BAGUIO CITY, Mar. 5 (PIA) -- Domestic violence and human trafficking remain to be major concerns among women nowadays even when more and more women are getting high positions in government or private institutions.
This was reiterated by women’s right advocates both from the government and the private sector in a kapihan forum at the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Cordillera Training center here last week launching the city’s celebration of Women’s Month this March.
For the government’s part, Perlita Panganiban of DSWD-CAR, stressed that human trafficking particularly among women and children, remains to be among the country’s concerns as victims are still easily lured by job opportunitieas and promises. This, she said, is somehow related to poverty concerns especially on women in the countryside.
Panganiban cited the case of 10 women from Abra who were victimis of human trafficking last year, eight of which were rescued by the Inter-agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) spearheaded by DSWD and innitiatives of Innabuyog-Gabriela.
She also disclosed that government agencies, non-government organizations (NGOs) and local government units (LGUs), which are part of the IACAT, from the national to the regional level, are working doubly hard in addressing such concerns.
Domestic violence is another women’s concern raised during the said forum. For the city alone, Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) Women and Children Protection Unit head P/Sr. Insp. Divina Mencio reported that Violence Against Women remains to be a concern. In 2011, more than 500 cases were recorded, of which only few victims actually filed cases, despite the fact that some are repeated or recurrent cases.
In the same forum, Patti Gallardo, Executive Director of Save Our Women, an NGO which advocacy focuses on Violence Against Women (VAW), stressesd that reported or recorded cases does not reflect the actual number of VAW cases as there are more unreported cases that are actually happening especially in rural communities.
According to Gallardo, awareness on VAW is slowly increasing, but there is still a need for more or an intensified advocacy and programs, from both the government and the private sector, to educate women about their rights and to make them realize that violence (VAW) is a crime.
She expressed hope that there will come a day that we will no longer need to celebrate Women’s Month or Women’s Day, as everyday will be both a normal and special day for every woman. (JDP/LD- PIA CAR)