April 17, 2016

Philippine Commission On Women: "Rape Should Never Be Made A Laughing Matter"

The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) has released a statement on the controversy surrounding the "rape joke" made by Davao City mayor and presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte. The PCW is a government agency which serves as the country's machinery for gender equality and women's empowerment. The PCW was formerly known as the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women. There was a name-change in August of 2009.

Read the PCW's statement on Duterte's joke below:

"Rape is a gross violation of human rights and wholly not acceptable. No one, regardless of a person's age, sex, physical appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, race, social status, or profession deserves to be raped.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) records show that for the first half of 2015, reported rape cases went up to 8,288 from 5,069 cases during the same period in 2014.

Trivializing rape through jokes hurts persons who are suffering or may have suffered from the trauma of rape. It also hurts their families and workers who assist victims-survivors who directly see the repercussions of the crime. Rape should never be made a laughing matter; neither should it be used to threaten someone. The repercussions of rape jokes are serious and damaging; victim-survivors once more recount their horrible experiences and recall the pain and suffering.

We call on every man and woman, boy and girl to be mindful of this serious and alarming issue. Let us be cautious of what we say and how we react. Our thoughts, words and actions should be grounded with out principles of respect. As citizens, we all have an indispensable role to play in creating a violence-free society. Let us dream and work collectively in creating a society where every person is valued, human dignity is upheld, and victims of despicable crimes such as rape are never denigrated to a laughingstock."