For many years now, various women’s groups, the academe, private sector and government have addressed the issue of violence against women (VAW) in many ways. Quite a number of intervention programs and services, advocacy, policy development and capacity building among others, have been developed and implemented. However, a great majority of these approaches/strategies focus on women as victim-survivors and potential victims. For years, one component of the VAW equation, the men-either as the main perpetrators, doers of or advocates against VAW- have been overlooked.
Violence Against Women (VAW) continues to be a major social and public health issue affecting thousands of women not only in the Philippines but in the whole world. It is associated with unequal power relations between men and women which are greatly influenced by the patriarchal and masculine culture of society. Further, in most of the studies show that the men are often the perpetrators/doers of VAW and the role of men is recognized to be very crucial in its elimination. Hence, there is a need to involve men in the movements to end violence against women as well as children by focusing on their role and responsibilities and emphasize that they are part of the solution.
The National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW), now Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), the policy advisory body to the Office of the President on women and gender concerns, has initiated a number of anti-VAW advocacy activities involving men, such as fora, exhibits and public information and education campaigns. These undertakings generated support from a number of prominent Filipino men namely, the Former Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr., Former Senate President Franklin M. Drilon and previous Vice President Noli De Castro. Likewise, the male-dominated agencies such as the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of National Defense (DND) actively participated in the mentioned activities.
To sustain and institutionalize as well as to systematize these efforts, the PCW formally launched the “Men Opposed to Violence Against Women (VAW) Everywhere or MOVE” during the commemoration of the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW. The launching of MOVE on November 27, 2006 was one of the highlights of the campaign where the males from different government agencies and private sectors convened together during the said activity.
The MOVE is an organization of men who committed themselves to be actively involved in the elimination of VAW. It is also a group of caring, pro-active and principled men who are dedicated to the cause of making the Philippines free from VAW. The MOVE members are men from various organizations, including the government, private sector, academe and non-government organizations.
The MOVE organization specifically seeks to: a) speak out against VAW; b) examine, propose and formulate total male involvement and actions in the elimination of VAW; c) form partnerships and linkages with similar groups working on VAW, locally and internationally; d) organize and conduct researches, studies and fora in recognition of the social effects of VAW for policy and program development; and e) establish resource network on VAW both local and international.
Since its establishment in 2006, MOVE was able to formulate its plans, participate in a number of advocacy activities, both local and international, initiate capacity building undertakings and establish its organizational structure and internal mechanisms, expand its advocacies not only for the protection of Women but the Children as well.
Currently, the MOVE Philippines as an organization of men has its established chapters nationwide both from the National Government Agencies, Provincial and Local Government Units including Barangays. MOVE has also members from Non-Government Organizations, Academe, Faith-Based Organizations and Private Sectors among others. The MOVE organization is continuously moving to form partnership alliances with other organizations that have similar advocacies/concerns for the elimination of gender related violence throughout the country as well as contribute to the International Peace Building.
Among the government agencies in which the MOVE has recognized chapters and men members includes DSWD, DILG, CSC, PCW, PNP, DOJ-PAO, BJMP, HOR, Sandigan Bayan among others. We also have members from the academe i.e. UP-Law students, PCW, UMAK and lots from the Local Government Units i.e. Olongapo, Boracay, Quezon, Tawi-Tawi, Davao, Kalinga, Legaspi, Sultan Kudarat and many more who committed to promote and advocate for the elimination of Violence Against Women.
For the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the MOVE is organized composed of male employees at the Central Office and its 16 Field Offices nationwide and pledge to support the MOVE advocacies. Members have attended various trainings/seminars like Gender Sensitivity Trainings and other orientations on different laws and programs concerning women and children to be equipped in performing advocacies. On the other hand, the MOVE DSWD Chapter did not stop on its pledge; they continuously advocate the MOVE activities in the nearby communities as well and integrate the MOVE in the Gender and Development plans and programs as one of the strategies in elimination of violence against women and children.
In fact, last August 23-26, 2011, during the 3rd Area Based Standards Network (ABSNET) National Conference sponsored by the DSWD Standards Bureau, the MOVE initiatives was plug-in/shared and the total of 101 participants from different Social Welfare and Development Agencies (SWDAs) nationwide recognize, appreciate, commit to support and advocate the same in their respective organizations and communities to help eliminate the VAW and Children.
Presently, a Gender Sensitivity Training (GST) for the spouse/partners of DSWD Female Employees is organize by the MOVE DSWD Chapter in partnership with the Social Technology Bureau (STB) and Human Resource Management and Development Service (HRMDS) to enable their male spouses/partners be gender sensitive and helps them achieve a broader and fairer definition of gender roles.
Finally, THE MOVE BELIEVES THAT MEN CAN BE A VITAL ASSET IN THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE WHEN INVOLVE IN THE DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES CONCERNING WOMEN EMPOWERMENT, DEVELOPMENT AND PROTECTION. THE MEN CAN BE PART OF THE SOLUTIONS... WHAT WE CAN DO IS TO PROVIDE EDUCATION AND TRAININGS...THEY CAN BE EFFECTIVE ADVOCATES...
SUPPORT THE MOVE. ENCOURAGE THE MEN TO HELP IN YOUR GENDER RELATED ADVOCACIES. WE CAN BE YOUR PARTNERS. LET’S JOIN OUR HANDS TOGETHER.....
P.S. Should you want the MOVE to give you more information’s about our advocacies, don’t hesitate to contact us through this site or you may send email at firstname.lastname@example.org