Promote Women’s Economic Empowerment: Integrated Delivery of Rights-based VAWC Services

Women’s economic empowerment and integrated delivery of rights-based Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) services could help address VAW.

Atty. Mylen Gonzales Esquivel explained that many VAW survivors are financially dependent on their husbands. She cited a study showing that VAW cases decline once the income of the family goes up. “Kung tumataas ang wealth, lumiliit ang violence against women. Economic empowerment of women, therefore should be part of the solution for VAW.

Economic empowerment includes livelihood projects for VAW survivors that should focus on building their skills, and teaching of financial management. And while the aim is to promote the survivor’s economic self-sufficiency, her safety must be a priority at all times, thus domestic violence risk monitoring, as well as human rights education are to be integrated into the project activities”.
The four pillars of Rights-based VAWC Services are the: Health Sector, Legal and Justice Sector, Psycho-social Sector, and Security Sector. Each sector has its roles and responsibilities unique to its function and organization.

Atty. Esquivel clearly defined the roles and responsibilities of each sector:
The health sector — to screen possible VAWC survivors, respond to the immediate health and psychological needs of women and girls exposed to violence, and institute protocols for treatment, referral and documentation that guarantee confidentiality.

The psycho-social sector – composed of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, local government’s social welfare services office and the Department of Trade and Industry in cooperation with non-government organizations such as Zonta Club of Cebu II provide emotional, psychological and material support to GBV survivors.

The legal and justice sector — free legal advice and legal aid for criminal court cases

The security sector — police and barangay Women’s Protection Desk. Protection at the barangay and community level.

Atty. Esquivel presented a well-packaged solution to end VAW through “The Integrated and multi-sectoral delivery of rights-based VAWC Services model that calls for the holistic, inter-organizational efforts to promote the participation of key sectors, authorized to do so by the survivor”.