Senator Risa Hontiveros said they are now working to strengthen anti-violence laws as the President’s persistent sexist and misogynistic statements on women has created a climate conducive for sexual harassment.
Hontiveros said yesterday that amid the celebration of Women’s Month this March, there is an outbreak of sexism and misogyny in the country and most of the cases are under-reported.
“In the city of Manila alone, there are two cases of sexual harassment reported everyday. There are more, as we know that these cases are under reported,” she said in an interview.
She was in Bacolod City to inaugurate the P3 million Barangay Health Center of Brgy. Alijis, that was constructed in partnership with her office, and the Department of Health.
Hontiveros, who heads the Senate Committee on Women, Family Relations, and Gender Equality, said that the President’s sexist or misogynistic language has created a favorable climate for sexual harassment instead of the opposite.
“There is an average of one every month... it’s almost two dozens now. It’s creating a climate conducive for sexual harassment against women instead of a culture of respect and protection of women as an equal individual in the society,” she said, referring to statements made by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.
She said they are continuing to work on the ‘tres marias bill’ to strengthen the anti-rape law and anti-sexual harassment law, including the safe streets and public spaces act, and anti-gender based electronic violence bill.
The inauguration was also attended by Bacolod City Acting Mayor El Cid Familiaran and City Assessor Maphilindo Polvora, Brgy. Alijis Captain Vemver Ray Buenafe, barangay health workers and some members of Akbayan Partylist in Negros.
Before the inauguration, she also spoke on mental health yesterday morning at the University of Saint La Salle Coliseum that was attended by Lasallian students and faculty members, as well as stakeholders in the field of psychology and mental health.
In her discussion, Hontiveros urged the future psychologists to spread the importance of having deeper knowledge of mental health to help eradicate the stigma and discrimination against it.
In order to make the best laws, we need the best knowledge available. Spread love and respect for it, she said.
Hontiveros also reported that the Mental Health Bill has already passed the bicameral hearings but it is still waiting for the signature of the President to make it a law.
Oplan Tokhang was relaunched this year, and she filed a bill on barangay based rehabilitation and treatment as the approach in this war on drugs should be holistic, integrated and have a public health based approach.*MLG
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