|Avon PH ambassadors Ruffa Gutierrez and daughters Lorin and Venice Gutierrez|
Asia Pacific is the most disaster prone region in the world and faces a growing number of conflicts and protracted emergencies, which disproportionately affect women and girls. Luckily, there are a number of NGOs as well as private companies like Avon Philippines scaling up to give responses to gender-based violence in emergencies, integrating sexual and reproductive health serviced and strengthening the humanitarian-development-peace-nexus.
Sadly, violence continues to affect millions of women around the world—in fact, some of us may have experienced or witnessed them. Every woman has a story of abuse, harassment, or rape, or fear of not being believed or belittled. It has spawned the #MeToo movement in the first place to take action, and it’s long past time for them to come to an end. The number speaks loud and clear: 1 out of 4 married Filipinas have experienced abuse from their partners; 3 in 5 Filipinas have been sexually harassed in their lifetime; while online harassment has victimized mostly women aged 15 to 35.
In celebration of the Women’s Month, Avon Philippines, one of the companies that has long supported women’s causes renews its promise to help alleviate violence against women and girls as part of its recently launched global advocacy called Stand4Her. It aims to improve the lives of 100 million women by advancing their earning potential, freedom of expression, empowering them and making sure that they live a safe and healthy life.
I too was a victim of sexual harassment twice, the first one was back when I was in the fifth grade and an incident in college. I was on my way to class that morning when a man approached me. I never really talked to strangers but for some reason, he was able to touch my breasts when I thought he would just look into the ID I was wearing. I remember going to school crying and running as fast as I can as I made it to my first subject that morning. But I had no one else to talk to about it. In college, a priest tried to take advances on me as he locked his office. It was a good thing I was able to ran in both incidents.
Celebrity mom and former beauty queen, Ruffa Gutierrez and her daughters Lorin and Venice Gutierrez have been chosen by Avon Philippines to be its ambassadors for this particular campaign, helping shine a light on the different forms of abuse, and encouraging everyone to join the crusade against violence through their own stories.
|The Free as a Butterfly Jewelry Set available at Avon|
Avon Philippines, in its effort online shares videos where Ruffa and her daughters share their own personal experiences and insights on catcalling, online harassment, and abusive relationships—encouraging women to stand up for each other and to never tolerate such behavior.
As part of Avon Philippines’ Help End Violence Against Women and Girls campaign, Avon has also launched a limited edition Free as a Butterfly Jewelry Set to help fun partner NGOs to further empower abused victims and survivors through support, guidance, and inspiration with proceeds from the collection sales.
Now available this month of March through an Avon representative or online at http://www.avonshop.ph for only Php299. Purchase for a purpose gives P50 from each sales to the programs of partner organizations, which positively impact the lives of hundreds of Filipino women.
If you’re experiencing abuse or suspect someone who is, please don’t hesitate to contact any of Avon Philippines’ partner NGOs: Luna Legal Research Center for Women and Children in Davao at (082) 306-5761, Gender Watch Against Violence and Exploitation (GWAVE) in Dumaguete ()35) 422-8405 or 0915-2593029, Women’s Care Center Inc., (WCCI) in Manila at (02) 514-4104 and ING Makababaing Aksyon (IMA) in Pampanga at (045) 323-4750.
Speak up and let your voices be heard! Learn more about Avon Philippines’ advocacy on putting an end to violence against women and girls. Check out this video: http://bit.ly/Avib-End-VAWG.
Find out more about this campaign and check out other Avon Philippines on Facebook to find out how you can shop for your favorite Avon product and help more about this advocacy.
Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.