TAGUM CITY– Filipino women today have learned to assert their rights but Tagum City councilor Atty. Mylene Baura is encouraging battered men to also come out and reveal their situation.
Guesting in Kapihan sa Kapitolyo which bannered the theme “Babae: Makilahok sa Tagumpay ng Bayan, Baura admitted that society is stereotyping violence against women though some men are in the same situation.
“They can come out in the open so the government would have basis to create a law protecting men, she said in dialect.
Baura, however, said no concrete data has been gathered yet that is strong enough to push policy-making bodies to create a special law on men.
Acts considered as public violence under the Anti- Violence against Women and Children or Anti-VAWC Act of 2004 include physical, sexual, psychological, and economic abuse.
Provisions of the law have been incorporated and made as the guiding spirit of creating local laws on women but Atty. Baura said the government also can protect men from abuse at home if they would divulge and seek justice of their plight.
Meanwhile, the drive of empowering women merely emphasizes the need for society to recognize their role as partners of development and progress at home and in the community, Coop NaTCCO partylist Mindanao representative Norma Pereyras explained.
“Men, don’t be alarmed; we are equal and are partners. We just want to raise the level of awareness of women (of their rights), she said in the same forum.
Noting her talks to a number of women council gatherings in Bukidnon, Cotabato, General Santos City, and in nearby provinces, Pereyras said women “indeed have become empowered as they are now taking part in community affairs.
“They left their washings and other chores at home, she said referring to ordinary women who joined women’s congresses held in celebration of Women’s Month.
Pereyras explained that joining community affairs does mean that Filipino wives today are now having time relaxing, unlike before when they used to carry all the burden at home.
“What is one day break for women? she said while citing how participants to women’s congress enjoyed dancing and singing during intermission numbers after talks and lectures of guest speakers.
Davao del Norte Province Council of Women President Providencia P. Nunez noted the same much active involvement of women in Davao del Norte, saying women at the grassroots level even go out their way organizing local events.
“They are now joining community activities and have become partners of government. They are there when called, and even initiate activities in their communities, she said in the same forum.
Nunez said her office has organized women’s councils at the community level, making the sector a strong partner of government development programs. PIA