Lawmakers, schools express unity vs sexual harassment at congressional forum

Wed, 12/07/2016 - 16:56 -- gwp_prop

House lawmakers, school administrators and students of Manila-based schools have vowed to fight all forms of sexual harassment in a roundtable discussion held today (Dec. 7) at the Speaker’s Social Hall, House of Representatives.

Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas said the forum provided a platform for school administrators, students and lawmakers to cooperate, particularly in raising awareness and pushing amendments to the anti-sexual harassment law.

“We in Gabriela Women’s Party are one with schools and universities in crafting more effective programs to address and monitor sexual harassment in campuses. These programs should be made more visible and accessible to students and school personnel who are sexually harassed,” Brosas said.

The lawmaker said they are also pushing for a stronger anti-sexual harassment law via amendments to Republic Act No. 7877.

“We have filed House Bill No. 3691 seeking to expand the definition of sexual harassment to include peer-to-peer cases and cyber sexual harassment, and to provide for stiffer penalties for sexual offenders,” Brosas said

Brosas said the immediate approval of HB 3691 is necessary especially in light of rising cases of sexual harassment committed online in various communication platforms.

HB 3691 also seeks to strengthen the Committee on Decorum and Investigation(CODI) through crafting of mechanisms that will protect victims of sexual harassment from retaliatory suits.

The legislative forum on sexual harassment was attended by school administrators and students from the University of the Philippines – Diliman, University of the Philippines – Manila, Miriam College, St. Scholastica’s College, St. Paul University Quezon City, St. Paul University Manila, Unibersidad de Manila, and Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

It was organized by the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality, in partnership with Gabriela Women’s Party, DIWA and Gabriela-Youth.