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What are YOU doing for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence?

World Pulse wants to hear from you!

What are YOU doing to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence? This is a chance for PulseWire as a community to stand in solidarity against gender violence.

Between November 25 and December 10, use your PulseWire journal to write about your own experience, views and activism in this movement. Use the tag “16 Days 2009” and your journal will join those of your fellow PulseWire members to create a written tapestry of testimony for ending violence against women. And don't limit yourself to just one journal entry... you can blog all 16 days if you like! Click here to read what others are writing about and add your own voice.

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign originating in 1991 from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute and is sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) at Rutgers University. Participants chose the dates, November 25 (the International Day Against Violence Against Women) and December 10 (International Human Rights Day) in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights, and to emphasize that such violence is a human rights violation.

The 2009 theme for 16 Days is: Commit ▪ Act ▪ Demand: We CAN End Violence Against Women!

Commit: We are All Responsible
Act: We Can All Make a Difference
Demand: We Are All Accountable

If you would like more information about the international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign, please visit the official website.


Hi Jade!

This post of yours is very timely since I just finished an article relating to gender violence. Please see my article below. Tomorrow too, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)-Iloilo invites all journalists and fellow Ilonggos to a nationwide indignation protest and prayer rally to condemn the Maguindanao massacre and to honor the victims, Wednesday, 4 PM, Nov. 25, 2009 at Jaro Cathedral grounds. The President has already declared a state of emergency in our country because of this lawless killings. They massacred wome and raped them killing journalists and innocent civilians.

But anyway, let me go back to my article relating to gender violence. Here it is.

COMELEC’s “Miseducation” and “Misplaced” Homophobia
By Rhea B. Peñaflor

Recently, I watched the program, Civic Debates over ANC on the dismissal of the petition of “Ang Ladlad,” (for the benefit of foreign readers, it means “The Coming Out”) a group comprising of bona fide sectoral organization of Lesbians, Gays, BisexuaIs, and Transgenders (LGBT), “like-minded individuals with the same concerns and interests”, seeking COMELEC accreditation as a party-list representative.

The debate was between Rep. Bienvenido “Benny” Abante, Jr. who is currently serving his second term as representative from the 6th District of Manila, as well as the full-time Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Bible Baptist Church and Ministries and Prof. Danton Remoto, national chairman of “Ang Ladlad”.

Danton Remoto, a prolific writer and outstanding teacher as the founder of “Ang Ladlad” was becoming frustrated for this is the THIRD time their group filed a petition as a party-list group. I was watching the debate and I heard Remoto right, all the group wanted was to have a representation in Congress for the LGBT that they will not be discriminated at work or school by reason of their sexual orientation. It is about equality regardless of sexual orientation. It was also about protecting this marginalized and underrepresented sector of the society that when they grow old, they have somewhere to go as Remoto puts it.

Why then is COMELEC so scared to accredit “Ang Ladlad” as a partylist group?
The answer is quite simple.

The Philippines is still a very homophobic country. And it will remain to be HOMOPHOBIC as long as we have the same kind of resolution full of prejudice and biases penned by COMELEC. The COMELEC teaches us to despise LGBT. That the LGBT is an immoral group of people, therefore, we should not give them a chance to be heard. COMELEC’s “misplaced” homophobia, without any basis, tells us that GAYS are bad news or right away, immoral. Again, COMELEC’s basis is unfounded.

Simply put, LGBT’s have no room in our society.

We are a very conservative country where predominantly, the people are Catholic. The issue is not whether or not we are straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. The issue is whether or not we live immoral lives as human beings. Do we swindle other people or do another person wrong? Then even if one is straight or not, he or she shall still be punishable. He or she shall still be answerable to all his or her acts or omissions. He or she can still be immoral regardless of his or her sex orientation.

Rep. Benny Abante as he said is a traditional man. No problem with that. The law is there to prevent anarchy and chaos. Rep. Abante’s points are also very sound when he believes that orientation can be changed. True, it can be changed for others, but it is also a reality that there are those who struggled in accepting themselves for fear that they will also not be accepted by others. I respect though those who choose to keep quiet about their own sex orientation as that is one’s choice to flaunt or not, otherwise there is that fear that your family or friends might disown you.

Rep. Abante also has a point when he said that if “Ang Ladlad” is talking about wanting a representation in Congress on human rights, then we have lots already. Human rights we have to admit is encompassing. All “Ang Ladlad” asks is to be accredited as a party-list group so they can already run in the coming May 2010 national elections. If the people would not vote for “Ang Ladlad” then, the people has spoken. That is what DEMOCRACY is all about, after all.

As a POPCOM-trained peer educator/counselor, I would like to define some terms which are often misused, thus, create confusion and misunderstanding.

The word “sex” refers to one’s being male or female. That is why in many trainings, fora and symposia, the best way to remember this is by telling the audience especially the adolescents that what you see down there is your sex. “Is it vagina or a penis that you see, tell me? I-check abi” (Please check), I would jokingly tell them. Unless you’re hermaphrodite or the politically correct medical term now is intersexual, then you’re either male or female. Sex therefore, is biological. Gender on the other hand, is what comes after. Now that you know that biologically you are a female or a male, how do you act? Do you act masculine or feminine? That now is gender.

Sex orientation is one’s being straight, gay or homosexual, or bisexual. In short, it is one’s sexual attraction to another person. It answers the question, “Is he attracted to the same sex, opposite sex or both?”

While it is true that one’s sex orientation may be changed as emotions change, experiences change and there are many factors to consider why one is gay, lesbian or bisexual. The sad part though is there are LGBT who have tried to change or have struggled to change because of the stigma. Now the problem is if they cannot change, then what can they do? There are those who do not act on their being homosexual. They recognize it but they do not act on it.

Good for those who are straight. Bad if you are either LGBT. Bad if you are too honest to admit that you are one of them. Worse, if you come out and say that you are one. It has always been a taboo because we know that the society is there to bully the LGBT as opinion columnist Raul Pangalangan also stressed in his article dated Nov.19, 2009.

Now that the “Ang Ladlad” is fed up of the excuses of COMELEC’s miseducation, it is high time that the people take a stand on this. One need not be LGBT in order to take a stand. This is how a free and self-governing society should be.

To quote COMELEC’s resolution, “We are not condemning the LGBT, but we cannot compromise the well-being of the greater number our people, especially the youth.”

What basis do the COMELEC have? And what well-being are they talking about? Are they at the same time underestimating the understanding of the youth? I have trained and helped adolescents and the youth for so many years now and I think that they are more than desensitized than the close-minded COMELEC.

Let me quote the famous poet Rod Mckuen, "It doesn't matter who you love, or how you love, but that you love."

Peace, COMELEC! The Supreme Court as the court of the last resort is still fair and just.
There is still hope, “Ang Ladlad”.

jadefrank's picture

your article

Hi Rhea,

Thank you so much for writing this important article on the attitude towards LGBT in the Philippines and the discrimination faced by the Ang Ladlad political group. You're right - this is so timely! We featured your article on the PulseWire homepage, and because this is closely related to the theme of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, I went ahead and tagged your article with "16 Days 2009" so that it can appear with the other journals written for this event. You can find the list of journals here:

I love your writing and look forward to reading more!


Rhea B. Penaflor's picture

Thank you, Jade!

Dear Jade,

As God gave me the gift to write and be able to share and express them through that medium, I will continue to be that advocate and catalyst of change.

I'm glad too to have found this site.



Visit and register for the Safe World for Women Forum which will run during the 16 days of Activism November 25th to December 10th 2009.

If you have any time to spare on the 25th November, Women For A Change warmly invites you to connect with the world to support and empower women in the 16- days Safe World campaign to stop violence against women.

The forum open to women and men, will be launched on the Nov 25th and will run until the Dec 10th.

The Forum will give everyone a chance to:

Speak out about their experiences

Find out what is really happening in different countries

Connect with mentors who can help in gaining confidence

Become involved in our advocacy projects

On the last day of the forum, December 10th there will be an International Web Conference with key speakers.

Topics to include:

What we can do right now to help ourselves

How to develop a successful advocacy strategy


Stay Blessed



Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

jadefrank's picture

16 Days of Activism

Hi Zoneziwoh,

Thank you for participating in the PulseWire journal writing event for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence and for providing links to other activities happening on the web. I invite you to continue writing about gender violence and activism here on PulseWire as well throughout the 16 days! Just be sure to tag all your journals with: "16 Days 2009" like you did with the first one.

It's encouraging to see so much activism - in speaking out against gender violence!


marietta64's picture


sign the petition:

sunita.basnet's picture

I have posted

I have posted.
Here is the link.

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

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