The Commission on Audit (COA) joins in the government’s observance of the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) from 25 November to 12 December. The start of the campaign coincides with the International Day to Eliminate VAW while 12 December coincides with the International Human Rights Day.
Led by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), the advocacy campaign aims to promote awareness on the forms of violence women and children experience; provide information on laws protecting women and children; feature VAW-related services; strengthen the prevention and response system on VAW; and gather public support for the campaign.
This year's advocacy campaign to End VAW comes with the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic that affected the marginalized and vulnerable sectors. According to the PCW, the pandemic highlighted the challenge of the functionality of Barangay VAW Desks as the first line of response for victims of VAW. Therefore, this year's advocacy campaign focuses on the role and essence of the Barangay, as part of a VAW-free community, in accordance with this year's theme, "VAW-free community starts with ME."
COA programs that support the campaign against VAW include the Women Help Desk (WHD) established in the Commission’s Central and Regional Offices and the creation of the Men Opposed to Violence Against Women Everywhere (MOVE) Chapter in the Commission.
The COA-WHD aims to provide more opportunities for women’s empowerment and contributes to the reduction and eradication of all forms of violence against women of COA. The COA-WHD also caters to male COA employees who are victims of gender-based violence. All regular employees of the Commission who are victims of gender-based violence occurring within the workplace or at home can utilize the COA-WHD services. COA-WHD also coordinates with the appropriate government agencies that can provide the proper legal or psychological assistance to victims of violence.
Meanwhile, COA’s MOVE Chapter was established in 2020 to organize MOVE Chapters in the Central and Regional Offices; represent COA in the activities of the MOVE National Organization; initiate and implement GAD-related activities that would eliminate violence against women; actively participate in the annual celebration of the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW; plan and coordinate COA MOVE training needs with other national MOVE member agencies and regional GAD focal persons; and facilitate capacity-building activities for male employees of COA. MOVE is an organization composed of men from various national line agencies, local government units, private sectors, academe and non-government organizations who commit themselves to be actively involved in the elimination of VAW. #