Popcom Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez 3rd
THE United Nations Population Fund (Unfpa) Philippines, together with the Philippine Commission on Population and Development (Popcom), commemorated World Population Day 2020 via a virtual event on July 11.
Featuring eminent policymakers such as Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd, Philippine Commission on Women Chairman Rhodora Bucoy and Commissioner on Human Rights Karen Lucia Gomez-Dumpit, the joint event of Unfpa and Popcom discussed major vulnerabilities and harmful practices experienced by women and how the Covid-19 pandemic has intensified these. The livestreamed program featured an online handover of Unfpa’s global State of World Population (SWOP) Report 2020 to Population and Development Undersecretary and Popcom Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez 3rd.
The Unfpa report, entitled “Against My Will: Defying the Practices that Harm Women and Girls and Undermine Equality,” has identified at least 19 harmful practices, ranging from breast ironing to virginity testing, as human rights violations, focusing on the three most prevalent ones: female genital mutilation, son preference and child marriage.
While progress had been made in ending some harmful practices worldwide, the Covid-19 pandemic threatened to reverse gains.
Popcom and Unfpa vowed to strengthen their partnership to support women’s unique needs faced during the pandemic, working with various national, regional and local governments as well as nongovernment organizations in the Philippines. To enable this, Unfpa appealed for $11 million or P549 million as part of the UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan for Covid-19.