The Zonta Club of Greater Rizal II, Philippines, decided to involve men in its Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women activities.
On 13 December 2020, the club held an event in an economically disadvantaged area in Towerville, San Jose del Monte—a community where the prevalence of latent/tacit and overt violence against women is high.
At least 100 men attended the “Men Only” session that was facilitated by a certified male speaker on the role and responsibility of men in the family and society. The speaker highlighted how men have degraded the dignity of women through violence inflicted on them verbally, psychologically, physically and even denial of economic advantages.
Participants were educated on the Philippine law on violence against women and children (VAWC), which would imprison men convicted of violation. One of the participants, visibly affected by the discussion, commented, “I did not know that what I am doing to my wife is being violent to her. I thought that it was being manly.”
At the end of the session, participants requested another seminar that will tackle behavioral change for any one of them that would need assistance on how to deal with violent behaviors against their wives. Club organizers were inspired by this development because the event was considered an important step in minimizing, if not eradicating, violence against women in the area.