With the aim to eliminate gender-based violence in the Philippines, the #RespetoNaman Campaign has been making its way around the country since its launch in November 2018. Inspired by the global #MeToo, and #TimesUp Movement, #RespetoNaman focuses on bringing the issue of rape and sexual harassment into the mainstream in the Philippines and empowering women to rise up and speak up. After its successful run in Metro Manila, *the campaign is gearing up* for its nationwide campaign, with stops in Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, and Naga.
In a media gathering hosted by Swedish Ambassador Harald Fries at his residence, Bb. Pilipinas Supranational 2019 Resham Saeed was announced as the newest #RespetoNaman celebrity ambassador to help spread awareness and encourage discourse outside *Metro Manila.*
The campaign hopes to enlighten the Filipino people that these issues are present in our society, thus we must act to change the norm. #RespetoNaman campaigns for better awareness, change in policy, better practices, and rehabilitation for victims to *eliminate gender-based violence in the Philippine society.*
#RespetoNaman is a project of the Office of Vice President Leni Robredo, Embassy of Sweden in Manila, UN Women, SPARK!, Empower, Terre des Hommes, Girls Advocacy Alliance, and Para sa Sining.
As VP Leni Robredo 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.”
The #RespetoNaman Campaign’s latest stop was at Cagayan de Oro City for the month of June. The campaign will take on its first Visayas leg starting July 18 in Cebu City. The Don’t Tell Me How To Dress Exhibit will be at the Ayala Center Cebu, and a #RespetoNaman Forum will be held at the University of San Carlos.