SC reminds workers of commitment vs. violence against women

By Benjamin Pulta

November 28, 2023, 8:45 pm

MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday urged its officials and employees to take part in the advocacy to promote and protect women's rights as it joined the “18-day Campaign to EndVAW” (End Violence Against Women).

During the Supreme Court flag-raising ceremony, Committee on Gender Responsiveness in the Judiciary (CGRJ) co-chairpersons Associate Justice Henri Jean Paul Inting, Associate Justice Jhosep Lopez, and Associate Justice Maria Filomena Singh each delivered messages to encourage all court officials to do their part in ending VAW.

Inting stressed that awareness is the “the key in the elimination of violence against women.”

As such, the judiciary enjoins trial courts to give primacy to cases involving women and children, among other priority cases.

As part of the Court’s Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovation, the court approved last year the Guidelines on the Use of Gender-Fair Language in the Judiciary and Gender-Fair Courtroom Etiquette.

“Now more than ever, particularly with what is happening globally, we need to own the campaign to end violence against women and take it upon ourselves to create a safe space for women,” Inting said.

Lopez expressed optimism that the collaborative efforts orchestrated by the CGRJ and the Office of Administrative Services “will not merely be events on the calendar but catalysts for change.”

“Together, let us raise awareness about the imperative of a VAW free society, dismantle gender biases, and vehemently uphold women’s rights. Let our actions speak of love, mutual respect, and unity transcending all genders,” he said.

Lopez urged all to “embark on this crucial journey towards a society where every women stands liberated from the shackles of violence.”

Singh called on everyone to live by the Guidelines on the Use of Gender-Fair Language in the Judiciary and Gender-Fair Courtroom Etiquette, stressing that such were not only applicable in the drafting of court issuances but also in the daily dealings with other people.

Hindi lang po iyan sa pagsusulat lang ng decision o ng resolution ng Korte Suprema. ‘Yan po ay sa pang-araw araw na pakikitungo natin sa isa’t isa. Doon po makakatulong bawat isa sa atin kasi ‘yung language, the very basic form of communication, pwedeng ma-commit ang violence not just against women but against each other kung hindi po natin igagalang ang isa’t isa (That's not just writing the decision or the resolution of the Supreme Court. That is in our daily dealings with each other. That's where each of us can help because language, the very basic form of communication, can commit violence not just against women but against each other if we don't respect each other),” Singh said.

Singh said inclusivity is present once sensitivity to one other is developed.

“Once we have sensitivity and exclusivity, that’s when we can actually dream of equality,” she said.

“I urge everybody to be more mindful, more conscious, more aware of how we can be more sensitive towards each other. Even just in our environment, in our institution, if we can exercise that then we can set a good example. Because after all, we are the judicial branch of the government and we should be the leader in upholding the rule of law,” she said.

The “18-day Campaign to EndVAW” is an annual event held every Nov. 25 to Dec. 12 as mandated by Proclamation 1172 Series of 2006. (PNA)