Women We Are

By Gracia Dorotea N. Rubio


According to Memorandum Circular No. 2020-7, the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), in coordination with the Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and their Children (IACVAWC) spearheads the nationwide observance of the 18-day campaign to end Violence Against Women (VAW).


Looking back to history, the then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Proclamation 1172, series of 2006 declaring November 25 to December 12 of every year for this campaign, and RA 10398 specifically declaring November 25 of every year as the national consciousness day for the elimination of violence against women and children.


The focus or theme of the 2020 campaign is ‘VAW-free community starts with me.”, reiterating everyone’s personal commitment – from the home to the barangay to the city/municipality – to end this kind of violence, especially in this time of COVID-19 when everyone is forced to stay home.


In this 18-day campaign to end violence against women, it is but fitting to focus our attention to honoring the women in our homes, in our workplaces, in the society.


It serves all of us who care a lot of heartaches and pain if, aside from wishing to end violence against women, we all commit not to go there at all. It is not to undervalue efforts to end VAW, but to support it by preventing violence before it looms, simply by – honoring women.


How? By knowing them and loving them. Here are some womanly characteristics – the knowledge of which can help our understanding along the way:


When women cry, it is NOT for no reason. Women cry when they are in love. Women cry when they are in fear. Whatever the motivation, let them cry as they have to, or help them if you can. Just don’t judge them they cry for no reason.


Women are very strong. Some women of age give birth by natural section delivery (NSD). They are not afraid to bear the pain that is like no other in exchange of the coming out of the baby via the natural passage. Some choose it painless, while braving the risks (and enjoying the benefits) of epidural injection in a painless delivery or in a caesarian delivery (CSD). Some do not choose to have a baby at all, again, for a reason. Others do not choose to have a husband. Do I have to say the reasons? Some do not have children, but are totally capable of love. And some women choose to help other people through a mission they are called for, whether in religious life or in another form of missionary life. All these circumstances reveal womanly strength. They do not mean to be domineering. They simply have a brand of strength of their own.


Women know their mind and speak their mind. When they tell anyone what they think or what they want or what they need to be done by her, by you, or by anyone else – in great detail and frankness; in candid, grim, morbid warnings; in fearless, ruthless, and shameless point of view – they are sharing the sharpness of their mind, the clarity of their vision, and the exigency of the situation. They are not nagging, just saying.


Women are human beings. If you prick them, they will bleed. If they are hungry, they will eat. If they are tired, they will rest. They love, they care – and need to be loved and cared for as well. They are not being whiny or complaining, just persons with needs to satisfy.


If women are understood better, no one would ever raise a hand to hurt them, nor will anyone think ill of them as no one thinks ill of himself/herself. They will not be rendered violence. They will be accorded respect and acknowledged as very important agents in the care and promotion of every generation.


As Naguenos and Bicolanos, we pride ourselves to be in a place where equality and protection for everyone, especially for women and for the otherwise marginalized – are respected and upheld – in the city’s philosophy, strategies, policies, procedures and programs. Naga City was awarded as the Outstanding VAW-Responsive LGU, besting eleven (11) other nominees in December 11, 2009.


In our city, in our homes, to end violence against women is an everyday commitment.