Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo underscores the support of the city government to the campaign to minimize gender based violence not only in Dumaguete City but nationwide.

The team composed of Maria Isabel Quimson, Ambassador Harold Fries of Sweden, Mikaela Luisa Teves and Kassanora Barnes paid a courtesy call to Mayor Remollo’s office to discuss several projects and developments in the city.

Gender advocates including Atty. Pristine Raymond facilitated the #RespetoNaman campaign in Dumaguete City for its second Visayas stop to raise awareness on the issue of gender-based violence around the country.

After its successful run in Metro Manila, #RespetoNaman will open the “Don’t Tell Me How to Dress” Exhibit this September 9 at Robinson’s Dumaguete. A university forum will be held the following day, September 10, at the Silliman University College of Law.

Inspired by the global #MeToo and #TimesUp Movements, #RespetoNaman aims not only to raise awareness on gender-based violence, but to change the norms that enable such, by pushing for change in policy, better practices, and the rehabilitation of victims. #RespetoNaman hopes to spread awareness and encourage discourse outside of Metro Manila.

This campaign is a project of the Office of Vice President Leni Robredo, the Embassy of Sweden in Manila, UN Women, SPARK! Philippines, Empower, Terre des Hommes, through the Girls Advocacy Alliance, and Para sa Sining.

VP Robredo, who spent years giving legal assistance to abused women and children, supports initiatives like this, believing that Filipino women should be given every opportunity to thrive in a safe environment. As she has expressed: “Women’s empowerment in the 21st century is no longer just about representation and activism. Each one of us is called to go beyond lip service, and be more proactive in championing the cause of making our spaces not only safe for women, but conducive to their success.”

Ambassador Fries, who has supported the campaign since it started last year, reiterated the staunch support of Sweden for the campaign and noted that “the message of #RespetoNaman needs to reverberate not just in Metro Manila, but also to the farthest towns in the Philippines as it tackles important, but often overlooked questions such as: Are there sufficient laws protecting the welfare of women and girls? Are these laws effectively enforced to protect women and girls from exploitation, violence, harassment and rape? Are social norms enabling a culture of abuse of women?”

Maica Teves, Executive Director of SPARK!, says, “SPARK! wants women to know that they are not alone. Together, we will fight for our rights and for respect. Now, more than ever, is the time to shift the narrative, end victim-blaming, and call for respect for women not because of what they wear or how they act, but by virtue of their being human.”

#RespetoNaman will be in Dumaguete City until the end of September 2019.