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A CALL TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN AMIDST A PANDEMIC
by: Emerald R. Padaong, GAD TWG

With many parts of the country and the world still in quarantine, more and more people are forced to stay at home where they can remain safe and protected from the virus they may catch outdoors. But what happens when inside the house is an even more dangerous place to be?

Several crises and pandemic situations have been noted to directly link to a surge in the vulnerability of women and children, an increase in gender-based violence (Mittal & Singh, 2020). Hence, with this pressing issue, there is a louder call, a clamor for a more sustained, powerful, and ubiquitous support to fight these neglected pandemic effects.

As a response to this call, Philippine Science High School- Ilocos Region Campus with its Gender and Development Committee once again joined the nation in its campaign to address violations to women’s rights and their fundamental freedoms through the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) 2020 held last November 25 to December 12 with its recurring theme “VAW-free community starts with Me”.

During this campaign, several activities were launched by the PSHS-IRC GAD Committee led by Ms. Mary Ann Lagua, chairperson of the GAD Technical Working Group,  including webinars and contests for students. These activities aimed at promoting awareness on the forms of violence women and girls continue to experience, featuring existing laws that protect their welfare, and gathering more public support for this campaign.       

Webinars included a talk titled “Spot and Stop Violence Against Women and Children” for Grades 7-9 and “Responsible Usage of Social Media: Cancel Culture and Public Shaming as a Form of Violence” for Grades 10-12 on November 20, 2020. Both seminars were delivered by Atty. Antonette C. Beriña-Bance, Assistant Prosecutor of the Office of the City Prosecutor in Iriga City.

Meanwhile, contests included poster-making, poem writing, essay writing, and spoken word. The following students bagged the different awards:

POEM

1st Place

Lleara Christel Rovea Fiesta (JHS)

Tatiana Agbuya  (SHS)

2nd Place

Mary Caitlin Añes (JHS)

Madelle Dela Costa (SHS)

3rd Place

Francis Dato (SHS)

POSTER

1st Place

Lleara Christel Rovea Fiesta (JHS)

Euel Santos (SHS)

2nd Place

Princess Amor Garcia (JHS)

3rd Place

Alexis Nick Camacho (JHS)

ESSAY/SANAYSAY

1st Place

Clariz Pillos (JHS)

Marco Jones Sagun (SHS)

2nd Place

Fitz Lord Owen Bumanglag (JHS)

Christine Julia Alconis (SHS)

3rd Place

Jasher Tan (JHS)

Tracy Joy Edra (SHS)

SPOKEN WORD

1st Place

Marco Jones Sagun (SHS)

     

Acknowledging the huge impact of abuse made on children and women is primarily a way of stopping this violence, for every child or woman’s right is also a human right and a global concern. Thus, we are called to respect individual differences and rights, promote the end of violence both inside our homes and in our communities, and assure that we ourselves will remain watchful so that the vulnerable may find in us the strength they need to fight and to rise above all this.