By Rjhay E. Laurea
MANILA — Male employees of the Quezon City government signed up to end VAW (violence against women) as part of the celebration of this year’s International Women’s Month.
Mayor Joy Belmonte spearheaded the relaunch of Men Opposed to Violence against Women Everywhere (MOVE) to help address gender-based violence in the city and involve more men to support programs against VAW.
Belmonte hopes men will become active participants in eliminating violence against women or VAW as she declared that following multiple reports of sexual harassment at City Hall, the city shall adopt a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of violence, abuse, and sexual harassment in the LGU.
“Para maging matagumpay ang ating kampanya laban sa karahasan, kailangan kasama natin sa ating panig ang mga kalalakihan. Kailangan maging committed sila na hindi kailanman papayag o palalampasin ang pang-aabuso sa mga bata at kababaihan (For our campaign against violence to prosper, we need the support of the male people. They need to be committed in not tolerating or permitting any form of abuse to children and women), ” said Belmonte.
In 2021, the city’s barangays received 3,981 reports of cases of physical and verbal abuse as well as sexual harassment against women, as reflected in data from the city’s Gender and Development Council.
During the launch, Vice Mayor Gian Sotto was also named as the honorary chair of QC MOVE for his office’s role in the swift dispensation of justice for a female employee who was sexually harassed by her male boss. Move members shall vow “never to commit, never to condone, and never to remain silent about VAW.”
As of last year, MOVE has been organized in 73 chapters nationwide including in national government agencies and local government units.
Other interventions of the city to address VAW are the establishment of the QC Protection Center and the Bahay Kanlungan, a temporary shelter for women, children, and LGBTQIA+ who are victim-survivors of violence and abuse. (AI/MTVN)