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29 November 2021—The Philippine Consulate General (PCG) personnel and their families held a simple ceremony in support of the ongoing 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW). Wearing their orange Campaign sweatshirts, the PCG personnel gathered at the Consulate General grounds for a prayer to end violence against women.

They also listened to Consul General Maria Antonina Mendoza-Oblena speak about the importance of awareness as the first step in eliminating VAW. Vice Consul and Gender and Development (GAD) Focal person, Vice Consul Elaine Mae Laruan-Hernandez, in keeping with this year’s focus, “Filipino Marespeto: Safe Spaces Kasali Tayo,” also spoke about the necessity of creating space spaces, whether outside the home, on the streets, at the workplace, or online.

The day’s activity is only part of the 18-day Campaign. To help drum up awareness on VAW, starting 25 November 2021, the Consulate General has been giving away notebooks, silk scarves, and ecobags to female Consular clients, and will continue to do so until 12 December 2021.

In 2016, the Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women (IACVAWC) adopted the theme “VAW-free community starts with Me” for the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW. The Council also agreed that the said theme shall be used every year from 2016 to 2021. 

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Consul General Maria Antonina Mendoza-Oblena (middle, in black top), flanked by the Philippine Consulate General personnel and their families.