To show solidarity with women on National Women’s Month this March, the National Youth Commission (NYC) will once again stage ‘In Her Shoes’, an annual campaign that encourages men and boys to know, experience and reflect on the plight of women.
Now on its fourth run, the In Her Shoes campaign this year focuses on the theme “I AM HER: Marching for Young Women,” highlighting the issue of the fast increase in teen pregnancy in the country and the vulnerabilities of young mothers.
“Gold medal na ngayon ang Pilipinas sa teen pregnancy sa Asya,” NYC Commissioner Percival Cendaña said. “Ayon sa datos ng Philippine Statistics Authority, isa sa sampung teenage girls edad 15-19 ay buntis o nanganak na, at twenty-four young girls ang nanganganak oras-oras o six hundred na mga sanggol ang isinisilang araw-araw sa Pilipinas. Teen pregnancy has now become a national youth crisis and we need an urgent response,” Cendaña added.
To raise awareness on the issue, the NYC wants men and boys to get involved by simulating the experience of the weight and burden of pregnancy. Unlike the marches of the previous years, NYC will let go of high-heeled shoes as main tool for their campaign. Instead, male marchers will be wearing backpacks on their front containing assorted items weighing approximately 2.2 kilograms, which is the average weight of an 8 month old unborn child in a mother’s womb.
“Inaasahan ng aming tanggapan na mararanasan ng mga kalalakihan sa martsang ito ang bigat at hirap ng pagbubuntis; nang sa ganun, sila ay magkaroon ng tunay na hugot sa kanilang pakikipaglaban para sa karapatan ng mga kababaihan,” NYC Chairperson Aiza Seguerra said.
The NYC will lead the marchers composed of staff, volunteers, youth groups and partner agencies. Various agencies, despite having their own Gender Sensitivity Activities set for the whole year, have allocated their time and manpower in a show of support for the NYC advocacy.
“Kabilang din po sa mga layunin ng In Her Shoes 4 ang paghikayat sa mga partner agencies natin na palawakin ang involvement ng mga kalalakihan sa kanilang GAD activites. Sila ay mahalagang partner sa pagsulong ng mga karapatan ng mga kababaihan” Seguerra added.
The In Her Shoes 4 activity will be held on March 6, 2017, 9:00 am at Timog Avenue corner Quezon Avenue and will culminate in a small celebration at the Boy Scouts Monument Circle at 11:00 am. Similar marches will also be held simultaneously in Baguio City, Iloilo City and Zamboanga City.