As part of the Women’s Month celebration, Safe and Fair Philippines and Edukasyon.ph unveiled the online campaign “Ang Mama Kong BiyaHero,” which advocates for the welfare and empowerment of female overseas Filipino workers (OFW), as well as women here in the Philippines.
The campaign is in full support of the International Labor Organization and UN Women’s “Babaeng Biya(Hero)” campaign.
Through the use of Edukasyon.ph’s digital platforms, the campaign hopes to equip the youth, especially the children of migrant workers, with proper information on safe and fair migration, and on available essential services and referral pathways for female OFWs. The campaign spreads this info through different media such as blog posts that inform young Filipinos on how they can help female OFWs access protection mechanisms: from keeping in touch with female migrant relatives, being aware of relevant government agencies’ hotline numbers, to reporting cases of violence against women or gender-based violence through proper channels.
Through its Babaeng Biya(Hero) website and social media channels, the Safe and Fair Programme has curated relevant information materials for migrant workers. These include the “16 Essentials to Ensure Coordinated Quality Response to Violence against Women Migrant Workers,” “Comprehensive Directory for VAW Service Providers in the Philippines and Countries of Destination,” as well as infographics on how to access social welfare and livelihood packages from both government and non-government agencies— all in downloadable form for easier use and saving.
The campaign also included a nationwide survey of more than 1,000 youth participants that sought their insights, attitudes, and motivations towards migration for work. The survey revealed the need to engage the youth early in learning about the realities of migration, and the challenges facing our female OFWs.
Of 1,020 respondents, 79% claimed they want to work abroad so they can support their families. However, 68% of them said that if they weren’t concerned about their financial situation, they would choose to stay in the Philippines instead. Around 58% of the respondents do not feel that they will always be safe working abroad as an OFW. Thirty percent (30% of them said that they know of an OFW friend or relative who has experienced violence against women (VAW). The experiences included economic (28%), sexual (12%), emotional/mental (34%), and physical (26%) types of violence.
Safe and Fair Programme is part of the Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls, a global, multi-year initiative of the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN). Safe and Fair is jointly implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the UN Women in collaboration with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).