Retracing the true beginnings of IDEVAW

November 25 marks a very important date for women the world over. Waves of critical events transpired on this particular date bringing to the fore violence against women as a legitimate societal concern in turn engendering awareness towards this issue.
 
In December 17 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated this date as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (IDEVAW). Since then, UN member states begun celebrating this date defining strategies “to end violence against women, empower women, and achieve gender equality”. 

However, it is not really to UN’s credit nor to governments celebrating this day around the world why the issue of VAW started to be given fundamental importance. Way before UN countries formally recognized this historic event, commemorations had long been taking place organized by women activists who had grasped the real meaning behind this date.

Against All Odds: Women Journalists in the Frontline

(Here reprinted is the Keynote address delivered on the 37th biennial conference of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT), November 9-11, 2017, in Quezon City. The theme of the 3-day conference: Broadcasting and Social Justice: Women in the Media on Conflict and Crises.)
 
Ladies, women of the world, colleagues in media work, and gentlemen; Naimbag a bigat yo amin! (Good morning! In my region of the Philippines.)
 
Apparently, We are here to confer about the world as women in the profession of broadcasting particularly, and as journalists sharing stories of news events, comments, opinion and analysis from our corners of the world to the world audience.

As women journalists in the task of informing, educating, entertaining, telling the truth to the public, is especially more highly expected of us, and if we make a mistake or fumble, the alleged delicate frailties of being women are put to blame. And, we do “hold-up-half-of-the-sky,” don't we? Also, as all people go through the daily pressures imposed by the present conditions of “globalization.” Also, all people – women, man and child, face the global effects and threats of “climate change”... yet we still are “just women” who also have to give birth, care and nurture the children and the home.

Women Rage against Tyranny

As we commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (IDEVAW), Innabuyog rages against the intensifying attacks on women human rights defenders in the Cordillera region.

The observance of IDEVAW every November 25th has started after the brutal assassination of the Mirabal sisters, activists in the Dominican Republic known as “The Butterflies”, by state forces in 1960. Their courage and defiance against tyranny has inspired women around the world to resist all forms of violence against women. Later, in 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated November 25 as IDEVAW. November 25 to December 10 was then declared as the 16-day activism to eliminate violence against women to raise awareness on all forms of VAW.

Urgent Appeal to the Public to Support the Campaign to Stop the Attacks on Women Human Rights Defenders

In light of the recent waves of attacks against women human rights defenders in the Cordillera by the 7th Infantry Division (ID) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Northern Luzon Command, we, in CWEARC and Innabuyog, together with the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance and the Cordillera Peoples Alliance are urgently appealing to our fellow kakailyan and other peace loving citizens in the region and the entire Philippines to support the campaign, “Hands Off Women Human Rights Defenders.”

In the past three months, political persecution endangered the lives and security of women human rights defenders Sarah Abellon-Alikes, Sherry Mae Soledad, Joanne Villanueva, Rachel Mariano and Asia Isabella Gepte. In August 2017, reports reached us that the 5 are part of a charge sheet together with 13 other individuals in a purported gun-firing incident involving the New People’s Army (NPA) that transpired in a community in Ilocos Sur. In the months that followed, we discovered other similar cases consecutively filed against them yet in 2 other separate incidents. Spurious criminal charges are being hurled by the 7th ID of the AFP against these 5 women human rights defenders, one of them a staff of the Cordillera Women's Education, Action Research Center, Inc..

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