NO TO VAW. In a video released by the Bacolod City government earlier this week, employees of the City Mayor’s Office-Public Affairs and Assistance Division, wearing orange shirts, join the 18-day campaign to end violence against women. The advocacy campaign, observed annually from Nov. 25 to Dec. 12, aims to raise awareness and ignite action to protect the human rights of women and girls against all forms of gender-based violence. (Screengrab from Bacolod City PIO video)

BACOLOD CITY – Employees of the city government here have joined the call to end violence against women (VAW) by wearing something orange every Friday until Dec. 12.

Symbolizing hope and a future free of violence for all, orange is the official color of the 18-day campaign to raise awareness and ignite action to protect the human rights of women and girls against all forms of gender-based violence.

Councilor Celia Matea Flor, chairperson of the City Council’s committee on women, gender, family, and child care, led city government employees in signing the pledge of commitment to stop gender violence directed to cultural change, positive masculinity, and women empowerment.

“We continue to call for zero tolerance against any form of abuse against women and children. We have signed the commitment and we will be accountable to it and to our constituents,” she said in a statement on Friday.

Activities initiated by the committee with the Local Council against Trafficking and Violence Against Women include a self-defense class organized by Zonta Bacolod; training on gender-responsive case management for social workers, and new laws on women for chairpersons of village committees on women; and the “Take Back the Night: Orange Zumba”, a culmination event at the Government Center grounds on Dec. 12.

According to the Philippine Commission on Women, one in four Filipino women, aged 15 to 49, has experienced physical, emotional, or sexual violence from their husband or partner as indicated in the National Demographic Health Survey 2017 released by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The 18-day campaign to end VAW, an advocacy campaign observed annually from Nov. 25 to Dec. 12 as mandated by Proclamation 1172, series of 2006, is among the various measures and mechanisms employed and implemented to address VAW, which appears as one of the country’s pervasive social problems. (PNA)