03/08/2018, 09.29
PHILIPPINES
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Manila, 11,558 women victims of physical and sexual violence in 2017 alone

by Santosh Digal

Citizens complain that local governments do not sufficiently protect abused women as required by law. However, international surveys reveal that the Philippines has recently achieved excellent results in the pursuit of gender equality. Through the Catholic Women's League (Cwl), the Church is engaged in numerous initiatives for women's rights.

Manila (AsiaNews) - In 2017 alone, 11,558 Filipino women between the ages of 15 and 49 suffered various forms of physical and sexual violence. According to a report by the government of Manila, drawn up with the contribution of the national police and the Department of Statistics.

"Gender violence in the country is increasing and must end," Mary Jane Castro, a bank employee, told AsiaNews. "Although Filipino women have progressed a great deal in many ways - she continues - domestic violence is still rampant in places where they work, especially abroad". Castro, the mother of three young children, argues that greater awareness on inclusion and gender equality should be promoted in families and in the workplace.

Cases of domestic violence against women remain high, and many citizens complain that local governments do not sufficiently protect abused women as required by law. Numerous civil society groups, educational institutions and government agencies appeal to public opinion to end violence against women and to uphold their rights and dignity.

However, international surveys reveal that the Philippines has recently achieved excellent results in the pursuit of gender equality. According to the 2017 Global Gender Gap Report, drafted by the World Economic Forum (Wef), the country ranked 10th in gender equality. The Wef report estimates that it will take another 200 years before gender equality is achieved globally, but in the Philippines the target could be achieved faster. Filipino women were among the first to exercise their right to vote. The data show that, although more and more women obtain a university degree compared to men, fewer of them become part of the workforce. Many women continue to risk physical and sexual abuse by working as domestic helpers abroad.

Through the Catholic Women's League (Cwl), the Church is engaged in numerous women's rights initiatives, in collaboration with the National Women's Council of the Philippines (Ncwp). The Cwl is active throughout the country and operates in 86 archdioceses, dioceses, prelatures and apostolic vicariates. The association also collaborates with the Women's Office of the Episcopal Conference (CBCP), the Commission of Filipino Women (PCW) and other groups to protect women in the country.

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