A multi-sector forum on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the context of disasters was conducted on November 24, 2017 at the UP Visayas Auditorium, Iloilo City Campus organized by the Regional Gender and Development Committee (RGADC) of the Regional Development Council (RDC-VI) in cooperation with the Ugsad Gender Resource Center of Western Visayas. 

Dr. Judy M. Taguiwalo, former DSWD Secretary and Professor of Women and Development Studies, UP Diliman served as keynote speaker.   In her talk, she noted an increase in the number of cases of sexual violence post-Yolanda.  As disasters exacerbate poverty, she said that zero resources may subject individuals to exploitative conditions such as prostitution and trafficking. 

She emphasized the need to acknowledge GBV from the point of view of victim-survivors, the need to have gender-responsive and culturally-sensitive services for victim-survivors of natural and human induced disasters such as dignity kits and women and child friendly spaces in evacuation centers, and that we should “reconstruct not only homes but also lives.”

In addition to the main discussion, Ms. Emma Pangantihon of Barangay Bolilao, Manduriao, Iloilo City shared her experiences as a victim-survivor of economic, verbal, physical and sexual violence during the second half of the forum.  (IGPahila/NEDA VI DRD)