By Yco Patricio
For years, women have strived hard to obtain equality from the society. This struggle is just as same here in the Philippines as it is around the world. In our patriarchal culture, this effort still exists even in our modern time even if it’s not voiced out frequently. Having female presidents helped significantly in improving the situation; recently Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed the Magna Carta for Women declaring the rights of women in the country.
In 2009 alone there are some 14, 040 reported cases1 of Women in Especially Difficult Circumstances (WEDC) who went under the care of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). WEDC include women who have been sexually and physically abused, victims of illegal recruitment, involuntary prostitution, human trafficking, even HIV patients/potentials, emotionally distressed, unwed mothers, neglected victims of disaster, and many others.2
Such information made me more eager to know more about these WEDC and their spread around the country in a certain time range and compare their differences to see how the figures are doing. For this study, the cases of 2001 and 2007 were considered.
To start off, I have researched the figures of WEDC thru the years; I was able to obtain a 10 year track of WEDC reported cases served by the DSWD. At first I intended to make three maps for comparison with a gap of three years each: 2001, 2004, and 2007. But then such would just seem redundant hence, I was advised to make use only of two data sets and make a single map out of it. Out of the three maps I’ve already made, I used the 2001 and 2007 maps and combined their data to bear a third map showing their differences. These 3 maps were then juxtaposed in a single map along with some pictures to give more information on the topic matter. These pictures took me some time to find since WEDC is a sensitive topic and pictures of victims of violence are hard to find. These pictures were then captioned to support the maps presented.
This map is intended for the government workforce for the abatement, if not eradication, of the WEDC cases, especially in the places that show to have an increasing number of instances. A better understanding of the current situation plus the knowledge of the figures from the past may help them deduce a method or process to further enrich the state of the Filipinas.
1(2012) Republic of the Philippines Department of Social Welfare and Development. Retrieved March 19, 2012, from http://www.dswd.gov.ph/index.php/downloads/category/30-
2Virola, R.A (2012) National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved March 19, 2012, from http://www.nscb.gov.ph/headlines/StatsSpeak/2008/090808_rav_wedc.asp