‘Toxic masculinity’ cannot be tolerated, says Philippine Commission on Women
“Now, more than ever, is the best time to recommit ourselves to uphold women’s rights.”
The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) issued this statement late Saturday in time for the 18-day campaign to end violence against women, which starts Sunday, November 15, and will last until December 12.
“In a society where women’s rights must be respected, protected, and fulfilled, toxic masculinity cannot be tolerated,” the PCW said in a statement.
“On the occasion of the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW this 2018, we call on everyone to instill compassion and respect for women, especially for the victims of gender-based violence,” it added.
The PCW cited a report from the 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which showed that one out of four women, aged 15-49, “has experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence committed by their husband or partner.”
Though the numbers were from 2017 and showed a slight decrease compared to data from similar surveys in 2008 and 2013, the PCW remains alarmed.
“The decrease, though minimal could be due to the presence of laws and availability of services for victim-survivors offered by government and non-government organizations,” the PCW said.
“The numbers still give us an alarming picture that Violence Against Women (VAW) continues to happen,” it added.
With this, the PCW urged “everyone, women and girls, men and boys” to “fight the macho culture that negates what we have gained so far.”
The PCW noted that there had been an “outcry’ around the world against a “feudal-machismo culture” that persists.
This culture, according to the PCW, is manifested by rape, intimate partner abuse, sex trafficking, sexual harassment cases in the entertainment, media and various spheres, and sexist remarks from influential personalities, including those in male-dominated groups and fraternities, among others.
Moreover, the PCW called on women to “take courage and seek help” to hold liable those who have committed violence against them.
“We call on our government service providers to assess the quality of their work to promote the help-seeking behavior of VAW victim-survivors,” it said.
“We also call on non-government actors to continue their efforts in assisting VAW survivors and in being vigilant in reporting gaps in implementing the laws and addressing the issue,” it added.
The PCW reminded that with the “concerted efforts” of those concerned, attaining a community free from violence against women is possible.
“It may still seem a long way to go, but let us not lose hope that zero tolerance on gender-based violence is achievable. Our concerted efforts, no matter how big or small, can all lead to a bright and VAW-free community,” the PCW said.
“Let us join hands to ensure that every woman or girl is empowered to break free from any form of violence and discrimination,” it added. /ee