The Zonta Club of Makati and Environs Foundation Inc conducts VAW forums in schools and cities

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VAW FORUM at Bagong-Ilog Elem. School Covered Court, Pasig City | 8 August 2013, 2:00pm |

On August 8, 2013, the Zonta Club Makati and Environs together with the Inner Wheel Clubs of the Philippines Manila Bay Edsa, organized the forum, “Kakabaihan: Alamin ang mga Karapatan Ninyo” at the Bagong-Ilog Elem. School Covered Court, Pasig City.  This activity was aimed to raise awareness on the law, RA 9262 otherwise known as the Anti Violence Against Women and Their Children (VAWC) Act of 2004. The organizers wanted to help women within the community of Pasig to be aware of their rights especially on how to legally deal with different forms of violence that could happen at home.

In order to achieve this objective, the forum featured Atty. Ana Luz B. Cristal as its guest speaker.  Atty. Cristal is one of the leading attorneys who specialize in women and gender rights.  In fact, she is the director of the Women’s Legal Bureau and is recognized as one of the people who have led the lobbying for the passage of the law that penalizes abuses of women by their intimate partners.

Atty. Cristal delivered a very detailed talk on RA 9262.  She clearly explained the said law as well as the four acts which constitute VAWC, namely physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence and economic violence.  Atty. Cristal clearly articulated and cited specific examples on these kinds of violence which have helped the audience to deeply understand the seriousness of these violations.  Her presentation was also dynamic and very much interactive which enabled the audience, who were mostly mothers to understand RA 9262.

During the Q&A, most of the mothers were hesitant in raising concerns, possibly because of the sensitivity of the issue.  But with the assurance and support extended by the moderators and organizers, such as ZCME President, Cora Tan, more women eagerly shared their insights and queries to Atty. Cristal.

The activity certainly served as a good platform in recognizing women’s rights with regard to VAW. The session also provided the women and mothers of Pasig with adequate information on RA 9262 and how they seek protection.  More importantly, the activity showed how solid support groups such as organizations of ZCME and Inner Wheelers Club, could help them feel empowered.

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VAW FORUM at Ann Arbor Montessori | 28 November 2013, 2:00 pm|

The ZONTA Club of Makati & Environs Foundation Inc.  (ZCME) staged an educational forum entitled, “End Violence Against Women Now” at the Ann Harbor Montessori Learning Center in BF Homes, Paranaque.

The activity was organized as part of the Club’s support to the 16-days Activism Against Gender Based Violence, a global campaign which addresses issues of Violence Against Women (VAW).  The ZCME has been extremely passionate in helping eradicate VAW and impart knowledge on the promotion and protection of women.  For this year, the Club intended to focus on the youth with the hopes of instilling the value of women’s rights.

Before the start of the forum proper, ZCME President Mrs. Cora De Jesus Tan started the induction ceremony of the Z-Club members of the Ann Harbor Montessori Learning Center.  She welcomed the new members then acknowledged the importance of having a dynamic young cluster as they could help in the advocacy of the Club.

In order to make it an effective educational platform in learning about VAW and how to further understand the law, we invited Honourable Elisa Sarmiento-Flores, Judge of RTC Branch 71 as the guest speaker.  Hon. Sarmiento-Flores, delivered a presentation on Republic Act 9262 on Anti-Violence on Women and their Children Act of 2004 to the students.  She explained how the law is extremely significant in providing protection against physical violence, psychological abuse and economic violence.  Hon. Sarmiento- Flores also cited specific examples on these kinds of violence which have helped the students to deeply understand the gravity of these violations, which often than not occur at home.

Since the audience were primarily high school students, majority of which were first year and second year students, Hon. Sarmiento-Flores also discussed Republic Act 7610, a law which provides special protection against abuse, discrimination, and exploitation to minors.  This was seen timely such violations against children can happen within the school.  Hon. Sarmiento-Flores underscored their rights as minors and to stop any kind of violence. She further highlighted that all institutions such as the homes and schools should always consider the best interest of children.

Following the two presentations, an open forum was conducted. Students of Ann Arbor Montessori Learning Center were very proactive in raising questions to Hon. Sarmiento-Flores.  Even with such young audience, they asked substantial questions, particularly on how to practice their rights as females and more importantly as children.  The event was a success and moving as we saw how students have responded to the issue of VAW. We are hopeful that through the activity, it will minimize if not eliminate any act of violence against women, particularly children.

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VAW FORUM at Tonsuya Barangay Hall, Malabon City |16 November 2013, 2:00pm|

On 16 November 2013, the Zonta Club Makati and Environs together with the Inner Wheel Clubs of the Philippines Pasay South East Chapter, organized the forum, “Kakabaihan: Alamin ang mga Karapatan Ninyo” at the Tonsuya Barangay Hall, Malabon City.  This activity was aimed to raise awareness on the law, RA 9262 otherwise known as the Anti Violence Against Women and Their Children (VAWC) Act of 2004. The organizers wanted to help women within the community of Tonsuya to be aware of their rights especially on how to legally deal with different forms of violence that could happen at home.

In order to achieve this objective, the forum featured Atty. Ana Luz B. Cristal as its guest speaker.  Atty. Cristal is one of the leading attorneys who specialize in women and gender rights.  In fact, she is the director of the Women’s Legal Bureau and is recognized as one of the people who have led the lobbying for the passage of the law that penalizes abuses of women by their intimate partners.

Atty. Cristal delivered a very detailed talk on RA 9262.  She clearly explained the said law as well as the four acts which constitute VAWC, namely physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence and economic violence.  Atty. Cristal clearly articulated and cited specific examples on these kinds of violence which have helped the audience to deeply understand the seriousness of these violations.  Her presentation was also dynamic and very much interactive which enabled the audience, who were mostly mothers to understand RA 9262.

During the Q&A, most of the mothers were hesitant in raising concerns, possibly because of the sensitivity of the issue.  But with the assurance and support extended by the moderators and organizers, such as ZCME President, Cora Tan, more women eagerly shared their insights and queries to Atty. Cristal.

The activity certainly served as a good platform in recognizing women’s rights with regard to VAW. The session also provided the women and mothers of Tonsuya, Malabon with adequate information on RA 9262 and how they seek protection.  More importantly, the activity showed how solid support groups such as organizations of ZCME and Inner Wheelers Club, could help them feel empowered.

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VAW FORUM at Western Bicutan National High School, Taguig City |29 November 2013, 2:00pm|

As a follow-up of Zonta Club of Makati & Environs advocacy of raising awareness on the issue of Violence Against Women (VAW) and as a support of the 16-days global Activism Against Gender-based Violence, an educational forum was organized at Western Bicutan National High school in Taguig City.

The activity entitled, “End Violence Against Women Now” provided a platform for students to learn about Republic Act 9262 otherwise known as the Anti-Violence Against Women and their children (VAWC) Act of 2004. Atty. Josephine “Peng” Sandoval, Program Officer of the Ateneo Human Rights Center and a women’s rights expert delivered a very dynamic presentation on RA 9262.

Her presentation was engaging as Atty. Peng was able to relate the importance of the law and the personal experiences of the students.  She asked students to share their knowledge and experiences on the issue of violence whether it’s physical, emotional or psychological in nature.  Atty. Peng’s approachable and relatable style made the forum engaging and students were very much participative during the discussion. But she was still able to underscore the seriousness of the issue.  She explained that violence against women and more importantly young girls is a violation of human rights.  It is therefore important to know each and everyone’s right.  Atty. Peng also provided tips on how to prevent abuse within the homes, schools and community.

It was evident that all the students who attended learned a lot from the educational forum. The students eagerly listened to points raised by Atty. Peng as well as the opinions raised by their schoolmates.  Such a lively and vibrant approach surely made the forum an effective tool for learning about VAW.  This is the main objective of ZCME’s program of raising awareness on VAW and learning about women’s rights.  Through this kind of effort, the Club intends to continue this advocacy of imparting important values to young minds in the hopes of creating a safer world for them.

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VAW FORUM at Ramon Magsaysay High School, Quezon City |04 December 2013, 2:00pm|

The ZONTA Club of Makati and Environs Foundation Inc. continued its advocacy of informing the youth on the issue of Violence Against Women (VAW), by arranging the educational forum, “End Violence Against Women Now” at the Ramon Magsaysay High School on December 04, 2013.

The forum was attended by third year and fourth year students who were all eager in knowing about the issue of VAW.  The moderator of the forum explained that knowing the seriousness of the said social issue is pivotal as they mature and eventually become adults.  The ZCME invited Atty. Anna Maureen Manigbas of the Ateneo Human Rights Center as the resource person to discuss the RA 9262 or the Act Against Violence Against Women and Their Children to the young audience.

Atty. Manigbas, a young lawyer works as a Program Assistant at the Ateneo Human Rights Center or the AHRC. AHRC is one of the first and leading university-based institutions in the Philippines engaged in the promotion and protection of human rights in the country and in the Asian region.  They have the women’s desk which helps in raising awareness on women’s rights such as Violence Against Women.

Before she joined the AHRC, she worked as an intern at Somera Penano and Associates as well as at the Free Rehabilitation, Economic, Education and Legal Assistance Volunteers Association, Inc.  where she helped provide the Organization with instructional materials on the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 (RA 9344) and gave seminars on Children’s Rights.

Atty. Manigbas forthcoming approach made the students responsive in learning about the law on VAW.  The students were in tuned in instances which cover VAW in the Philippine context.  Relatedly, Atty. Manigbas emphasized that the issue of VAW is not limited to married couples.  Such violation of human rights could also exist in dating relationships.  She therefore encouraged the young girls to further learn about their rights.  She reiterated that knowing these rights and protections could yield empowerment to women even at a young age.

The President of ZCME, Mrs. Cora Tan, further strengthened this claim by highlighting the importance of women’s rights.  Most especially as the international community celebrates the 16-days Activism Against Gender Based Violence.  The ZCME believes that the youth should be more proactive, particularly on learning about gender stereotypes that could perpetuate violence.  The Club considers that indeed knowledge is power.  Once the youth are equipped with their rights, certainly, the elimination of violence against women and girls could be achieved.  With this in mind, the ZCME is more than enthusiastic in arranging another forum similar as this.

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