By Leslie Ann Aquino
Different offices of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday joined the One Billion Rising Revolution to call for an end to the exploitation of women.
Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said it was the first time that the poll body joined the activity in solidarity with all the women in the world.
“Six thousand of our personnel all over the country including our central office danced to participate in the One Billion Rising Revolution to end rape, sexual violence, and sexual harassment,” she said in an interview at Plaza Roma in Intramuros, Manila where they held their activity.
“In Batangas, they danced in front of the capitol. In Antipolo, on public grounds. In Samar, because there is a flood they danced inside their offices. We hope that we have made a significant contribution to social chnge by doing this in solidarity with all women in the world,” added Guanzon.
But, she said this is just the beginning of their participation in the event.
“Every year from now on February 14, we will dance here in Plaza Roma and all over the country,” Guanzon said.
According to the poll official, sexual harassment is something that they don’t tolerate.
“We are serious about this in Comelec. We have a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment and rape and we reward all our personnel and officers who actively join and advocate for gender equality and end to violence against women,” said Guanzon.
Meanwhile, the poll official said they will repeat the activity on March 8 to celebrate Women’s Month.
“We will do this again March 8 as Women’s Month culminating activity because One Billion Rising begins today Feb. 14 and ends on March 8. We will do it in Plaza Roma but women only,” Guanzon said.
“All over the country our election offices from Aparri to Tawi-Tawi will be dancing again in or outside their offices on March 8,” she added.
First launched in the Philippines in 2013, One Billion Rising has mobilized hundreds of schools, local governments, and civil society alliances in the broad movement to end violence and exploitation of women and children.