#RespetoNaman movement launches campaign vs gender-based violence

Jaia Yap
The #RespetoNaman anniversary commemoration features an 18-day campaign to end violence against women by further educating Filipinos on gender-based violence issues

ENOUGH. SPARK! Executive Director Maica Teves announces #RespetoNaman’s 18-day campaign to end violence against women as part of the movement’s first anniversary of advocating for gender equality. Photo by Bianca Arreola

MANILA, Philippines – Gender equality advocates from #RespetoNaman, a nationwide movement for women and LGBTQ+ empowerment, unveiled an upcoming 18-day campaign against gender-based violence (GBV) to mark its first anniversary.

This was announced by representatives from the Office of Vice President (OVP) Leni Robredo, SPARK! Philippines, the Embassy of Sweden in Manila, and Empower on Thursday, November 21, at the residence of Swedish Ambassador Harald Fries.

The anniversary commemoration features an 18-day campaign to end violence against women through further education of Filipinos on gender-based violence issues at a time when President Rodrigo Duterte continued to make headlines because of his misogynistic remarks. (READ: From ‘fragrant’ Filipinas to shooting vaginas: Duterte’s top 6 sexist remarks)

Some gender studies experts have attached a “social cost” to Duterte’s sexist and rape remarks, which they say reinforces toxic masculinity and negative attitudes toward women.

In its first year, the movement held women and LGBT-empowerment drives, such as the Don’t Tell Me How To Dress campaign, attempting to shed light on the issue of victim-blaming by displaying clothes of different rape victims; and the End Rainbow Violence, featuring sexual violence cases against LGBTQ+ persons. The campaigns were held in Metro Manila, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu City, and Dumaguete. 

Gender equality advocates will conduct forums in Metro Manila as part of its 18-day campaign. This time, they will shift toward topics such as building safe spaces in schools and the workplace, and laws governing gender-based violence.

It will also launch an online version of the Don’t Tell Me How To Dress exhibit, making the campaign accessible to all netizens.

Launched in November 2018, #RespetoNaman strives to shed light on gender-based violence from a humanized perspective, featuring victims’ real-life stories of rape and sexual harassment.

18-day campaign to end violence against women

Inspired by global movements #MeToo and #TimesUp, and Thailand’s Don’t Tell Me How To Dress movement, #RespetoNaman, through its 18-day campaign, is entering its second year with more momentum to inspire change.

The upcoming campaign is inspired by an international campaign called 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which was first held in Rutgers University in 1991.

Vice President Leni Robredo will grace #RespetoNaman’s anniversary celebration and kick off the 18-day campaign against GBV at Robinsons Place, Naga City, on Monday, November 25.

Two weeks ago, a slew of administration officials hurled misogynistic broadsides at Robredo after she took the helm of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) as co-chair.

Robredo’s spokesman Barry Guiterrez said the tirades are steeped in double standards, seeking to insult not only Robredo, but Filipino women in general. (READ: Dela Rosa says Robredo should be at the ‘forefront’ of war vs drugs)

“If the Vice President of the Philippines, the second highest official in the land, can be subjected to that kind of condescension, targeted online and threatened with rape, then that gives you an idea of the size of the problem that we still need to confront, and the urgency of the steps that we still need to take today,” Guiterrez said at the #RespetoNaman campaign launch on Thursday, November 21.

Looking ahead

After the 18-day campaign, #RespetoNaman aims to go beyond awareness campaigns by building “stronger and more holistic” support mechanisms for survivors of gender-based violence.

“For the coming year, we’re gearing toward a more action-oriented approach, focusing on working with communities to create sustainable, and lasting solutions to end violence in the Philippines,” said SPARK! Executive Director Maica Teves

Teves said by working with local government units (LGUs), law schools, and civil society organizations, the campaign hopes to increase prevention efforts and reach rural areas and non-traditional cities.

For instance, #RespetoNaman aims to hold campaigns in remote LGU areas connected under Angat Buhay, the Vice President’s flagship anti-poverty program.

Teves added that women empowerment in the 21st century is no longer just about representation and activism.  Everyone 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.”

Here is a running list of #RespetoNaman’s 18-day campaign to end violence against women:

  • #RespetoNaman Anniversary Celebration
    • November 25, 6 pm – 9 pm at Robinsons Place, Naga City
  • University Forum: Building Safe Spaces
    • November 26, 9 am -12 pm at Naga College Foundation, Naga City
  • Don’t Tell Me How To Dress Exhibit
    • November 25 – 28 at Robinsons Place, Naga City
    • November 28 – December 12, Naga College Foundation
  • University Forum: Gender-Based Violence & Safe Spaces in Schools
    • November 29, 3 pm – 5 pm at the Ateneo de Manila University
  • School Forum: Building Safe Spaces in School
    • December 9, 2 pm – 5 pm at Ateneo de Manila Senior High School, Quezon City
  • Workplace Forum: Fostering a Safe Space in the Workplace
    • December 10, 1 pm – 3 pm at THE WRKSPCE, Makati City
  • Online Launch – Don’t Tell Me How To Dress
    • December 12

– Rappler.com

Jaia Yap is a Rappler intern with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of the Philippines Diliman. He tweets at @jaiayap.