Philippine Embassy holds forum on women’s rights

The Philippine Embassy in Qatar held recently a half-day forum on ‘Women Rights: Legal and Social Protection in Qatar and in the Philippines’ as part of the 18-Day Campaign to end violence against women (VAW) which will conclude on December 12.

The event was attended by Philippine Ambassador to Qatar H E Alan Timbayan, along with resource speakers in the Phil-ippines and Qatar including Gender and Development Con-sultant of the Philippine Com-mission on Women Atty. Allen Liberato-Espino, Office of the Migrant Workers’ Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs Dir. Bernadette Mendoza.

Jawaher Sager Al Kuwari, from the Protection and Social Rehabilitation Center; Col. Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Rashid Al Simaih, from the Community Policing Department of the Min-istry of Interior; Law Office of Noora Sarhan lawyers and legal consultants Atty. Noora Sarhan; and Department of Social Workers and Administration Social Welfare Attaché Perlita Panganiban also attended.Ambassador Timbayan said the forum is relevant and should matter to everyone because it pertains to women and their rights.

“The women of today have gone a long way compared to their state of being decades and centuries ago. Many coun-tries have accorded women equal protection and equal opportunities, allowing them to thrive.”Our time has since pro-duced several empowered women, many of whom have made a mark for themselves in their fields of specialisation. However, despite these social gains, women continue to be vulnerable and are subject of inequalities and violence in many forms — be it at home, work, school, and other places, he narrated.Moreover, Ambassador Timbayan said that this issue is a “concern that every one of us — our individual selves — should have a stake; and should not only be left to governments, international organisations, NGOs, and other institutional stakeholders.”

The forum is aimed to elicit healthy discourse and exchange of views on the legal and social protection for women in Qatar and the Philippines. Among the participants are Filipino com-munity leaders in Qatar and the media.

This year’s campaign focuses on Republic Act 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act aiming to raise awareness among the general public and the institu-tions that are mandated to implement the law.