EDITORIAL| All about power

“VIOLENCE against women is fundamentally about power,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said during the annual observation of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women at the UN headquarters in New York last Nov. 25.

Ending violence against women can be answered only when gender equality and the full empowerment of women is achieved. The sad fact is women face violence throughout their lifetime in various ways, in the family, community and in structures that stifle the full exercise of their rights and freedom.

The 18-day campaign to end violence against women begins every Nov. 25 and is supposed to end on December 10, International Human Rights Day to underscore that women’s rights are human rights. But in 2006, the Philippine government issued Presidential Proclamation 1172 to include up to December 12, which marks the adoption of the United Nation Convention Against Transnational Crime, thus making it an 18-day campaign.

The Philippine Commission on Women said this campaign “stresses the need for all, regardless of gender, political and religious persuasion, to recognize the role of women for change in society.”

The reality has not changed despite efforts to improve the lot of women. Our lawmakers publicly castigate their wives and flaunt their mistresses, women are shamed no end by decisions they made or beliefs they feel strongly about, women suffer unimaginable pain as victims in armed conflict or natural disasters.

Our own Magna Carta for Women is a powerful instrument but this does not influence in any way those who wield immense power.

Everywhere, women continue to long for a life free from violence and hate.


Posted in Opinion