Women’s group launches 16-day activism campaign against gender violence in Ilocos Norte

LAOAG CITY, Nov. 25 (PNA) — The Zonta Club of Ilocos Norte, an international group of empowered women executives and professionals here, is taking the lead to advance the cause of women and girls in Ilocos region.

In time for the November 25 National Consciousness Day for the elimination of violence against women and children as mandated by Republic Act 10398 and the December 10 Human rights Day, the ZCIN prepared a series of advocacy campaign activities, this time to involve males in a forum and film viewing to promote safe communities.

Wearing orange shirts with a tagline: “Zonta Ilocos Norte says no to violence against women,” Zontians led by president Rizalina Chua met with the local media on Wednesday to drumbeat their 16-day activism campaign meant to empower women through service and advocacy.

Apart from the posting of banners and streamers and holding of forums on teen-age pregnancies and early marriages, film viewing and presentation on the psychological effects of violence to women, Chua said there will also be walk around the city on Thursday followed by Zumba dance at the Aurora park.

A gift giving to at least 100 indigent families will also be held at the Paoay Civic Center on December 5 as part of giving back to the community.

Like in other parts of the country and of the world, Ilocos Norte women and girls are not spared of all forms of violence to mankind.

Organizers said the the 16-day activism against gender-based violence campaign aims to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.

The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.

The year 2015 marks the 20-year anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most progressive road map to gender equality, participated by strong women from the Philippines.

In March, world leaders met at the United Nations 59th Commission on the status women and in September at the 70th General Assembly to take stock of the progress made and commit to take action to close the gaps that are holding women and girls back.

This year, a new sustainable development agenda, which for the first time includes specific targets and indicators on ending violence against women, also replaced the Millennium Development Goals.

Supporting this move, the ZCIN hopes to prevent abuses against women and girls by strengthening their advocacy campaigns and at the same time, extend a helping hand to those in need.

Established in 1978, the strong women’s organization here had been working in partnership with various local government units and other non-government organizations in the province to advance the status of women in Ilocos Norte. (PNA)