10 December 2020 – The Philippine Embassy in Ankara organized activities in observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (VAW) and the 18-Day campaign to End Violence Against Women.
The Embassy mounted the campaign in Izmir, Antalya and North Cyprus with the help of Filipino community groups. The Embassy had orange shirts with the VAWC logo made and distributed to Filipino community leaders and members for photos showing support for and solidarity with the VAWC campaign. The Filipino community group leaders also informed members of initiatives to promote awareness on the forms of violence women and girls experience and provide information on laws protecting them.
In Ankara, the Embassy held an “Inspirational Talk on Women Empowerment through Paintings.” Madam Ana Algabre-Hernandez presented several paintings with underlying themes on women empowerment that impart the need for self-confidence, strength and resilience in overcoming life’s obstacles. She also recounted her experiences as an OFW serving as a flight attendant in her earlier years. In his remarks, H.E. Raul S. Hernandez, Philippine Ambassador to Turkey, highlighted the Philippine Embassy’s support for projects and initiatives to end all forms of violence against women. The Ambassador explained the principles behind the VAW campaign and assured those present of the Embassy’s unwavering assistance for OFWs.
The Embassy also uploaded a video on its social media accounts featuring the story of an OFW in Ankara who was a victim of sexual harassment. The OFW filed and a won a criminal case with the help of a Turkish lawyer. In the video, she willingly recounted her experience and encouraged fellow OFWs to be strong, speak out against violence and use legal means to stop unjustifiable acts against women.
The Turkish lawyer also narrated the assistance provided to the OFW and discussed VAW cases in Turkey, government initiative to address the issue and the services and remedies available in Turkey for VAW victims. The full video can be accessed through the following link: https://youtu.be/Q0l4qcXAqf4
In 2019, the OFW approached the Embassy for assistance. Embassy personnel brought her to the police station to file charges against her employer and later on to a hospital for medical assistance. The OFW was also encouraged by the Embassy to use the Turkish legal system to seek redress for her grievances. In August 2020, a local court in Ankara ruled in her favor and the employer was given four years in prison. The Embassy monitored her case throughout the process, which now serves as an example for other OFWs who may be facing similar circumstances. END
H.E. Raul S. Hernandez delivers his message to Filipino community leaders while Madam Ana Algabre-Hernandez gives her inspirational message on women empowerment.
H.E. Raul S. Hernandez, Madam Ana Algabre-Hernandez with Embassy personnel and Filipino Community leaders in Ankara.
Filipino community leaders in Antalya
Filipino community leaders in Izmir
Filipino community leaders in North Cyprus