Gender Based Violence
About GBV Working Group
The Gender-based Violence Working Group aims to coordinate and support relevant stakeholders to put in place protection mechanisms to prevent gender-based violence (GBV) and provide survivor-centered and essential services to GBV survivors in areas affected by the Marawi Crisis. The GBV Working Group also advocates for integration of GBV prevention and mitigation measures in Task Force Bangon Marawi and the various clusters/sub-committees (i.e. Health, Nutrition, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene or WASH, Education, Camp Coordination and Camp Management or CCCM, Shelter, Livelihoods, etc.).
The fighting between Government forces and non-state armed groups that started on 23 May 2017 displaced and forced over 350,000 people to flee to neighboring municipalities to seek shelter with host communities and evacuation centers. President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation No. 216 which ordered the proclamation of martial law and suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao. The declaration of martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus caused concern to the Commission on Human Rights and local NGOs as there is 'danger of abuse‘ thus the Commission urges the government and security forces to remain faithful to their roles as defenders of human rights and dignity of all, especially during the rule of martial law.‖
The armed confrontation lasted more than six months and left much of the urban and cultural center in ruins, with buildings either burned to the ground or damaged in firefights. On 13 December 2017, the 17th Congress approved the request of President Duterte to extend the imposition of martial law in Mindanao until the end of 2018.
During conflict and displaced settings, women and girls are increasingly vulnerable to gender-based violence as a result of the pre-existing gender inequality, breakdown of community networks and structures, and lack of protection mechanisms. Overcrowding, lack of privacy, limited food and clean water supply, and lack of toilets/washing facilities in evacuation centers increase the risks and vulnerability of women, girls and other vulnerable groups to GBV and sexual exploitation and abuse. Stress related to conflict may be a trigger for intimate partner violence or exacerbate ongoing violence within intimate relationships or families. Women and girls may be left to take on the responsibilities of generating income for families and the ensuing economic vulnerability can increase the risk of exposure to sexual exploitation and trafficking. Traffickers view post-disaster situations as opportunities to recruit and exploit vulnerable individuals who lost their loved ones, shelter and livelihoods and are desperate to survive and provide for their families.
A rapid assessment of gender-based violence (GBV) and child protection concerns undertaken in October 2017 revealed that girls and young women are facing increased risk to GBV, including sexual abuse, exploitation, and early/forced marriage. Forty-five per cent (45%) of conflict-affected sites assessed reported that girls were the most affected by sexual violence. The complex interplay of religious, cultural, political and economic factors perpetuates the culture of silence around the issue of GBV. The assessment showed that survivors are discouraged from speaking out and accessing support because they are stigmatized and rejected by their families and communities. Marrying off the survivor to the perpetrator is a usual form of 'amicable settlement‘ purportedly to avoid rido or clan feuds.
The GBV Working Group was activated on 24 August 2017 as part of the Joint Regional Child Protection and Gender-based Violence Working Group. In 2017, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 10, Region 12, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Marawi City Local Government Unit led the Joint Regional Child Protection and Gender-based Violence Working Group.
The GBV Working Group is comprised of key government agencies, international non-government organizations, national and local non-government organizations, and religious groups:
As of 15 May 2018, DSWD ARMM has designated Ms. Bai Yasmira N. Pangadapun, Provincial Social Welfare Officer - Lanao del Sur A, as the focal person to the Joint Regional Child Protection and Gender-based Violence Working Group.