Damascus PE kicks off 18-day campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) in the cities of Damascus and Aleppo
Damascus Syria – On 28 November, 2 and 12 December 2021, the Philippine Embassy in Damascus kicked off the 18-day campaign to end violence against women (VAW) by conducting activities in Damascus and Aleppo.
During remarks at the start of the seminars, Chargée d’affaires, a.i. Vida Soraya Verzosa impressed upon the attendees the importance of support for everyone participating in to the 18-day campaign to end VAW. This is supposed to create awareness among them on the need to stop VAW not only in society but more importantly in the households of the attendees. She also cited measures undertaken by the Philippine Government and Damascus PE to end VAW and Trafficking in Persons (TIP).
Ms. Kathleen Llarena, Cultural Officer of the Embassy, showed VAW videos, songs, and free-verse poetry provided by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), that applied to the majority of the attendees who were household workers. Mr. Raed Hawat, local-hire and translator of the Embassy, as well as Martial Arts expert, demonstrated basic self-defense for the attendees in case they may experience violent situations outside the protective custody of the Embassy.
Ninety-two (92) participants composed of the Philippine Embassy personnel, wards at the Filipino Workers Resource Center (FWRC) and members of the Filipino Community in Damascus and Aleppo attended the event; 65 of whom were female and 13 were male.
Attendees of the lecture were also provided with orange shirts designed with the theme which were worn during the activities. Other provisions on Philippine and Syrian laws on women’s rights, particularly on laws that penalize crimes and offenses against women were discussed.
At the end of the lecture, a moderated open forum (Q&A) with CDA Verzosa and Philippine Embassy officials ensued, which enlightened participants regarding their concerns about VAW. The attendees partook of Filipino-themed snacks after every activity.
On 12 December 2021, members of the Filipino Community and Philippine Embassy personnel joined in the one (1) hour Zumba class led by Ms. Llarena, on the last day of the campaign. Afterwards, awarding of Certificates of Appreciation were given to the participants after the class. COVID-19 Health protocols and security measures were observed during the entire event. END.