AFP chief calls on military personnel to help end VAW

MANILAAside from defending the nation against all forms of security threats, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Carlito Galvez called on all military personnel to support the advocacy aimed at ending Violence against Women (VAW).

We are continuously conducting activities that enlighten our soldiers and civilian personnel on women's rights, especially on the working space. We have taken steps to eradicate traditions that perpetuate Violence against Women, and we keep on encouraging everyone to be knowledgeable about the issue, the APF chief said during flag-raising ceremonies at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Monday.

November 26 marked the beginning of the 18-day national campaign dubbed as VAW-free Community Starts with Me, which the AFP is taking part of.

The campaign started on November 25, which marks the International Day to End VAW, and will run until December 12, a historic date that commenced the campaign for the adoption of a United Nations Protocol to prevent trafficking in women and children.

During the 18-day campaign, the AFP will conduct activities anchored on the said objectives.

Units and offices were directed to display the official campaign streamers of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) in their respective areas and on official websites/social media sites.

It will also develop information, education and communication materials to raise the awareness on VAW aside from encouraging its members to participate in online campaign threads and discussions about the campaign using the official #VAWfreePH hashtag.

Based on national statistics, one in every five Filipinas suffered physical violence since the age of 15.

The Philippine Statistics Authority and the Philippine National Police in 2017 reported that nearly 12,000 women have been sexually abused in Metro Manila alone.

This number does not yet include filed cases that are not filed due to women's fear of being blamed and judged by societal standards.

The AFP chief said that despite efforts to support the advocacy to end VAW, it is expected that there will be unavoidable instances, where harassment and violence can occur in the workspace.

I urge every woman to come out and speak against those who will attempt to violate your rights. The AFP leadership will not tolerate anyone who disrespects women, and we shall always be one with you in fighting for women empowerment and gender equality, Galvez said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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