Women’s groups are resorting to more creative forms of getting their message across. There are currently radio plugs that seek to shed light on various issues confronting women today.
BY AUBREY SC MAKILAN
Liz Almoro, Willie Revillame’s wife, is said to be undergoing therapy for battered wife syndrome. Almoro recently filed for the annulment of her marriage with the controversial TV game show host.
But not all women have the courage to report the violence they are experiencing at the hands of their husbands.
“Coring” left her first husband whom she described as “very strict.” She said her ex-husband used to lock her inside their house. Her former husband also had an affair with another woman. He did not take care of her even when she was ill with a recurring throat inflammation that may develop into cancer.
Finally “Coring” left her husband and lived with her childhood sweetheart. But her situation is no better. There are mornings when “Coring” would wake up with bruises especially around her eyes. Their neighbors witnessed how her new partner punched her, hit her head and threw her against the wall.
Living in a slum area in Metro Manila, “Coring” helps her live-in partner by selling barbequed entrails of pigs and chickens. Having four children with her current partner, she feels helpless and fears she could not support their needs if she would leave him. She is also pregnant with their fifth child. Aside from that, one of her four children with her first husband is also under her care.
“Coring” is just one of the victims of violence against women.
Statistics from the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) show that there were 50,755 reported cases of violence against women from 1999 to 2005. Of this, 28,778 cases were classified under physical injuries or wife battery, which is the biggest chunk in the cases recorded.
NSCB data also show that there were 7,034 reported cases of rape from 1999 to 2005. This figure does not include cases of attempted rape and incest rape.
Campaigns to end violence against women
Women networks have launched a wide range of campaigns that have brought to the fore the issue of violence against women.
In 1999, the United Nations declared Nov. 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December) is an annual campaign that is symbolic of the global women’s movement and end-violence networks. Nov. 25 is observed each year to honor the Mirabal sisters, three political activists from the Dominican Republic who were assassinated on that day in 1961. The end of the 16-day campaign falls on Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day.
There is also an 18-day Campaign to End Violence against Women from Nov. 25 to Dec. 12. Isis International-Manila, a women’s group, produced a compilation of radio plugs for this campaign.
Printed on the cover of the disc is the title of the compilation, “Radio Plugs for the 18-day Campaign to End Violence against Women, 25 November to 12 December.”
The compact disc contains four tracks showing situations where violence against women likely arises. The radio plugs are translated into Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, and English, and would be given out to radio stations.
Aside from the probable situations where women are vulnerable to violence, laws covering the rights of women are also explained briefly. And at the end of each track, recommended actions are discussed.
The following are the contents of each track.
Track 1: May Kakampi Ka (You Have an Ally), 1:09 minutes. A child is screaming, begging her dad to stop hurting her mom, Gina. The situation gets worse for Gina, when even their child is beaten up. When she could no longer take it, Gina follows a friend’s advice to bring her case before the baranggay (village) office or the women’s desk of the police station. Gina also gets out of the violent relationship.
Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence against Women and Children Act of 2004 is discussed in this track. This is the law that gives women the right to stop the abuse and violence being inflicted by their husbands or live-in partners.
Track 2:Di na Nakakatawa (It’s Not Funny Anymore), 1:13 minutes. The plug depicts a workplace setting. A narrator poses these questions: “Is your boss thoughtful and kind?” “Is your boss a joker and flirt?,” and “Is your boss’ flirtations getting to be too much?” Eventually, a woman employee feels uncomfortable with her boss’ offer of a promotion in exchange for sexual favors. The situation concludes by stating that an act which makes a woman uncomfortable is not a joke. It encourages a victim in a similar situation to file a complaint to the company management, which, in turn, has the responsibility to take action.
Republic Act 7877, the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995, is discussed to inform women of their rights under the described situation.
Track 3: Bola (Scammed), 1:10 minutes. A certain Mr. Gancho is heard assuring a woman that there’s a job waiting for her at a garment factory. But the woman gets shocked upon being brought to a club house and given a uniform to wear. Mr. Gancho says that money is easy to earn there and admonishes her not to run away.
Women’s rights under RA 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 are discussed. It states that everyone has the right to find work that has dignity and proper compensation. It penalizes those who recruit and employ people under exploitative conditions with or without the person’s consent.
Track 4: Date Lang (Just a Date), 1:10 minutes. In this track, a woman named Dina is teasing Julie about her date with Mike. Crying, Julie tells Dina that she was raped during the date. Dina suggests to her friend to go to the women’s desk of the police to report the incident.
In this track, women are informed that rape can happen in different situations, even during a date. Listeners are advised to seek help at women’s desk of police stations. Women’s desks are tasked with investigating these incidents and facilitate the filing of charges against rapists. The Anti-Rape Law of 1997 or RA 8353 and RA 8505 or the Rape Victims Assistance and Protection Act are discussed.
Victims are also advised to seek assistance from the Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD), crisis centers, and shelters that provide free legal and counseling services.
The radio advocacy of Isis started in 1994 while “lobbying for a more equitable distribution of frequency spectrum.”
Isis has its own radio production studio where women are trained in broadcasting and gender-sensitive programming, and taught ways of applying radio and information-communication technology convergence.
Aside from plugs, Isis also produces radio features, broadcast-ready materials available in CDs and cassette tape formats.
Isis also has two radio programs, the Isis on Woman Talk and Isis Reports, which have been airing since 1998 and 2003, respectively, over government, private, and community radio stations in the country.
The organization, named after the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis who symbolizes wisdom, creativity and knowledge, is a feminist non-government organization dedicated to producing information and communication materials about the rights of women.
Isis focuses on advancing women’s rights, leadership and empowerment in Asia and the Pacific, and monitors changing trends and analyses concerning women worldwide. Its network covers over 150 countries. (Bulatlat.com)