On November 05, 2021, the Supreme Court (SC) of the Philippines officially launched Judiciary’s campaign to end Violence Against Women (VAW). The SC Committee on Gender Responsiveness (CGRG) is headed by Associate Justice Amy C. Lazaro-Javier as the chairperson.
The launch finally opens the 18-day campaign to end violence against women. The 18-day campaign to end VAW runs from November 25 to December 12 with the theme “vaw-free community starts with me.”
In her message, Justice Lazaro-Javier joins the cause of One Billion Rising which is launched on Valentine’s Day, 2021. It is the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history. The campaign began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. That is 1 billion women. Women include cisgender, transgender, and gender fluid.
Justice Lazaro-Javier emphasizes, albeit the report of PNP showed that there is a 25% decrease in VAW in the year 2020, that during times of disaster (i.e COVID-19) violence against women and gender-based violence increases. The Justice said, “this decrease in reports reflects reporting of cases rather than actual incidents.” She cited the study of The International Labor Organization-United Nations (ILO-UN) Women Safe and Fair Programmed of select Asian countries, which found, that in the PH there is a 10% increase in online searches for keywords such as “domestic violence hotline” “sexual assault lawyer,” and “sexual abuse counseling.” The study also showed a 953% increase in the number of tweets with misogynistic language in the country between October 2019 to October 2020.
The justice highlights the judiciary participation in a national conversation about women’s rights and protections by the SC’s decisions such asin the case of Garcia v. Drilon, G.R No. 179267, June 25, 2013. She also adds that the CGRJ is working on guidelines for the judiciary concerning gender-fair language and gender-fair etiquette, in the process of updating the rules on the Committee on Decorum and Investigation of Sexual Harassment, and drafting a policy on SOGIE and Sex characteristics for the Judiciary. The SC is also set to provide a dedicated GAT Hotline for VAWC and GBV victim-survivors in partnership with government instrumentalities.
Finally, Justice Lazaro-Javier, declares that we must act now to end VAW and GBV. “The time to act was yesterday, but acting now is certainly far better than acting tomorrow.”
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo, and Associate Justice Henri Jean Paul B. Inting as Vice Chairperson also delivered their respective messages during the formal launch of the Judiciary’s Campaign to End Violence Against Women.
Abdullah M. Edris, a frustrated creative-persuasive writer, is a legal researcher and a fourth-year law student. In college, he graduated cum laude in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology Management at MSU-IIT. He was a college journalism awardee. This nonbinary and gender nonconforming lad loves language, literature, and culture. He is one of the writers at The Nexus.