The fight for the rights of women against violence was emphasized during the Cold War and postwar era when women leaders brought up the subject relating to the rank of women in the society. This discussion resulted to the affirmation of the Decade for Women (1976-1985) which talks about the desire of women worldwide for equality, peace and development. Despite this improvement, violence against women was not acknowledged as a human rights issue up until the Vienna Conference on Human Rights which was held last 1993. In the conference, the UN General Assembly approved a Declaration for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Article 1 of the Declaration states that:
“violence against women is an obstacle to the achievement of equality, development and peace, as recognized in the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, in which a set of measures to combat violence against women was recommended, and to the full implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women…violence against women constitutes a violation of the rights and fundamental freedoms of women and impairs or nullifies their enjoyment of those rights and freedoms, and concerned about the long-standing failure to protect and promote those rights and freedoms in the case of violence against women… violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women, and that violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men” It is specified that violence against women (VAW) prevents women from achieving fairness and freedom, and the enjoyment they can get from it. It is also clearly stated that VAW resulted from gender disparity, which hinders women from showing what their full potentials are, and should be acknowledged by different government agencies as harm to human rights. In the Philippines both government and non-government organizations made a substantial progress in terms of addressing and eradicating VAW. The passage of Republic Act No. 9262 or more commonly known as Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 is one of the foremost accomplishments made by the government in addressing VAW. This Republic Act was approved last March 8, 2004 during the celebration of International Women’s Day. In addition, it authorized the creation of the Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and Their Children (IACVAWC). Violence against women and their children (VAWC) addresses the occurrence of mistreatments on women and their children by their partners like: husband or ex-husband, live-in partner or ex-live in partner, boyfriend/girlfriend or ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend and dating partner or ex-dating partner. These acts of violence can be: physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse including threats of such acts, battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty. Physical abuse contains acts which imposes bodily harm like battery. Economic abuse contains giving inadequate financial support or controlling the marital money. Psychological abuse includes marital disloyalty, verbal abuse, public humiliation or stalking. Sexual violence includes forcing the woman or her child to perform sexual acts or prostituting the woman or her child. VAWC under the law refers to “any act or a series of acts committed by any person against a woman who is his wife, former wife, or against a woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship, or with whom he has a common child, or against her child whether legitimate or illegitimate, within or without the family abode, which result in or is likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse...
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