to women’s fear of being blamed and judged by societal standards.
The AFP Chief said that despite efforts to support the advocacy to end VAW, it is expected that there will be unavoidable instances where harassment and violence can occur in the workspace.
“I urge every woman to come out and speak against those who will attempt to violate your rights. The AFP leadership will not tolerate anyone who disrespects women, and we shall always be one with you in fighting for women empowerment and gender equality,” General Galvez said.
“I call upon all the men and women of the AFP to live and work together in harmony, and to treat each other as equals in a battle for a world-class, gender-responsive, VAW-free AFP,” General Galvez concluded.