Gender Based Violence

The Philippines ranks 7th and remains the highest-ranked country in Asia and the Pacific in terms of Gender Equality, according to the 2016 World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Gender Gap Index. Yet despite its considerable progress towards achieving gender equality and having in place legislation to address women’s human rights and discrimination, there are still significant challenges, including tackling violence against women and children.

The Philippines ranks 7th and remains the highest-ranked country in Asia and the Pacific in terms of Gender Equality, according to the 2016 World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Gender Gap Index. Yet despite its considerable progress towards achieving gender equality and having in place legislation to address women’s human rights and discrimination, there are still significant challenges, including tackling violence against women and children.

In the Philippines, UNFPA supports national, regional government agencies, local government units and NGOs in preventing and responding to violence against women and children in both development and humanitarian settings.

Strengthening policies and actions on violence

In 2015, UNFPA helped develop the capacities of 17 regional offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to address gender-based violence in emergencies as part of disaster preparedness efforts. This is fully in line with existing national laws such as the Magna Carta of Women, which provides for women having the “right to protection and security in times of disasters, calamities and other crisis situations especially in all phases of relief, recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction efforts.”

UNFPA works with DSWD and the National Association for Social Work Education, Inc. (NASWEI) to mainstream gender and integrate gender-based violence prevention and response and gender responsive case management in the Bachelor of Science in Social Work curriculum. A total of 80 Social Work Educators and practitioners all over the country were trained on gender responsive case management to date.

Strengthening health sector responses to violence

A visit to a health service provider might be a woman or a child’s only chance to receive support, care and to escape a situation of abuse and violence. UNFPA supports the Department of Health (DOH) and Child Protection Network Foundation in establishing Women and Children Protection Units in DOH-retained and local government-supported hospitals.

We also supported the Multi-Disciplinary Team Training that capacitated 333 service providers, including doctors, social workers and police officers on managing violence against women and children cases at the local level.

UNFPA also helped integrate gender-based violence into the Residency Programs of Obstetrics, Pediatrics, and Family Medicine, training 109 pediatricians to date on the new residency curriculum.

In addition, the Office of the United States Foreign Disaster Assistance – U.S. Agency for International Development (OFDA-USAID) funded UNFPA Philippines’ project on strengthening government and civil society capacities on gender based violence prevention and response.  Through the project, a total of 723 Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council members and inter-agency protection mechanism members were trained on the Comprehensive Intervention Against Gender-based Violence, 386 trained on gender-based violence prevention and response, and, 90 NGO members trained on psychosocial interventions.