Asia West Pacific

Taking steps to eradicate gender-based violence 

By Kins E. Aparece

#RespetoNaman Bohol Video Highlights

Opening of Every Woman’s Tokador Art Installation 

A multisectoral group of anti-gender-based violence (GBV) advocates bravely came together in person on May 18, 2021, in Panglao, Bohol, Philippines, to attend a Forum on Gender-Based Violence in Bohol. #RespetoNaman (respect) Bohol is a localization of SPARK! Philippines’ #RespetoNaman Campaign raises awareness and action towards the end of gender-based violence (GBV) in the Philippines.

Kins, being a founding member of the Bohol Baji (Women)Arts Collective, organized the local Forum with a committee. The Baji Artists took care of the art installation. Basic AVP helped us notice different power types and trained us to say no to violence and stand up against it. Gender-based violence, especially violence against women, is one of the most evident manifestations of the disproportionate power relations between men and women. We all need to work for gender equality and the empowerment of women and other gender minorities.

Some of the Speakers.  From left: Dr. Redillas, Mayor, Mendez, Swedish Ambassador Fries, Bohol Governor Yap, Atty. Cuevas, and Ms. Maica Teves of SPARK. 

Last year in 2020, there was a dramatic decline in cases of Children in Conflict with the Law Lockdown prohibited children from moving about, so the number of offenses committed by children decreased. However, cases of violence against women and children increased. Bohol has four reported GBV cases daily. Only 15 victims out of 100 file lawsuits. Six in every ten GBV cases are violence against women, while the remaining four involve children as victims or perpetrators.

Before the Forum, an art installation entitled”Every Woman’s Tokador” (Dresser) opened. The dresser featured representational dresses that people wore at the time of the violation. The dresser hoped to remind people to stop asking the victim, “what were you wearing”? “Tokador” challenges the community to shatter the culture of blaming the victim’s clothing or the victim herself/ himself for the attack. It was a localized interpretation of the “Don’t Tell Me How To Dress” (Do click here. It’s quite interesting!) Philippine Art Exhibition.

Every woman’s Tokador

Everybody agreed that for gender-based violence to end, men need active involvement.  Can Bohol open itself to tourism and protect its people from human trafficking and other forms of exploitation?  What would it look like, given the limitations brought about by COVID?

Kins is very thankful to Friends Peace Teams- Asia West Pacific for allowing her to outreach on gender-based violence in May.