SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
Lawmakers on Monday led the opening of an interactive exhibit dubbed “In Her Shoes” which highlights the problems of child early and forced marriage (CEFM) and adolescent pregnancy, to advocate the passage of appropriate legislation to support and protect the country’s girls and young women.
Representatives Sharon Garin (Party-list, AAMBIS OWA), France Castro (Party-list, Gabriela), Irene Gay Saulog (Party-list, KALINGA) and Josefina Tallado (1st District, Camarines Norte), all members of the Committee on Women and Gender Equality, and House Secretary General Atty. Jose Luis Montales attended the opening of the exhibit at the House South Lobby that will run until December 5, 2019.
In her opening speech, Garin, Vice Chairperson for the Visayas of the Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) said she was honored to speak on behalf of Committee on Women and Gender Equality Chairperson Rep. Malou Acosta-Alba (1st District, Bukidnon) who was unable to attend the event due to typhoon Tisoy.
Garin said the week-long exhibit is part of the observance of the Philippines’ 18-day Campaign to End Violence Against Women and Girls, led by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW). It is a nationwide campaign that signifies the country’s commitment to addressing violations of human rights that are manifestations of gender inequality. Garin said the observance sets a local adoption of a similar global celebration called International Day for the elimination of Violence Against Women.
This year, Garin said the PLCPD and the Committee on Women and Gender Equality called the legislators’ attention to 2 grave acts of violence against women and girls present in the country, which are CEFM and the unjustified denial of access to crucial information and services on health that lead to unplanned, mistimed and unwanted pregnancies.
As duty bearers, she said it is the responsibility of lawmakers to address these issues of national concern by legislating the appropriate policy reforms. “I hope you would join me in this advocacy to end violence against our women and girls. Together, let us bring about a future for women and girls that is filled with optimism, joy and endless opportunity,” Garin said.
After the ribbon-cutting, the House Members and Secretary General Montales signed the SANA Wall where they wrote their hopes on the timely resolution of issues arising from violence committed against women and girls. They likewise signed the petition for the passage of the “Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancy Act, which seeks to end the problem with the help of the Filipino people.
The petition concludes by acknowledging that everyone has something to contribute to the solution, such as: (1) guidance of parents, teachers and elders; (2) implementation of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education, a mandate of the Reproductive Health Law; and (3) enactment of the Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancy Law.