To continue the fight against gender violence, Safe and Fair Philippines organized an activity entitled “Empowering Voices, Empowering Choices: Women OFWs and Survivors of Violence Calls to end VAW” to help bring consciousness to the plight of abused Filipina workers abroad.
16 VAW survivors-turned-advocates joined the Babaeng BiyaHero campaign of Safe and Fair Philippines to raise awareness and help other victims to stand up and voice out for themselves during the event held in UP Diliman.
The discussion, which was in support of the United Nation’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, also marked the International Day of Eliminating Violence Against Women (IDEVAW).
“To this day, thousands of female OFWs remain at risk of abuse, harassment, and violence without having a platform to be heard. That is why days like IDEVAW are important. It is an opportunity to raise awareness on their issues and concerns, gather more public support for our unsung heroes, as well as recognize the power of their stories,” said Charisse Jordan, the National Project Officer of the UN Women Safe and Fair Programme.
Government data shows over 10 million overseas Filipino workers working in more than 200 countries, in which 56 percent of Filipino women are typically employed in lower-paid and precarious jobs abroad.
A recent study showed 75 percent of some 4,830 OFWs who seek assistance from Philippine embassies worldwide per year were women who suffered different types of abuse.
SAF conducted a two-day workshop, including a training of trainers, as well as meeting sessions with Senate officials and officers from Department of Migrant Workers.
The Training of Trainers helped VAW advocates to effectively communicate their agenda at national and local levels, specifically covering the Gender Responsive and Inclusive Pandemic Management Act or Senate Bill No. 375 which secures gender-responsive and inclusive protocols and programming to address the gender-differentiated needs of women during pandemics, public health concerns, emergencies, and disasters.
Country Programme Coordinator of the UN Women Philippines Programme Presence Office Rosalyn Mesina praised the courage of VAW survivors and advocates in sharing their voice to put an end to violence.
“We remain dedicated to finding ways so they can continue to articulate and exercise their voice, choice and agency. May this inspire and give strength to others too and also awaken consciousness of those who need to take action and address these problems” said Mesina.