AFP vows zero tolerance over violence against female soldiers

MANILA -- As the country celebrates National Women's Month, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it would do everything to ensure that women serving the military will be not be subjected to harassment and violence during their training and service.

AFP public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Emmanuel Garcia said the military would intensify its gender and development (GAD) programs to prevent violence and discrimination among its ranks.

"The AFP continuously intensifies its efforts to develop plans, policies, and mechanisms in addressing identified gender discrimination and inequalities within the organization. This is part of the military's on-going campaign towards women empowerment and equal rights for its members," he said.

The AFP has lined up gender and development programs including Gender Sensitivity Training, Seminar-Workshops on Gender Analysis; GAD Executive Briefing to Senior Military Officials/Top Level Management; and lectures on GAD-related laws and mandates.

Garcia said the AFP also actively participates in national and international mandated GAD-related advocacies such as the Campaign to End Violence against Women.

The military official said programs on GAD have been ongoing since the military started accepting women in its ranks.

He added that same privileges and opportunities in terms of pay, remunerations, benefits and awards are being accorded to men and women in the military.

Garcia stressed that equal considerations in terms of the area or field of assignment are given to both men and women in the AFP.

The military also provides decent and separate billeting facilities and quartering for men and women regardless of location or type of assignment.

Garcia added that the AFP salutes all its female soldiers and civilian employees for their bravery and hard work in the organization.

"The AFP is dedicated to enabling equal rights and opportunities in all aspects of its service, whether these are combat to noncombat operations. We assure the public that efforts will continue to pave the way for more programs that will further expand the military's commitment to women empowerment and gender equality," he added. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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