Manila – In a significant move to bolster women's rights, the Supreme Court (SC) of the Philippines has reiterated its commitment to combating violence against women. This initiative was highlighted during the '18-day Campaign to EndVAW' (End Violence Against Women) which the court actively participated in.
According to Philippines News Agency, during the flag-raising ceremony, messages were delivered by the Committee on Gender Responsiveness in the Judiciary (CGRJ) co-chairpersons Associate Justice Henri Jean Paul Inting, Associate Justice Jhosep Lopez, and Associate Justice Maria Filomena Singh. They emphasized the court's role and responsibility in supporting and safeguarding women's rights.
Justice Inting underscored the importance of awareness in eliminating violence against women. He mentioned the judiciary's commitment to prioritizing cases involving women and children. The court has also adopted the Guidelines on the Use of Gender-Fair Language in the Judiciary and Gender-Fair Courtroom Etiquette as part of its Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovation.
Justice Lopez expressed hope that the initiatives led by the CGRJ and the Office of Administrative Services would serve as catalysts for change, not just ceremonial occasions. He advocated for raising awareness about the necessity of a society free from violence against women, dismantling gender biases, and strongly upholding women's rights.
Justice Singh called for adherence to the Guidelines on the Use of Gender-Fair Language in the Judiciary and Gender-Fair Courtroom Etiquette, emphasizing their relevance in daily interactions and not just in formal court writings. She highlighted the potential of language to commit violence and stressed the importance of mutual respect in daily interactions.
Singh further commented on the role of sensitivity and inclusivity in achieving equality and urged everyone to be mindful of their actions and words, especially within the judicial system. She emphasized that the judicial branch should lead by example in upholding the rule of law and promoting gender sensitivity.
The '18-day Campaign to EndVAW' is an annual observance that takes place from November 25 to December 12, as mandated by Proclamation 1172 Series of 2006.