DUMAGUETE CITY, Sept. 17 (PIA) -- The #RespetoNaman campaign was recently launched in Dumaguete City as the second stop in its Visayas leg to raise awareness on gender-based violence around the country.
Gender advocates Atty. Pristine Raymond, Maria Isabel Quimson, Ambassador Harold Fries of Sweden, Mikaela Luisa Teves and Kassandra Barnes joined Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo in the opening of the "Don't Tell Me How to Dress" Exhibit at a local mall not only to raise awareness on gender-based violence, but to change the norms.
The drive is pushing for change in policy, better practices, and the rehabilitation of victims.
#RespetoNaman hopes to spread awareness and encourage discourse outside of Metro Manila.
Remollo reiterated the support of the city government in the campaign to minimize gender-based violence not only in Dumaguete City but nationwide.
Inspired by the global #MeToo and #TimesUp Movements, #RespetoNaman is a project of the Office of Vice President Leni Robredo, the Embassy of Sweden in Manila, UN Women, SPARK! Philippines, Empower, Terre des Hommes through the Girls Advocacy Alliance, and Para sa Sining.
Robredo, who spent years giving legal assistance to abused women and children, supports initiatives like this, believing that Filipino women should be given every opportunity to thrive in a safe environment.
"Women's empowerment in the 21st century is no longer just about representation and activism. 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," said Robredo.
Fries, who has supported the campaign since it started last year, reiterated the staunch support of Sweden for the campaign.
He noted that "the message of #RespetoNaman needs to reverberate not just in Metro Manila, but also to the farthest towns in the Philippines as it tackles important, but often overlooked questions such as: Are there sufficient laws protecting the welfare of women and girls? Are these laws effectively enforced to protect women and girls from exploitation, violence, harassment and rape? Are social norms enabling a culture of abuse of women?"
On the other hand, Maica Teves, Executive Director of SPARK!, said: "SPARK! wants women to know that they are not alone. Together, we will fight for our rights and for respect. Now, more than ever, is the time to shift the narrative, end victim-blaming, and call for respect for women not because of what they wear or how they act, but by virtue of their being human."
#RespetoNaman will be in Dumaguete City until the end of September 2019. (jct/PIA7 Negros Oriental with reports from CPIO Dems Demecillo)