Around 150 men employed in the different national and local government agencies in the province of Biliran, including male barangay officials, attended the first ever provincial forum dubbed as “Male Involvement in Eliminating Violence Against Women”.
The forum was initiated by the provincial government of Biliran in cooperation with the Philippine Legislator's Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) and Men Opposed to Violence against Women Everywhere (MOVE).
During the forum, Biliran Provincial Social Welfare and Develoment Officer Flordeliza Trani and Atty. Ana Luz Cristal from the Women's Legal Bureau cited laws and other legal bases mandating the protection of women from abuses. They also urged the men present during the forum to help in the provincial efforts in eliminating violence against women (EVAW) committed by some men in the province.
The laws cited include the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); Section 14, Article II of the 1987 Constitution; RA 9262 otherwise known as Anti-Violence Against Women & Children Act of 2004; RA 7192 or Women in Development and Nation Building Act, and; RA 7877 which is the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995. Other laws also mentioned were RA 9208 which is the Anti-Trafficking in Person Act of 2003; RA 8353 or the Anti-Rape Law of 1997, and; RA 9710 also known as Magna Carta for Women.
Since violence against women is usually noted to have been committed by men, MOVE National President Donald Amado Caballero presented the EVAW equation as women (victim or potential victim) + men (perpetrator) = elimination of violence against women.
The equation simply means that with the help of men, the rights of women will be protected, thus, violence against them will be eliminated.
In support to the efforts, Governor Gerardo Espina, Jr. led the men in the pledge of commitment to fight violence against women in the province of Biliran.
To signify the support, white ribbons were pinned to Governor Espina and his brother, Congressman Rogelio Espina.