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The DOST-Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) joined the nation in observing the “18-Day Campaign to End Violence against Women” thru an exhibit of Violence against Women (VAW) campaign posters.

“This year's campaign sought to prevent gender-based sexual harassment in public spaces and the streets, and raise awareness on Republic Act 11313 otherwise known as the Safe Spaces Act,” said Arlene G. Torres, Chair of DOST-FPRDI’s Gender and Development Technical Working Group.

The Safe Spaces Act penalizes “catcalling, misogynistic and homophobic slurs, unwanted sexual advances, and other forms of sexual harassment in schools, workplaces, public places and online spaces,” explained Torres.

DOST-FPRDI Director Romulo T. Aggangan checks on the VAW Campaign Posters Exhibit at the Institute’s lobby last 25 November 2021

(Left to Right): GAD Co-Chair Forester Julius T. Pelegrina, Director Aggangan, GAD Chair Ms. Arlene G. Torres, FPRDI Deputy Director Rico J. Cabangon, CODI Chair Ms. Zenaida R. Reyes, and GAD staff Ms. Angela Catacutan grace the exhibit launch

The activity was in line with Presidential Compliance No.1172, Series of 2006 that declares November 25 – December 12 of every year as the period for the “18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women”, and Republic Act No.10398, Series of 2012 that observes the “National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children” every November 25.

According to the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), the World Health Organization estimates that “about 1 in 3 women (35%) worldwide has experienced either physical and/or sexual violence from her intimate partner or non-partner in their lifetime”.

The PCW added that based on the 2017 National Demographic Health Survey released by the Philippine Statistics Authority, “1 in 4 Filipino women, aged 15-49, has faced physical, emotional or sexual violence from her husband or partner. Since the onset of COVID-19 quarantine restrictions in March 2020 to August 2021, a total of 18,945 VAW cases have been reported to the PNP Women and Children Protection Center.” ### (Angela C. Catacutan, 22 December 2021)