Feature| Women and Sexual Harassment: Shedding Some Light in Quezon City

We all are aware of this issue but most of time it is treated with silence or the shrug of the shoulders. To commemorate International Women’s Day (#IWD2016) and the Month of March as the National Women's Month, two events were held by the LGU and United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (UN Women).

Based on the study "How Safe are women in our city streets" which was conducted by the Quezon City Local Government and by UN Women, 3 out of 5 women have experienced a form of sexual harassment while commuting in Metro Manila

Glaiza De Castro is the new celebrity supporter of UN Women Safe Cities where she had stated "We know about it, we are offended by it, but we don't know how to prevent it" during a press conference held at the QCX Museum to launch the research. 

The second event comprised of 1000 supporters who joined together to light the Quezon City skyline with lanterns to call for safe cities where women are free from all forms of sexual harassment and sexual violence.

"Whether due to shame or fear, women traditionally ignore and keep silent about catcalls, wolf-whistling, stalking, repeated harassment for their numbers, male public exposure, rubbing or groping (panghihipo) inside the MRT/ jeepneys, even bearing indecent language being yelled at them by men as they walk by. Women experience all these forms of sexual harassment as they move about in the city, using public transport, terminals, markets/malls, and even just walking home in their own neighborhoods."

24 cities around the world have taken part in the programme to stop street harassment and sexual violence against women and girls (SVAWG) in public spaces with funding from Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID), and Quezon City is proudly the first in Metro Manila to do the same.

“This is such an important issue and we are grateful that for the first time we have a programme on women’s safety in public spaces and educating everyone that sexual harassment of women in any form is not acceptable.”
- Jules Guiang (PTV4's Good Morning Boss)
This program has now helped the Quezon City local government to pass an amendment to the Gender and Development code increasing the penalties for sexual harassment and sexual violence against women in public spaces from Php1,000 to Php5,000 depending on the severity of the offense. 

Let's not keep silent if you have been harassed. Protecting and speaking out for yourself also helps mold the future for women. 


1 comment

  1. This is an interesting topic. Thank you for raising awareness about it. More power to you.