Today, 10 December, marks the last day of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence and the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign. As it closes, Zontians of the Zonta Club of Central Tuguegarao, Philippines, look back on the following activities that gave meaning to each day.
As of today, the club’s Facebook page has 4,708 likes and 5,348 follows. Hence, all of the activities were posted or held via social media. The club prides itself on having completed 16 days of fruitful activities this year. This is the second time it has done so during this biennium, with last year’s activities focused on the relief operations in the wake of the massive flooding in the fourth quarter of 2020.
This year, the club had more time to plan, prepare and execute dedicated day-to-day activities and finished it with the awarding for the 2021 MOST VAW RESPONSIVE BARANGAY IN TUGUEGARAO CITY. Below is a rundown of the Zonta Club’s 16 Days.
Zontians opened the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence by simultaneously donning their social media profiles with Zonta International’s “I SAY NO TO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN” frame and posting their Zonta Says NO banners as cover photos. They posted messages of hope, strength and prayers for a world without violence.
Recognizing their police officers’ help and role in women empowerment especially in the protection & enforcement of women’s rights, Zonta Club of Central Tuguegarao in partnership with Integrated Bar of the Philippines – Cagayan Chapter conducted a webinar entitled: “Libreng Aral para sa Mabuting Opisyal: Pagkikilala sa Karapatan ng mga Kababaihan” (Police Officers of Cagayan Edition).
Watch the Day 1 video on Facebook.
Day 2: Knowledge
Zontians all over the world are one in spreading awareness on the pervasiveness of gender-based violence. The club prepared a series of audio/visual presentations especially for this day in the hope of reaching more people, who would also help us with our advocacy.
- Watch “ORP Report on Gender-Based Violence in the Region”
- Watch “PNP Report on Gender-Based Violence in the Region”
- Watch “What You Need to Know: Gender-Based Violence”
Day 3: Orange Day
Zontians wore orange for the day and took snapshots of themselves. A collage of the snapshots was posted on social media to show solidarity with the worldwide orange movement against gender-based violence.
Day 4: Gadgets & Portalets
The Zonta Club of Central Tuguegarao gave nine gadgets to nine young ladies in senior high and college. The gadgets include five desktop computers, three tablets and one laptop. The beneficiaries were carefully screened so that the most in need were prioritized. The young ladies who were given desktops are studying to become engineers and information technology experts.
Then, barangays (or villages) were given portalets (portable toilets), primarily for women and girls in the advent of evacuation. The portalets were purchased from the donations the club received during the massive flooding brought by typhoon Ulysses in the last quarter of 2020 as part of rebuilding, rehabilitation and disaster risk management.
Day 5: Allyship
Fighting against gender-based violence is a team effort. It cannot be won by females alone.
Club members were overwhelmed by the messages of support on the anti-GBV from their own family members and from students of the University of Cagayan Valley-College of Law and Ateneo Law School. Their messages cannot be contained in one audio-visual presentation, so six installments were published on social media:
Aside from celebrating the Day of Allyship, ZCCT members were also invited by the Association of Legal Management Students – Cagayan State University, Andrews Campus to give their lectures in “Violence Against Women and Children, Webinar Documentation,” where they tackled the Safe Spaces Act and Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act among others.
The Zonta Club of Central Tuguegarao visited the Women and Children Protection Center, Ilagan City, Province of Isabela. As the Tuguegarao City GAD Center Manager, the club stays true to its commitment to adhere to the provisions of the GAD Code specifically to promote and protect the rights of women and children from all forms of violence and coercion against their person, their freedom, their sexuality and their individuality. Visiting the established and fully-operating centers in the region will enhance members’ knowledge in center management and will be an avenue for them to learn best practices in catering to those who shall require assistance.
Day 7: Giving
In partnership with the Philippine Red Cross, the Zonta club received 171 bags of blood from its bloodletting activity, “My Blood, Her Life.” This will benefit survivors of gender-based violence in the community. There were 209 donors from the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines, law students and volunteers from all other sectors. Their invaluable donation will help the club address possible blood transfusion requirements of such victims that are referred to them.
Day 8: Advocacy
Tuguegarao City Mayor Jefferson P. Soriano delivered his message of support to the anti-violence against women and girls campaign, which was posted on social media.
The club also aired a full-length documentary of VICE News entitled “The Femicide Crisis in the State of Mexico” to raise awareness for the community so they may learn more about women’s fight for justice in that part of the world. Click here to watch.
Day 9: Discussion
A very important and meaningful webinar on teenage pregnancy was conducted by the Golden Z/Z and Education Committees of the Club. The club invited two young, empowered and bright girls to talk on the topic. Specifically, the event was focused on the:
- Unveiling of the “Isip Isip Before You Unzip” (Think Before You Unzip) sticker design of Ms. Jehlsie Cacayurin, a Grade 11 student of the Tuguegarao City Science High School. She explained the concept of her design, which portrays that combating teenage pregnancy is not only the girls’ responsibility. Boys and parents alike should work together to address this issue.
- Launching of the Lit for Girls by Sam Fajardo, Grade 11 student of Everest Academy International Manila. She is a co-founder of the Lit for Girls group that advocates for women empowerment through literature. Her group, which has generated thousands of social media followers worldwide, aims to share e-books and physical copies of books to the girls in the province through our club.
Around 60 young people attended the webinar, thanks to the Department of Education, Golden Z and Z Clubs principals, teachers, SK chairs and other guests who promoted the event.
The fight against gender-based violence is an uphill battle and we need all the help we can get. Om Day 10, the club held an induction ceremony of new members and fellowship. They are now 66 strong.
Climate change brings about unprecedented disasters, which make women and girls more vulnerable to all forms of abuse. In the morning, Zontians did their share for the Tuguegarao One Million Trees Movement. Three hundred bamboo trees were planted along the bank of the Pinacanauan River.
In the evening, the club aired its monthly online talk show, “All About Eve” on its Season 3, Episode 4 entitled, “The Art of Letting Go: A Mother’s Story,” featuring the stories of two mothers: one who had to let go of her only son when he decided to marry and start his own family, and one who had to make peace with the deaths of her two children. Click here to watch.
Day 12: Student Engagement
The Youth Tugue-ther 4th Division Leadership Summit Kids Edition was successfully concluded. This was held online by the Department of Education, Youth Formation Division, Division of Tuguegarao City, Youth Formation Program, SDO Tuguegarao in partnership with the Commission on Human Rights and the Zonta Club of Central Tuguegarao. The Summit had a total attendance of 160 youngsters from two batches. Zontians gave lectures on children’s rights and its fundamental aspects and mental health awareness for women and teens. The topics were carefully selected to guide our young ones, for they can never be too young to know their rights and to save lives. Click here to see photos.
Day 13: Outreach
The club conducted a webinar and consultation for women and girls, entitled “From Healthy Girls, To Healthy Ladies”. This is Part 1 of the two-fold civic action projects of the club during the 16 Days.
Dr. Josan Cabauatan Evangelista, DMD of the Tuguegarao City-Cagayan Dental Chapter (TCDC), gave a lecture on oral health. Renowned obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Edilyn Tiongson-Quilang shared her knowledge on cervical cancer, breast cancer, and abnormal menstruation. They patiently answered queries from around 36 on-site attendees and gave free medical and dental consultations. The attendees were composed of ladies from Padday na Yena (Made by Mom) and Day Care Workers.
Promoting holistic wellness is one of the many steps towards eradicating gender-based violence. Reproductive health and the entire well-being of a victim is affected when she is subjected to any form of violence. We hope that our participants will share what they learned from our esteemed lecturers so that many women and girls will benefit too.
Spoken poetry by Ms. Nicole Quequegan of the Cagayan National High School was aired on social media. Nicole, a beneficiary in the Gadget Mo, Sagot Ko (I’ll take care of getting you a gadget) project, received a laptop. She was recommended by her school for her outstanding academic performance despite her humble background and hardships in life. Click here for her piece against gender-based violence.
Zontians visited the talisay (Terminalia catappa/Indian-Almond), narra (Pterocarpus indicus/Andaman Redwood) and calamansi (Citrofortunella microcarpa/Philippine Lime) planted in March 2021. They are now ready to be transplanted. This is one more step toward a climate-responsive future. Less natural disasters means less vulnerability of women and girls during those times of crisis.
The club held “Know Your Rights,” which is Part 2 of the civic services dedicated for the 16 Days of Activism. This is a free legal service for women and girls.
Barangay San Gabriel was recognized as the 2021 MOST VAW RESPONSIVE BARANGAY IN TUGUEGARAO CITY.
The awarding happened on 10 December at GAD Center, Tuguegarao City Hall Grounds in celebration of the last day of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and Human Rights Day. The search was launched in this year’s International Women’s Day, 8 March, through an online orientation participated by all barangays.
Among all the barangays in Tuguegarao City, San Gabriel’s policies, programs and feedback mechanism/monitoring proved to be most established and efficient in dealing with VAW concerns and protecting the interests of women. Other barangays who have also been assessed to be outstanding in VAW responsiveness are:
- 1st Runner-up: Ugac Sur
- 2nd Runner-up: Namabbalan Norte
- 3rd Runner-up: Tanza
- 4th Runner-up: Caggay
- 5th Runner-up: Gosi Sur & Cataggaman Nuevo
All barangays in Tuguegarao City were subjected to a surprise assessment last November and the spot report was then deliberated upon by the screening committee which selected the 16 finalists. The top 16 were assessed anew to select the winner and runner-ups.
As incentives, Brgy. San Gabriel and the runner-ups received plaques from ZCCT with cash prizes amounting to Php50,000.00 (approximately US$1,000) and Php10,000.00 (approximately US$2,000), respectively, from the City Government of Tuguegarao City.
This search is presented by the Zonta Club of Central Tuguegarao in partnership with the Local Government Unit of Tuguegarao City. Through this, the club hopes to encourage and inspire barangays in the City to become VAW responsive and pro-active in dealing with women’s rights and concerns.
Councilor Atty. Raymund Guzman represented Mayor Jefferson Soriano during the awarding. The club was represented by President Judge Racquel Reyes-Aglaua, ZCCT Advocacy Chair Atty. Marj Martin and GAD Committee Chair Atty. Maria Milagros Cayosa.