The continuing quest for gender equality | Inquirer Opinion
LETTERS

The continuing quest for gender equality

/ 05:02 AM April 03, 2024

Sad to say, the pursuit of gender equality in our country is still a work in progress. Unicef says gender equality “means that women and men, and girls and boys, enjoy the same rights, resources, opportunities, and protections.”

In reality, “domestic violence knows no gender.”

Earlier, several legislators in the Senate and the House of Representatives have filed separate bills regarding anti-domestic violence against men/husbands/partners in LGBT relationships but to no avail.

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Our lawmakers are somehow lackadaisical in supporting the enactment of laws in this regard allegedly since there are no conclusive data regarding abuses perpetrated by women/wives against their husbands based on the survey initiated by the Philippine Statistics Authority. Seemingly, the survey format is just focusing on physical and/or verbal abuse but not considering the other forms of psychological/mental violence, economic, and sexual abuse. Hence, the emergence of limited data in this regard.

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Since there is still no special law protecting men in LGBT relationships, an abused man who files a complaint/case of domestic violence or abuse against his partner (despite the supporting medical certificate of contusions/signs of physical abuse, etc.) in barangay/police desk/fiscal office/court since said agency (if woman is able to also show some marks of contusion in her wrists, etc.) could easily overturn said complaint in favor of the woman per Republic Act No. 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004.

However, various cases filed in family courts seem to reveal instances arising, among others, from domestic violence allegedly initiated by either partner that affects marriage and family unity/relations.

To level up the playing field, there is a need for a law to protect men in LGBT relationships from cases of domestic violence perpetrated by their partners.

It is only when a counterpart law aimed to protect the men in LGBT relationships is enacted that we can say, among others, that gender equality is already present in our society.

Emiliano M. Manahan Jr.,
[email protected]

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