The nationwide campaign #RespetoNaman is marking its first year of raising awareness and working towards the end of gender-based violence (GBV) in the Philippines.
For this milestone, #RespetoNaman will be bringing the conversation to Naga City, through the #DontTellThemHowToDress exhibit, which features the stories of GBV victims, as well as educational forums.
The campaign, launched in November 2018, is a collaboration among the Office of Vice President Leni Robredo, the Embassy of Sweden in the Philippines, SPARK! Philippines, UN Women, Empower, Terre des Hommes through Girls Advocacy Alliance, and Para sa Sining. As it strives to shed light on the issues of rape and sexual harassment, #RespetoNaman has been launched in different parts of the country, including Metro Manila, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, and Dumaguete.
VP Leni, who hails from Naga City, has emphasized the importance of making safe spaces for women to thrive.
“Women empowerment in the 21st century is no longer just about representation and activism,” she said. “Each one of us is called to go beyond lip service, and be more proactive in championing the cause of making our spaces not only safe for women, but conducive to their success.”
In its second year, the campaign aims to create stronger policies with better implementation, offer more holistic support for victim-survivors, and increase prevention efforts by working with local government units, the private sector, law schools, and civil-society organizations.
The campaign will have additional forums in Metro Manila, covering topics of building safe spaces in schools and at the workplace, and the laws governing gender-based violence. It will also launch an online platform for the campaign with a version of the #DontTellMeHowToDressExhibit to make the campaign more accessible.
According to Maica Teves, SPARK! executive director, “for the coming year we’re gearing towards a more action-oriented approach, focusing on working with communities to create sustainable, and lasting solutions to end violence in the Philippines.”
For his part, Swedish Ambassador Harald Fries said the campaign has been “instrumental” in the Embassy’s advocacy of eliminating GBV.
“With this campaign, we aim to give advocates of gender equality and victims the support and encouragement they need to speak up against sexual harassment and gender-based violence. We also want to strengthen prevention mechanisms through education and discourse on misogynistic attitudes that lead to violence against women,” Fries said.