Women Advocates Push for Safe Spaces in Mandaue City

The Zonta Club of Cebu II lobbies for the passing of a local Ordinance that adopts to implement the provisions of R.A. 11313 otherwise known as the Safe Spaces Act or the Bawal Bastos Law in Mandaue City, Cebu. This piece of legislation is seen to address the existing gaps and issues on equality, security, and safety of both women and men in private and public spaces. This law intends to expand the scope of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 or R.A. 7877.

The NGO believes that in passing and enacting more legislations that aim to protect women, it leads to the creation of more secured places in the City to continue their livelihood, studies, careers, and their daily endeavors, safely and equally.

A violation of the Safe Spaces Act can be committed in streets and public spaces; restaurants and cafes, bars and clubs, resorts and water parks, hotels and casinos, cinemas, malls, buildings and other privately owned places open to the public; Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs); streets and public spaces committed even by minors; online; in the workplace; and educational and training institutions. Violations may be punishable with fines, community service, and/or imprisonment.

To expand the information regarding the Safe Spaces Act, Zonta Club of Cebu II embarked on a creative advocacy project to bring the Safe Spaces Act and its effects to greater public notice the club produced and distributed Advocacy Tote bags with infographics about RA 11313. A contest, open to all UP Fine Arts students, called for entries to illustrate salient information about the law and the 4 designs that were used for the bags are the winning entries. The 4 most informative art works chosen were created by UP Fine Arts students Anil Yap, Christopher Neive Hisanan, Nathaniel Sheene Niño and Josh Kolleen Collado. The bags were distributed to various women’s groups, Gender and Development front liners and barangay health workers in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue.