CHR working to eliminate prejudice vs women

Published October 30, 2020, 11:53 AM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

The plight faced by women and children during the implementation of the community quarantines have not escaped the notice of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR)-National Capital Region (NCR), and it is now working to eliminate the culture of silence that has kept Filipino women from voicing out against their abusers.

Commission on Human Rights (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

The CHR issued the Advisory to Respect Women and their Rights under Republic Act No. 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act signed by Atty. Diana B. de Leon, officer-in-charge of CHR-NCR.

It highlighted the Magna Carta of Women, also known as RA 9710, as well as the Safe Spaces Act or RA 11313. The two laws affirmed women’s rights and sought to eliminate prejudice against women.

Among those that are prohibited are gender-based online sexual harassment; unwanted sexual misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic, and sexist remarks; invasion of victims’s privacy by cyberstalking and incessant messaging; uploading photos and videos without the victim’s consent; unauthorized recording and sharing of victim’s photos, videos, or information online; and impersonating identities that would harm the victim’s reputation.

“With the COVID-19 crisis bringing uncertainties, there is a greater call to ensure that women and other vulnerable sectors are protected,” the advisory said. “A stronger and united front in recognizing and respecting the rights of women and ensuring that there are safe spaces for them is much needed at this time.”

The CHR stressed that the public should remain vigilant and report cases of violence against women and other acts that threaten their life, safety, and dignity.

“We also encourage everyone to cease the culture of silence and condemn acts that defile women’s rights and dignity, such as those prohibited in the Safe Spaces Act,” the CHR added

The CHR said that there are prejudices regarding the inferiority or superiority of either sexes, and Filipinos have sadly stereotyped the roles of men and women. As a State Party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the CHR said that it is bound to take all appropriate measures “to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudices.”

The CHR reminded all duty-bearers to respect and protect the rights of women, both in the government and private sectors, including media personalities. True and excellent public service, said De Leon, treats all people equally regardless of their sex, gender, and economic background.