The Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) organized an issue orientation and policy advocacy training-workshop on ending child, early and forced marriages (CEFM) on October 24-27, 2017 at the Summit Ridge Hotel, Tagaytay City. Representatives of several legislators, including both PLCPD and non-PLCPD members, participated in the said activity.
Resource speakers provided inputs and discussed the context of CEFM and violence against women and girls (VAWG) in the Philippines. The topics covered included the prevalence and impact of CEFM on girls’ health and development; national and international frameworks for addressing VAWG and CEFM; gender in Islam and the Code of Muslim Personal Laws; and the baseline survey on VAWG and CEFM in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur. The participants noted that there is a great dearth of data on the prevalence of CEFM in the Philippines which is direly needed for evidence-based advocacy.
The training also included capacity-building activities on advocacy skills such as message development, stakeholder analysis, political mapping, and advocacy planning. The participants used the skills learned in this portion during the planning workshop to identify advocacy tracks for addressing the issue of child, early, and forced marriages. They also committed to support actions inside Congress to popularize the discourse on ending CEFM and support legislative measures that will help address this issue.
The workshop is part of PLCPD’s activities under its partnership in the Creating Spaces to Take Action on Violence against Women and Girls, which aims to prevent violence against women and girls and end child, early, and forced marriages, particularly in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The project is supported by Global Affairs Canada and implemented in partnership with ARMM-based non-government organizations Al-Mujadilah Development Foundation in Lanao del Sur and United Youth of the Philippines (UnYPhil)-Women in Maguindanao; the Philippine Business for Social Progress; and Oxfam. The project aims to achieve its goals through contributing to an enabling policy environment for preventing violence against women and girls and institutions responsive to women and girls who have experienced violence and through capacitating women, girls, and boys to claim their rights.