Save the Children Philippines salutes Filipino mothers for nurturing children to grow healthy, educated, and protected from harm amid threats of violence and life-threatening diseases such as COVID-19.
Atty. Alberto Muyot, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Philippines believes that empowering mothers is one of the first steps to protecting children.
However, the increase in cases of mothers and children facing domestic violence during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) changes the narrative, said Muyot.
“Save the Children Philippines is alarmed that there are already 763 cases of crimes against women and 521 cases of crimes against children recorded by the Philippine National Police (PNP) as of April 30, since the implementation of the ECQ,” said Muyot.
The call to strengthen protection of women and children from domestic violence was made in time for the celebration of Mother’s Day and as part of Save the Children Philippines’ #InThisTogether campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fanny Divino, gender expert of Save the Children Philippines and Head of Cotabato field office, says violence against women and children is exacerbated by the limited protection services in hard-to-reach and conflict-affected areas in the country.
She said economic and social disruptions, including loss of income for families, take a heavy and devastating toll on women and children who are at risk of experiencing domestic violence during the implementation of ECQ.
“This Mother’s Day celebration, Save the Children Philippines calls on the government to ensure the protection of women and children by upholding their rights to be protected, taking into consideration their specific needs, at all times,” said Divino. “Let us work together to end all forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence against women and children,” she added.
Save the Children Philippines has been providing humanitarian aid to mothers and their families by providing hygiene kits to protect themselves from the coronavirus infection, as well as distributing food packs to health and security frontliners, and conducting consultation with children to help them fully understand the COVID-19 pandemic and learn appropriate health and safety measures.
In the last forty years, the child-rights organization continue to make sure mothers are empowered, from the groundwork microfinance programs in Guimaras in Iloilo that provided livelihood to mothers, to the life-saving maternal and newborn healthcare programs in deprived urban communities in the National Capital Region and Southern Mindanao.
By lifting mothers in vulnerable situations and empowering them, they will be able to transfer these positive improvements to their children, families, and communities to protect a generation.