As the lead agency in social protection, and in line with the celebration of National Women’s Month, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), will hold a series of advocacy and information dissemination activities highlighted by the Information and Serbisyo Caravan on Violence Against Women at Barangay Bagong Silangan, Quezon City on March 17.

Around 100 women from the community are expected to take part in the activities which include an information drive on the different programs and services of the Department, and its partner agencies, as well as a viewing of the film “Ang Kababaihan ng Malolos.

The Women’s Solidarity Caravan aims to raise the awareness of women in urban poor communities regarding the various forms of harassment and where to report cases of the same. The caravan is also part of DSWD’s strong commitment to promote the rights and uphold the welfare of women.

Women victims of harassment and violence may report and request assistance from the VAW desks in their respective barangays, the City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (C/MSWDO) and the Women and Children’s Protection Desks found in police stations nationwide.

Women’s Month theme

The theme for National Women’s Month celebration (NWMC) for 2017-2022, “We Make Change Work for Women”, highlights the empowerment of women as active contributors to and claimholders of development. This pursuit of development is also anchored on the commitment of “Malasakit at Pagbabago” or True Compassion and Real Change.

The theme focuses on empowering women so they can confidently and meaningfully engage with appropriate institutions to ensure that they contribute to, and benefit from development and changes. The theme also refers to efforts to strengthen the implementation of the Magna Carta for Women (MCW) at all levels; and ensure compassionate and harmonized actions and networks for gender equality.

Moreover, the theme emphasizes that it takes a collective effort from all sectors to ensure that women will not be left behind in the pursuit of social change.

DSWD Officer-In-Charge Emmanuel A. Leyco stated, “Women should be active drivers in bringing about positive changes in society. They should also at the same time  benefit from development efforts. This is why the Department’s programs and services like  the Sustainable Livelihood Program endeavors to uplift the economic status of poor women and families.”

“The DSWD has always been a staunch advocate of women’s rights protection and empowerment. We support every initiative that provides better protection to women and gives them more opportunities to become empowered individuals and contributors to the country’s development,” OIC Leyco explained.

Programs, services for marginalized, abused women

The DSWD maintains two types of women’s welfare programs: community-based and center-based.

Community-based programs and services are preventive, rehabilitative, developmental programs and initiatives that mobilize the family and community to respond to issues or concerns of women who are in need or at risk.

Preventive programs refer to those that promote protective and developmental services for women.

Treatment and recovery include programs that provide diagnostic evaluation and planning services for emotionally disturbed or abused women. The Department’s Quick Response Team (QRT) through the Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU), which provides temporary shelter, counseling, and psychotherapy; and the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), which offers skills and capital assistance to women, both fall under this category.

Aftercare refers to interventions, approaches, and strategies with the end goal of ensuring effective reintegration and prevention of relapse of women discharged from residential and correctional facilities

Center-based programs  are alternative forms of family care by providing 24-hour residential care facilities on a temporary basis for individuals whose needs cannot be met by their families or relatives for a specified period of time.

Services provided in the residential facilities such as Haven for Women, Marillac Hiils and Home for Girls include individual and group counseling, psycho-social, livelihood skills training, recreational and spiritual enhancement. The goal is to equip the residents with life skills and practical knowledge which will enable them to live a productive life once they leave the centers.

A total of 381, 908 women availed of community-based and center-based programs and services from January to December 2017. Of this number, 380,230 women availed of community-based programs while 718 women in especially difficult circumstances (WEDCs) were provided assistance.

WEDCs were also served in the Processing Center for Displaced Persons at Zamboanga, Region IX that includes Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

For the same period, 377, 717 women were assisted in the Crisis Intervention Units under the Department’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS)

In 2017, DSWD also served a total of 1,678 psychologically / emotionally abused and physically abused maltreated women in its 15 residential institutions nationwide.  ###