International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Article excerpt

TODAY, we join the worldwide observance of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Violence against this vulnerable group "devastates lives, fractures communities, and stalls development." World statistics show that one out of three women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime - with the abuser usually someone known to her. Violence against women is a universal problem. In 2002, the Council of Europe adopted a recommendation declaring violence against women a public health emergency and a major cause of death and disability among women in the 16-to-44 age group. A World Bank report cited violence against women as a serious cause of death and incapacity as cancer among women of reproductive age, and a greater cause of ill-health than traffic accidents and malaria combined.

Recognizing the role of women in nation-building and to ensure that they are accorded equal treatment and respect as men, several policies, laws, and mechanisms have been institutionalized in the Philippines. The Constitution guarantees equal rights for men and women and several national laws specifically prohibit discrimination against women. …