Press Release
December 9, 2012

Cayetano: Strengthen mechanisms to protect women and children

As the country prepares to commemorate the International Human Rights Day on December 10, Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano called on the government to intensify its campaign against crimes committed against women and children.

He lamented the report released by the Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection desk stating that in 2011 an average of 35 cases of violence against women and children were reported daily including two to three cases of rape per day.

The senator stressed that much more is expected of our country since the country ranks 8th among 135 countries in the 2011 Global Gender Gap rankings by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

"There is a need for the government to show that we are truly among those at the forefront in promoting gender equality through the implementation of proper protection of women and children, quality health and anti-poverty programs," he said.

The minority leader attributed this rise in crimes committed against women and children to the rising incidence of poverty, the spread of drug distribution, and the failure of country's judicial system to effectively bring criminals to justice.

He also pointed out that women continue to be vulnerable to human traffickers and prostitution dens given the rise of unemployment and poverty in the country.

"Knowing that our women will do anything to provide for their families, criminal syndicates are taking advantage of their desperate situation," he said.

Cayetano suggested that the government provides livelihood programs targeting women specifically to give them adequate and safe alternatives to provide for their families and shield them from illegal recruiters.

The lawmaker further pointed out that the Philippine Commission on Women must also be strengthened in order to increase its ability to raise awareness on the issue as well as protect women and children.

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