Why VAW happens and persists?

Name of Office: FHO, NCDPC

Cultural beliefs and traditions have conditioned people to think that men and women have different roles – that men are the leaders, pursuers, providers and take on dominant roles in society, while women and nurturers, men’s companions and supporters, and take on subordinate roles in society. This perception results in men having more social privileges than women, thus gaining for men the power over women. With power comes the need to control to retain that power. And VAW is the expression of men’s need to control women.

● Many instances of VAW have been dismissed as having been caused by the women themselves. Domestic violence is sometimes blamed on a “nagging” or “neglectful” wife. Rape is sometimes attributed to a raped woman’s “flirtatious” ways.

● Some instances of VAW have been dismissed as trivial, such as woman accusing her employer of sexual harassment is believed to have an active and malicious mind which causes her to misinterpret her employer’s appreciation of her good looks.

● There are still outdated laws that reinforce the cultural belief that men, having the dominant role in society, should have more privileges than women. Articles 333 and 334 of the Revised Penal Code penalize a wife who commits adultery, but not a husband who commits the same adulterous act of having sexual relations with a woman who is not his wife. A husband may only be penalized for concubinage, or when he keeps a mistress in a conjugal dwelling or when he has sexual intercourse with a woman who is not his wife, under scandalous circumstances.

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